On Sunday night, the Minnesota Vikings and the Pittsburgh Steelers went head-to-head for the annual Hall of Fame game. As the Steelers sat out Le’Veon Bell, Ben Roethlisberger, and Antonio Brown, it was time for their younger stars to rise to the occasion.
For the Vikings, Adrian Peterson was suited up, but did not participate in the preseason action. Peterson has yet to play in a preseason game since the 2011 season, so it was no surprise to see him sit out. Here are a few notes to take away from the game:
Breakout Players for 2015: One player to keep an eye out for was Steelers defensive piece Brandon Boykin. The newcomer from Philadelphia was able to swat a pass in the first half, and did not fall into trouble when it came to penalties. This move to acquire the young defensive back looks to have been a bargain so far for the team.
A breakout player for the Vikings could potentially be tight end Kyle Rudolph. The stud was able to catch a couple nice passes, reminding fellow fans why he should be considered an elite option for Teddy Bridgewater for 2015.
Busts for 2015: The Steelers could be in trouble when it comes to the secondary in general. Pittsburgh managed to blow coverages on multiple occasions, including a 34-yard pass TD with 4:20 left in the first half. Luckily, there are more preseason games to come, so head coach Mike Tomlin will have time to adjust.
For the Vikings, cornerback Trae Waynes had a fair amount of flags called on him throughout the game. The first-round pick played with an aggressive style, but failed to keep up when it came to simple routes. Adjusting to the NFL is a big step, but let’s hope that Waynes can show signs of life in the future.