Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 8/31/12
The Minnesota Vikings ended the preseason Thursday with a 28-24 loss to the Houston Texans, unable to gain any momentum team-wise while finishing the preseason with a 1-3 record. But this preseason hasnt been about a record; its been about the development and evaluation of a very young roster. A look at how the team graded out with its backups on the field in the final rehearsal for next Sundays season opener against Jacksonville: Passing offense: B Minnesotas offense had a little bit of everything on Thursday, and the big plays will make the coaches smile. The passing game started clicking after starting quarterback Joe Webb gave way to Sage Rosenfels. Rosenfels hit receiver Devin Aromashodu for a 58-yard touchdown as part of a 7 for 11, 111-yard performance. Rookie receiver Jarius Wright bettered Aromashodu by one yard, catching a 59-yard touchdown from McLeod Bethel-Thompson. Receivers Stephen Burton and Emmanuel Arceneaux each had a 22-yard catch. In all, Minnesota had 317 passing yards, and its three quarterbacks combined to complete 26 of 47 passes. Only an interception by Bethel-Thompson and a few accuracy issues from Webb and Bethel-Thompson kept the passing offense from having a really big night. The game probably brought some clarity in the battle for the backup receiver spots as well as maybe added some intrigue to the quarterback position. Rushing offense: A Competition for the final running back spot has been fierce. Jordan Todman is finally back from his ankle injury and showed his speed on a 76-yard touchdown run in which he got to the outside of the defense and outraced players down the sideline for the score. He finished with 10 carries for 114 yards and is squarely in the mix to win a roster spot. Matt Asiata and Lex Hilliard, two power runners, were probably ahead of Todman in the competition coming into the game and had their own big runs. Asiata had seven carries for 43 yards. Hilliard had seven carries for 33 yards, including a 22-yarder. The Vikings ran for 245 total yards, averaging 8.2 yards per carry. The offense did its part. Two missed fourth-down attempts and the interception ended drives. Passing defense: B- Minnesota earns a positive grade for its pass defense, but one play was a real letdown: Houston quarterback John Beck hit DeVier Posey for an 80-yard touchdown. Several Vikings defenders, including linebacker Larry Dean, had chances to stop Posey for a modest gain, but Posey broke tackles and outran bad angles for the 80-yard score. No defensive unit can be pleased with the breakdowns that occurred on the one play. The Texans had only 184 total passing yards, 104 without Poseys big play, and their quarterbacks were 11 for 20. Minnesota had two sacks, one each from Nick Reed and Chase Baker, two players fighting for roster spots. Houston didnt need to pass much, though. Rushing defense: D For the second time in four weeks, the run defense was a sieve, especially early. The Texans averaged 5.8 yards per carry, and a lot of the breakdowns came from the defensive line and poor play by a couple of linebackers. The defensive backs and linebackers also must take better angles in pursuit. Houstons top two backs and Minnesotas first-team defense didnt play. Third-string back Justin Forsett ran for 114 yards on 13 carries. His 52-yard touchdown on the opening drive set up the first touchdown. Later, the Vikings did hold on a goal-line stand, stuffing a run on fourth down. It wasnt enough to hold down the Texans strong running game. Special teams: D Another week, another missed field-goal attempt by rookie kicker Blair Walsh. This time the breakdown looked like it might have come from the snap or hold, and Walsh has now missed field goals in three straight games. On five punts, Chris Kluwe averaged 49 yards and Houston returner Trindon Holliday had his third return for a touchdown in the preseason. The coverage units, which struggled last year, missed Holliday early as Dean and Mickey Shuler overran the play and Holliday streaked up the middle of the field without much in his way on the way to the end zone. Overall: C The big plays are good to see, especially coming from players fighting for a roster spot. Its hard to draw conclusions from Thursdays game when it comes to the regular season, though, because none of the Vikings starters played as coaches gave players fighting for roster spots a chance to shine. Now the coaches and front office hurry to decide who will make the 53-man roster before the Fridays 8 p.m. cutdown deadline. Follow Brian Hall on Twitter.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Joe Mauer: Concussions blurred vision, affected hitting

LeBron James says Kevin Love-Celtics trade rumor is false

Michael Jordan gifts Kobe Bryant full set of Air Jordans

Bethune-Cookman football player killed at party

Former UFC heavyweight Kevin Randleman dead at 44

WATCH: Chelsea scores three goals in less than 20 minutes


Broncos safety Shiloh Keo arrested for DUI

Mountain West admits error, says Boise St. shot was good

WATCH: John Calipari loses his mind, gets ejected

Former Clemson star Tajh Boyd to speak at John Kasich rally

Peyton Manning's alleged not-so-wholesome image

Hawks not shopping Al Horford at NBA trade deadline

QUIZ: Name every NBA All-Star Game MVP

Watch rare footage of Stephen Curry from 2001-02 emerges

Check out this custom camouflage Oregon helmet

Ejected John Calipari tweets “they don’t need me and I love it”

Popovich would 'buy ticket' to watch Warriors play

Jamal Murray destroyed South Carolina defender with dunk

WATCH: Lon Kruger gets Oklahoma hoops squad hype for Kansas test

Texas signee glad he didn’t pick Texas A&M after alleged racism

Dallas Stars have passed the early tests in February

Could Matt Forte become the revival for Patriots run game?

Are the Celtics legimate contenders in the East?

WATCH: Jabari Parker is no joke at NBA Rising Stars Challenge

How Marvelous Marv Throneberry became a Met

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Ranking the ten best free agent pitcher signings

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker