E Point Perfect

7 ‘Losers’ from Vikings-49ers – Vikings Territory


4 Takeaways from Vikings Preseason Game #2
Aug 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kellen Mond.Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings failed to win their second preseason game against the 49ers after already coming up short against the Raiders six days earlier. The whole team lost, but some players lost more than others. Here are the biggest losers of the game, in no particular order.

Kellen Mond

The quarterback was supposed to take over the backup duties for Kirk Cousins after a solid second half against the Raiders. Against the 49ers, however, he played a dreadful game. All preseason and training camp showed that Mond tends to hold the ball too long instead of making a quick decision. That leads to missed opportunities and mistakes.

The two biggest mistakes were his two interceptions. He got hit on the throw of the first one and, therefore, shouldn’t get too much heat for that one. It can happen at times, and he could’ve done a better job getting rid of the football earlier in the play, but overall, that play by itself shouldn’t change your opinion of Mond. He is a QB3 with upside.

Aug 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; San Francisco 49ers defensive end Drake Jackson (95) pressures Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kellen Mond. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

He had a few misses and bad reads early, but his start overall wasn’t bad. On a third and six, Mond had a nice scramble, escaped the pocket to his right, and managed to throw on the run to Olabisi Johnson on the right side. However, he stared him down the entire play. Zach Davidson was wide open on the left side. His worst play of the day came at the end of the game when he floated a deep pass to Jalen Nailor into double coverage, and the safety Tayler Hawkins picked him off.

Mond flashes his incredible arm talent and mobility at times, but he’s way too inconsistent to be the primary backup QB at this point. For that reason, the Vikings traded for Nick Mullens to handle the QB2 duties.

Zach Davidson

The aforementioned Davidson was a big winner of training camp. Especially the injury of Irv Smith was the reason for a spike in opportunities. The big 6’7″, athletic tight end is competing with Ben Ellefson and Nick Muse for the third TE spot on the roster, but his latest performance didn’t help his case.

Vikings Have a Sleeper TE
Jun 15, 2021; in Eagen, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Josh Metellus (44) breaks up a pass intended for wide receiver Zach Davidson. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

Mond and Mannion targeted the receiver four times combined, and he dropped three of them. That won’t give the Vikings the confidence to play him in the regular season. He also struggled with occasional drops in training camp but to drop three of four targets is an unacceptable outcome that could cost him his roster spot.

Oli Udoh

The offensive tackle started 16 games at guard for the Vikings in 2021. Udoh was not considered good by anyone watching him. Especially the league-leading 16 penalties were too much to continue the Udoh experiment. The Vikings signed two veteran guards and drafted one, and it became apparent that Udoh is, at best, a backup tackle.

Aug 27, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Oli Udoh. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports.

While he was working with the second team all camp and in the preseason, he got outplayed by Blake Brandel, who was also with the second team. Brandel could easily win the swing tackle backup job over Udoh. Rookie Vederian Lowe played two excellent games with the third team and is a threat to unseat Udoh for a roster spot.

Janarius Robinson

The edge rusher opened training camp as the frontrunner for the final edge rusher spot on the roster. However, he didn’t play well in either preseason game and might not make the team. Robinson is one year removed from tearing his ACL as a rookie, so that could still be a problem.

While he recorded a sack and pressured the quarterback twice, he didn’t play well overall. He allowed rushing lanes, didn’t do a good job setting the edge, and wasn’t impactful enough on passing plays. He’s no longer competing with Patrick Jones and D.J. Wonnum for the backup jobs for Hunter and Smith. Robinson is competing with undrafted rookie Zach McCloud for a roster spot.

Jaylen Twyman

Jul 28, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive lineman Jaylen Twyman. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The second-year defensive tackle had a great game against the Raiders and looked like a possible contributor in 2022. However, he had a flawed game against the 49ers and is back in reality — on the roster bubble. In 41 snaps, he didn’t record a single pressure and just managed to make two tackles.

Myron Mitchell

Subpar quarterbacking aside, Mitchell didn’t have a good game. He was targeted twice and didn’t record a catch. Mitchell even dropped one of the two passes. He was a camp standout early, but it’s starting to look like Trishton Jackson and Olabisi Johnson have way better chances to make the 53-man roster.

Ihmir Smith-Marsette

He didn’t make the list as a wideout; he made the list as a punt returner. Fumbling the football is the worst thing a punt returner can do. If he continues that, Vikings fans will soon call for a different solution at the punt returning job.

Aug 14, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The fans are already getting flashbacks from the horrible 2020 Vikings punt returning performances. His second return of the day was a 14-yarder, but the fumble was too egregious to be left off the list. On offense, ‘ISM’ caught all four targets for 27 yards. He has secured the WR4 spot.

Five players won’t be on the roster after Tuesday’s roster cuts. The other 80 Vikings will face the Denver Broncos on Saturday, and the losers will have an opportunity to redeem themselves.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt

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