Tuesday, May 31, 2016

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(photo courtesy of Vikings.com)

The Vikings are entering Week 6 off a narrow loss to Denver, the bye week and a 2-2 record. While the Chiefs have only a single win under their belt and are missing star running back Jamaal Charles, they’re not a team for which Minnesota should let its guard down. Alex Smith is a proven quarterback, and the Chiefs finished the 2014 season with a respectable 9-7 record. And worth mentioning, Minnesota will be fighting against the bye week slump. The Vikings have played miserably in the post-bye game for the past five seasons, and this year they absolutely cannot afford a loss to Kansas City.

Former Vikings head coach Brad Childress will be making his return to Minneapolis, as he currently works for the Chiefs as their “spread game analysis/special projects coach”—how’s that for a mouthful? How will Childress’ current squad fare against his former? Let’s take a look at the offensive match up.


Offensive Line

The Broncos’ top-rated defense worked over T.J. Clemmings in Week 4, and it will be interesting to see how the rookie rebounds this week. Granted, the Chiefs’ defense ranks only No. 26 in the league, but they do have powerful linebacker Justin Houston in their arsenal. Houston finished the 2014 season with 59 tackles, and he already has 18 in the books this year. He has an uncanny ability to get to the quarterback and will most likely be the offensive line’s biggest focus on Sunday.

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All six Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings wide receivers may be active for Sunday’s game versus the (1-4) and reeling Kansas City Chiefs. Mike Wallace is safe, but who will land the snaps for the rest of the season?

THIS. IS VIKINGS WIDE RECEIVER IDOL.

Arif Hasan stops by for his weekly spot to discuss who has the upper hand to win the honor of catching Teddy’s balls, why offensive line play is terrible league wide, who will finally win the damn safety job opposite Harrison, and I rename NFL teams to more accurately depict their fanbase/city.

All that and other “Kelly Clarkson is the best American Idol winner” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

Read all of Arif’s stuff at The Daily Norseman and Vikings Journal as well as listening to his podcast Norse Code.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

When Brad Childress returns to the Twin Cities this Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings hope some of his post-bye magic will rub off on head coach Mike Zimmer. The Kansas City Chiefs’ Spread Game Analyst, who served as the Vikings’ head coach from 2006-2010, was 4-1 after a bye in Minnesota, while Zimmer lost his only game following an off-week last season.

This year, the odds favor the Vikings, who will play host to the Chiefs at TCF Bank Stadium and try to move to 3-2 on the season. Without Jamaal Charles, the Kansas City offense will run through Alex Smith and second-year running back Charcandrick West — a matchup that looks much better on paper for the Vikings’ sixth-ranked defense, especially against an offensive line that Pro Football Focus ranks 21st in pass protection.

What are some of the Chiefs’ greatest strengths on offense, and where do the Vikings need to focus their efforts when Alex Smith and the unit take the field Sunday? I’ll break it down after the jump and share some quick-hit thoughts before Sunday’s matchup.

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(photo courtesy of Vikings.com)

Lindsey: YES
I suppose this question is more complex than it looks on the surface, for two reasons: (1) we’re only four games into the season, and (2) there is Wallace’s contract to consider. However, I see no reason why the Vikings will be ready to part ways with him after a year. Against the Broncos, we caught glimpses of what could be a great connection between Teddy Bridgewater and Wallace—I’m hoping to see that continue over the next several weeks. Wallace was brought in as a deep threat, and we haven’t seen him utilized that way yet; that being said, we haven’t really seen Bridgwater throw deep to anyone yet. I’ll be the first to admit that I wasn’t completely thrilled about the move to bring Wallace to Minnesota, mostly because of the buzz we’d all heard about his attitude issues. However, the receiver has appeared to be a great personality to media, fans and teammates alike since joining the Vikings, and I think (at least for now) he’s happy with being here. The only thing I could really see happening for 2016 is a restructured contract if Wallace doesn’t end up with higher production by the end of the 2015 season. But, as I’m sure my fellow writers will also say, it’s still a big early to predict.

Carl: YES
I think he’ll be back. I realize it was four games into the season before Mike Wallace caught his first touchdown pass from Teddy Bridgewater, but his eight receptions for 83 yards and a TD against the Broncos is good sign of what might be to come. I like the fact that he is trying to develop into something more that just a deep threat. If I’m not mistaken, Wallace is under contract through the 2017 season, and the Vikings don’t have anyone lined up at the moment to take his job. He has had five consecutive season of 60 or more receptions, and I think he extends that streak again this season.

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Image Courtesy of Phil Mackey | Modified (slightly)

Phil Mackey of 1500 ESPN swings in to chat about the 2-2 Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings, why they (and fans) shouldn’t be overlooking the Jamaal Charles-less Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday, and how the Purple look to fare down the stretch of 2015.

We also get into his rise to power in Twin Cities sports talk radio (basically Narcos), the reaction to his infamous Adrian Peterson apology letter, what it’s like to be the second most famous person in a relationship (ala Christian Ponder) and who would square off in his dream pro wrestling match.

All that and other “LOL at Donovan McNabb’s $88M Washington contract” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

Listen to Mackey & Judd weekdays 9-1 on 1500 ESPN. The Touch Em All Podcast is available on iTunes.

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