Mond looks good for Vikings despite 26-20 loss to Raiders in preseason opener
The loss spoiled the preseason debut of head coach Kevin O’Connell, who took over after Mike Zimmer was fired after eight seasons.
LAS VEGAS — After Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kellen Mond threw a touchdown pass in the third quarter Sunday, he received a pat on the helmet from head coach Kevin O’Connell.
He never got that sort of treatment from Mike Zimmer.
It’s a fresh opportunity for Mond, who seemed to be in the old coach’s doghouse all of his rookie year. In his first game under O’Connell, Mond had some very good moments even though the Vikings lost 26-20 to the Las Vegas Raiders in their preseason opener at Allegiant Stadium.
With starting quarterback Kirk Cousins out after having tested positive for COVID-19, Sean Mannion got the start for the Vikings and couldn’t lead them to a touchdown while playing three series in the first half and one in the fourth quarter. But Mond led the Vikings to both their touchdowns, throwing TD passes to Albert Wilson of 2 yards in the third quarter and 20 yards in the fourth quarter.
Mond completed 9 of 14 passes for 119 yards and had a passer rating of 130.7. Mannion completed 8 of 12 passes for 79 yards and had a passer rating of 85.1. The two are listed as co-backups behind Cousins on the depth chart, but Mond got a leg up on Sunday.
The loss spoiled the preseason debut of O’Connell, 37, who is a head coach for the first time on any level. He took over after Zimmer was fired following eight seasons.
The Vikings sat out 10 starters, including Cousins and tight end Irv Smith Jr., who is out for the entire preseason due to a thumb injury. The other eight ruled out before the game were healthy scratches in running back Dalvin Cook, wide receivers Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen, linebackers Eric Kendricks, Danielle Hunter and Za’Darius Smith, cornerback Patrick Peterson and safety Harrison Smith.
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