Opening night is less than two weeks away andBrett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings are still trying to figureout exactly what they have in a banged-up receiving corps and arotating offensive line.
Favre's two newest targets made pretty good impressions justdays after arriving in Minnesota.
So did Seattle rookie safety Earl Thomas.
Favre threw for 187 yards and two interceptions, one that Thomasreturned 86 yards for a touchdown in Minnesota's 24-13 victory overthe Seattle Seahawks on Saturday night.
Favre completed 16 of 26 passes and took a couple of big hitswhile playing two series into the third quarter. His interceptionto Thomas went in and out of the hands of Bernard Berrian.
"We've got to find out in a short period of time who can makesome plays in the passing game," Favre said.
Thomas delivered Seattle's lone touchdown of the game and alsoleveled Percy Harvin on a slant over the middle. It was a big nightfor the heavy-hitting safety from Texas, taken by the Seahawks withthe 14th overall pick over Taylor Mays, who was a standout forcoach Pete Carroll at USC.
"He made a huge play tonight," Carroll said. "I can't wait tosee it again."
As soon as the ball fell into Thomas's arm, "I was justthinking gas," he said. "Just put my head back. It was like PopWarner when you throw your head back and run."
The Vikings signed veteran Javon Walker on Tuesday and acquiredGreg Camarillo from Miami in a trade on Wednesday to bolster areceiving corps that has lost Pro Bowler Sidney Rice for eightweeks because of hip surgery.
Camarillo had four catches for 47 yards and Walker made a greatcatch over Walter Thurmond for a 25-yard TD from Sage Rosenfels inthe fourth quarter.
"I don't even know how many people know my name, but it doesn'thurt to grab a couple balls and get a couple first downs,"Camarillo said. "That's how you get trust from your teammates.Hopefully they'll start believing in me."
Favre, who was coaxed back for a 20th NFL season on Aug. 18,played eight series on Saturday night. He led the Vikings to onefield goal and a touchdown, a 24-yard run by Adrian Peterson thatwas set up by a 73-yard kickoff return by Darius Reynaud.
Peterson finished with 37 yards on 11 carries.
Favre also lost a fumble when Chris Clemons blew past lefttackle Bryant McKinnie for a sack that had the 40-year-oldquarterback shaking his throwing hand in pain early in the first.But he remained in the game and helped the Vikings amass 242 yardsof offense, but only 10 points, while he was playing.
Coach Brad Childress called the offense, which also startedAnthony Herrera at center for John Sullivan (calf), "still influx," which has to be a concern with the opener in New Orleanslooming on Sept. 9.
"There are a lot of moving parts and parts that are just beingadded," Childress said.
Seattle's offense sputtered along as well.
Matt Hasselbeck completed nine of 17 passes for 126 yards, 42coming on a completion to Mike Williams in the third quarter. Moreimportantly, he left after two series in the third quarter withouta scratch on him.
That was no small feat for Seattle's patchwork offensive lineagainst a defensive line that led the NFL in sacks last year. Sixthoverall draft choice Russell Okung is out indefinitely with a highankle sprain, forcing the Seahawks to move backup left guard MikeWrotto out to left tackle.
Two years ago, Jared Allen put a crunching hit on Hasselbeck inthe preseason that knocked him out of the game with a back injury,one that lingered most of the season and kept him out for ninegames in the regular season that year. He missed two games with arib injury last season, but the Seahawks did a pretty good job ofprotecting him on Saturday night.
Hasselbeck was sacked twice and hit two other times, but cameaway unscathed.
"Three of their four guys are Pro Bowlers and it easily couldhave been four out of four," Hasselbeck said of Allen, Pat andKevin Williams and Ray Edwards. "It was a huge challenge and Ithink we did a good job."
The Vikings also had to be encouraged by Harvin's return. Thereigning offensive rookie of the year has only practiced six timesthis preseason because of recurring migraine headaches, including about that caused trainers to call an ambulance to practice justover a week ago.
"I did a test last night and they found some things that wethink was the main cause of it," Harvin said. "We're feelingreally confident. I know we said that a couple times, but I thinkthis time we found what the main cause was. I'm not saying I'llnever get a headache again, but hopefully we can slow it down alittle bit."
Harvin had two catches for 30 yards. He also took two big hitsto the head, one from Lofa Tatupu that knocked his helmet off andthe one from Thomas that broke up a pass in the third quarter.
"We drafted him because he's a playmaker," Carroll said. "Hewas the best playmaker in the country. He played much bettertonight than he did last week so I was really happy for him."Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times