The Minnesota Vikings stayed hot in the preseason with a 25-19 Week 2 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.
Russell Wilson and Kirk Cousins started Sunday's game at U.S. Bank Stadium, providing fans with an early look at what to expect in the 2019 season. However, the backups got their chances as well to show what they can do against NFL competition.
Third-string quarterback Kyle Sloter was the key to the win for Minnesota, leading multiple long scoring drives and finishing with 116 passing yards and a touchdown. His play helped the Vikings move to 2-0 in a strong start to the preseason.
This game had a different feel than many others around the league to this point, with plenty of regulars on the field early in this battle.
Wilson got the start for Seattle and looked as sharp as ever with some great throws in and out of the pocket, including this laser to Jaron Brown:
The quarterback finished 6-of-9 for 82 yards before exiting, finding Tyler Lockett three times for 27 yards. Wilson also added nine rushing yards on two carries, so his scrambling ability remains unquestioned.
In the backfield, Chris Carson once again took charge with 25 rushing yards on five carries, appearing to be the clear starter for the Seahawks. Rashaad Penny finished with negative-two yards on six carries in a rough night.
Penny did at least look good on a 14-yard screen pass, but he is yet to live up to expectations as a 2018 first-round pick.
Minnesota should also be satisfied with what it saw in the starting offense, including the 68 passing yards from Cousins in two drives.
He connected with Adam Thielen for a beautiful pass that went for 34 receiving yards:
Although it was only 3-3 when the starters left the field, both teams should be satisfied with the production.
Meanwhile, the backups on each side had plenty to show off in the game.
Alexander Mattison ran hard for Minnesota, finishing with 10 rushes for 41 yards, plus one four-yard catch. With Dalvin Cook's injury history, the rookie showed he can be a reliable weapon at running back if needed.
Mike Boone rushed for 66 yards, plus a successful two-point conversion, but he needed 21 carries to get there.
Vikings quarterbacks Sean Mannion and Sloter produced strong drives that resulted in passing touchdowns, combining for 204 passing yards. They were both efficient with few mistakes (22-of-27 overall, with the exception of an early pick thrown by Mannion).
Of course, that play was a highlight for the Seahawks defense, as DeShawn Shead took it to the house:
Linebacker Austin Calitro also played well with nine tackles.
Unfortunately, the offensive reserves for Seattle raised more question marks beyond just Penny's struggles. Paxton Lynch failed to generate much offense in six drives, finishing 6-of-15 for 67 yards. He also nearly threw an interception in the red zone that Kentrell Brothers dropped.
His night ended late in the fourth quarter when he took a hard hit to the head on a scramble.
While it was a rough night for the 2016 first-round pick, it's difficult to completely blame him for the struggles:
The Seahawks will hope for more production from Lynch so he can provide more value in 2019.
The next game for both teams will be on Saturday with starters likely getting plenty of work. The Seahawks go on the road to face the Los Angeles Chargers, while the Vikings will take on the Arizona Cardinals at home.