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Vikings vs Chiefs: Week 3 NFL preseason preview

The Kansas City Chiefs will be at home for Week 3’s NFL preseason finale against the Minnesota Vikings on Friday, seeking to make final preparations for another hopeful deep playoff run. Keep reading for a full preview of this upcoming exhibition contest.

See where the Chiefs and Vikings rank in our latest NFL power rankings

Minnesota Vikings vs Kansas City Chiefs: What you need to know

Kellen Mond vs Jake Browning and Nate Stanley

Aug 14, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Jake Browning (3) prepares to throw a pass against the Denver Broncos during the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

COVID-19 protocols put former Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond behind the 8-ball so to speak to begin his first NFL training camp. Still, Mond was believed to be among the most pro-ready prospects because of the system he played in under Aggies coach Jimbo Fisher.

Jake Browning was an undrafted free agent out of Washington, and Nate Stanley was a seventh-round pick last year. It’s not like they’re extremely viable long-term players. Thus, Browning and Stanley may actually be fighting for a roster spot as the eventual QB3, not to be Kirk Cousins‘ primary backup.

  • Mond Magic: As Mond continues to grind away for opportunities, he should get a more extended look than the Vikings’ other backup QBs. He has superior physical tools, arm talent and upside.
  • Backups Bailing Water: Browning has one of the weakest arms among QBs who even bother to try making it to the NFL level. Meanwhile, Stanley has a cannon, but as a three-year starter at Iowa, completed just over 58% of his passes. Not great.

Advantage: Kellen Mond

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Trey Smith vs Vikings defensive front

Vikings vs Chiefs: What you need to know
Aug 9, 2021; St. Joseph, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs offensive guard Trey Smith (65) runs drills during training camp at Missouri Western State University. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Because so many backups are bound to be in, it’s always a little leap of faith to assert that a potential starter could see extended action. In the case of Chiefs guard Trey Smith, it makes a lot of sense for him to see at least some snaps.

Smith is a rookie sixth-round pick out of Tennessee who could wind up being one of the steals of the entire 2021 NFL Draft. With Kyle Long still working his way back from injury and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif out with a broken hand, Smith has a huge opportunity ahead of him to dominate against Minnesota’s front.

  • Sturdy Smith: Medical red flags torpedoed Smith’s draft stock, but thus far, he’s stood out thanks to his immense strength and the forging of his power in facing elite SEC competition for four years.
  • Minnesota’s Minimal Depth: Beyond the starting core of their defensive line led by Danielle Hunter, the Vikings don’t have a lot of viable defenders in the trenches. That could be a problem if they deal with any injuries in the early going of the regular season, and that lack of manpower should help Smith shine in Friday’s showcase.

Advantage: Kansas City Chiefs

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Mike Zimmer vs Andy Reid

Vikings vs Chiefs: Week 3 NFL preseason preview
Oct 18, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer (L) shakes hands with Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid (R) after their game at TCF Bank Stadium. The Vikings won 16-10. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

For the Vikings to come out so flat in Week 1 of the preseason against the Denver Broncos — even with the understanding that they were sitting multiple key starters — it’s not a good look for Mike Zimmer.

The reality is, since Zimmer took over in 2014, Minnesota has alternated making and missing the playoffs every season. After going 7-9 in 2020, Zimmer really needs his players to show out. Compare that to Andy Reid, who’s been to the conference title game three years in a row.

How do Minnesota and Kansas City rate among the league’s best defenses? Find out in our NFL defense rankings

  • Zig-Zag Zimmer: The Vikings organization appears to be all-in on Coach Zim, but even with that innate respect, there’s got to be concern about how inconsistent his program has been over the years. Minnesota could use a sharp final preseason outing, that’s for sure.
  • Rest And Reid-laxation: One of the most player-friendly coaches in all of the NFL, Big Red knows how to deal with the preseason. What will be interesting to see is how well-prepared and deep Kansas City really is behind superstar players like Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and others.

Advantage: Kansas City Chiefs

The bottom line: This matchup would be a lot more compelling during the regular season, but the expected extended look we should get from Mond provides enough intrigue to tune in. Even with Mond in action, though, the Chiefs should find a way to edge out the Vikes at home.

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