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Vikings QBs Smooth in Second Preseason Game

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MINNEAPOLIS — Matt Cassel was sharp again and rookie Teddy Bridgewater led a game-winning touchdown drive in the final seconds to beat the Arizona Cardinals, 30-28.

Matt Cassel played the entire first half, completing 12 of 16 passes for 153 yards and a touchdown.

Cassel had a potential touchdown pass go off the fingertips of tight end Kyle Rudolph late in the first quarter.

Rudolph made up for the drop with a 51-yard catch-and-run touchdown early in the second quarter.

Teddy Bridgewater, who had a nondescript debut last week, shined in the second half.

With the TCF Bank Stadium fans chanting “TED-DY! TED-DY!”, Bridgewater completed 16 of 20 passes for 177 yards and two touchdowns – one a game-winner with 18 seconds remaining.

With 1:11 on the clock, Bridgewater and the Vikings offense took the field trailing 24-28.

Bridgewater drove the Vikings 83 yards on 6-of-7 passing, capping the drive off with a beautifully-placed fade to wide receiver Rodney Smith.

Other Observations:

– The passing game was not the only facet of the offense that had success Saturday night. The team averaged 5.1 yards per carry, highlighted by a 56-yard scamper by second-year running back, Joe Banyard.

– Rookie pass rusher Anthony Barr flashed again, sacking and forcing a fumble from Cardinals quarterback Drew Stanton.

– The battle for the fourth and fifth receiver spots is heating up. Incumbent Jerome Simpson got open for a key third down conversion and Rodney Smith finished with 55 yards on four catches  – including the game winning touchdown.  Minnesota native Adam Thielen had a chance to put himself ahead of the pack, but dropped a perfectly-thrown ball by Teddy Bridgewater in the endzone.  Overall, he had a solid game with 54 yards on four catches.

– Vikings kicker, Blair Walsh, had an uncharacteristically shaky game – missing a long field goal attempt in the first half, and missing the extra point after the game-winning touchdown. This was especially concerning as the wind was practically non-existent last night.

The Vikings will play again next Saturday at Kansas City.

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