Game 3 of the preseason is upon us, and it’s the most important game of the very non-important preseason in terms of how the team does as a whole.  The Vikings could lose 42-0 and still have positives that come out of it, but by the 3rd preseason game, you don’t want scores looking like that.  Let’s again go over the 5 most important things to focus on in this game.

5. Secondary Battle.  The battle in the secondary is very important to the team’s success this season.  At times last year they looked awful.  Now back at full strength, things look to be getting interesting again.  Chris Cook will be out there with no competition from Asher Allen who will be sidelined with a toe injury.  Now is his chance to put the battle away.  Tyrell Johnson and Jamarca Sanford will Battle it out for the Safety spot aside Husain Abdullah.  Neither have disappointed but this game could very well decide the starter for the season.

4. Ponder getting minutes.   It’s very crucial to see Ponder play, and see how well he plays.  That being said, it’s very interesting how this back and forth QB depth chart will play out.  McNabb is likely to sit out the 4th preseason game with many other starters, giving Ponder a chance to play with what starters we will see next Thursday.  If Ponder plays well with the 3rd string tomorrow, then has a big game on Thursday with some starters, then the beginning of the Christian Ponder era could be nearing.  However; that does imply a break down from McNabb like we saw last year in Washington, but don’t count on that being the case.

3. WR Battle.  5 players are potentially battling for only 2 spots.  It seems unfair of me to count Stephen Burton and Andre Holmes out of the race, but that appears to be the case.  Either could still make the practice squad as other teams are likely to gobble up the 3 of the 5 competing who don’t make the final 53.  While  Juaquin Iglesias has played well, he needs to have a monster performance to end up a Viking.  Putting him on the practice squad will mean almost certainly that someone else will pick him up.  Emmanuel Arceneaux had an unfortunate fumble that may cost him a spot in the purple uniform, but again, someone will acquire him.  The other 3 (Greg Camarillo, Jaymar Johnson, and Devin Aromashodu) will be in theory the top candidates playing for the final spots.  Watch for Camarillo sitting out to help the other two, but if they play poorly, Camarillo may just be able to watch the spot become his from the sideline.

2. Injured players coming back strong.  With Anthony Herrera and Cedric Griffin coming off significant knee injuries watch for their contribution tomorrow night to be huge.  I doubt either of them will struggle enough to bring up concern, but it would be nice to see them step in and show off their old form.  Griffin played some plays last week, but should see a lot more action this week, and Herrera is making his first appearance of the preseason after having ACL surgery last November.

1. Scoring on Offense.  Watching that drive from our own 1 yard line to the Seahawks 13 last week was nice, but resulting in a FG was what they did far too often under the bland offense of Brad Childress.  The offense needs to score, but at the same time, they can’t give too much away.  I’m sure if they brought out every play in the playbook that they’d light up the score board.  But at what cost?  We don’t want teams to have too much to watch this early in the season, it could be detrimental to the games that matter.  On that note, it would be nice to see our starters score one offensive TD before the season starts.