ESNY

With NFL football officially back thanks to the Hall of Fame game, it’s time to reveal what we learned in the Vikings 14-3 victory.

By Robby Sabo

The Minnesota Vikings used a Mike Kafka touchdown pass and a Joe Banyard touchdown scamper on the ground to defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2015 NFL Hall of Fame game Sunday night, 14-3.

It was truly a dull event to say the least.

No Ben Roethisberger, Antonio Brown or Adrian Peterson in this one, as they watched their squads play from the sidelines. The biggest name on the field came from the Vikings offense, Teddy Bridgewater, who just played the opening series before taking a permanent seat.

Despite such a lackluster night, we did learn a few things of note.

Trae Waynes Sure Is Aggressive


For Vikings first-round pick Trae Waynes, his first NFL experience surely opened his eyes to how the pro games is called down the field. At Michigan State he was able to get away with some clutching and grabbing from time to time. At this level, eyes are all over it.

Scoring, scoring and more scoring. This is the mindset of the “league that plays for pay,” and Waynes will have to adjust. He was penalized twice for his indiscretions.

Mike Wallace Is Still Not Elite

Though he sure can run with the best of them (in a straight line), Vikings wide-out Mike Wallace still isn’t an elite receiver, nor will he ever get there. At 29-years old, the man has simply reached his cap. Tonight he dropped a pass and lost yardage on a reverse. While the failed reverse wasn’t hit fault in the least, the drop was squarely on his shoulders (though Teddy Bridgewater didn’t exactly place it perfectly).

Lawrence Timmons Can Still Lay The Wood

On Minnesota’s opening drive, Bridgewater connected with Jarius Wright underneath on a third and long. As Wright sniffed the first-down yardage needed, Steelers veteran linebacker Lawrence Timmons came out of nowhere to lay the wood. It was the first “hit-stick” of the season, reminding all of us why we missed football so very much.

Frank Gifford Is A Legend

The timing of New York Giants legend Frank Gifford’s passing on Hall of Fame game night is almost scary.

Anybody and everybody who is associated with the league knows how truly great the man was for over a half-century. Al Michaels, Chris Collinsworth and the rest of the NBC crew did a masterful job of conveying this message to the country.

All Told, We Learned Nothing

Stories, speculation and funny anecdotes – aside from that we learned nothing on Sunday night. Let’s call the Hall of Fame game what actually is: the first preseason game of the season.

To analyze anything about the contest would be the most irresponsible act one can put forward. We were reminded that Dick LeBeau has moved on; Adrian Peterson is ready to run through everybody; and Mike Zimmer is one hell of a guy.

Aside from that, we didn’t learn anything on the field.

However, it’s still surely fantastic to proclaim that football is finally back.

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