It’s Kirk Cousins time in Minnesota. After signing a three-year $84 million deal, Cousins will take the field in his first game. Well, kind of his first game. It’s only the preseason and Cousins isn’t going to get many looks in this one. The Vikings have dealt with quarterback problems the last few years, but they’ve always managed to figure it out. The injury to Teddy Bridgewater looked like it was going to be the end of the world. He was coming off a nice season and appeared like the future of the franchise in Minnesota.
A training camp knee injury ended those plans, and Bridgewater didn’t see a play until Week 15 of 2017. The Vikings went through Sam Bradford, who was more than serviceable, and then Case Keenum followed Bradford up with some nice starts as well. Bradford is now the current starter in Arizona, and Keenum just signed a deal with the Broncos in the offseason. It’s all good in Minnesota, as the Vikings signed the most coveted available quarterback, Kirks Cousins.
Bridgewater was still developing before he blew his knee out. Cousins on the other hand has pretty well cemented his ability. He is coming off a 27 touchdown and 13 interception year with the Washington Redskins. Cousins has spent six-year career in Washington. He took over for Robert Griffin after that experiment didn’t work out.
A knee injury derailed his carer as well. Barring an injury to Cousins, we don’t expect anything to go astray for him. If Bradford and Keenum can handle this offense, then Cousins should have no issues getting a grasp of the offense. Keenum will be over on the other side tonight, as he welcomes his former team to Mile High. Don’t expect much out of Keenum. The preseason is all about figuring out who the backup is going to be in Denver. Paxton Lynch hasn’t shown any ability to be a starter in the NFL, nor has he looked promising as a backup either. Former Ole Miss product, Chad Kelly, will look to steal the job from Lynch. Head below for our free Vikings vs. Broncos pick for Saturday in the NFL Preseason.
Minnesota Vikings vs. Denver Broncos NFL Preseason Betting Odds:
vs. Broncos -1(-110)
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Vikings vs. Broncos Pick:
If you are looking for Keenum to extract revenge on the Vikings for giving up on him, or Cousins dishing it out with his new team, you are of course going to be disappointed. This is the preseason after all. Keenum said he has no hard feelings directed towards the Vikings for choosing Cousins over him. With that said, you just know he wants to prove something. Not in this game, but over the course of this season he hopes to show them what he’s missing. Cousins and Keenum will likely see a series each, which is typically standard protocol in the first game of the preseason.
The Vikes are projected to go into the regular season with former Broncos’ quarterback, Trevor Siemian, as their backup. Siemian is another guy that would like to show off a bit, and he will have some more time to do it in a backup role in this game. Siemian was the only halfway component quarterback on the Broncos roster last season.
Lynch ended up crying on the sidelines after getting benched against the Raiders in the 3rd quarter last season. Down 21-0, Siemian nearly marched the Broncos back but he just ran out of time. I remember that game well because I was sweating a Raiders bet out. Reports out of camp aren’t the best on Lynch. He still looks overwhelmed, as he heads into an important preseason with the Broncos. Behind Lynch is second-year QB Chad Kelly. He didn’t see any action in 2017 after having wrist surgery, so one could say this is his rookie season. Kelly effectively took a red-shirt in his first season as a professional. It at least gave him time to mature, which was a knack on him going into the NFL.
Kelly is a 7th rounder and some beat writers have indicated that he’s looked better than Lynch on most days. That’s not ideal for a guy who was drafted in the 1st round of the 2016 draft. This will be the first in-game action that Kelly sees in his career. He will likely be up against Kyle Sloter of the Broncos. He is yet another guy who has swapped teams in this matchup. If you haven’t been following along in the offseason, you are going to wonder if some of these guys accidently went to the wrong locker room.
Sloter, in his second year out of Northern Colorado, was shocked to find that the team he dreamed of playing for let him go. In 2017, Sloter was the top performer out of all rookie quarterbacks. He passed for 413 yards, 3 touchdowns, and no interceptions. Sloter finished with an impressive QB rating of 125.4. Unlike Keenum who won’t have much time to inflict damage on his former team, I think Sloter is going to get some looks. That certainly sounds better to me than banking on Chad Kelly to get the job done in the 4th quarter.