Saturday, June 25, 2016

The VT Staff and a couple guests get together to discuss a number of Vikings talkers.

Vikings 2015 Huddle
Photo courtesy of Vikings.com

With the Vikings a quarter of the way through the 2015 season and not having any recent game to discuss due to the bye week, I thought this would be a perfect time to have a round table discussion here at Vikings Territory. I reached out to our awesome staff and a couple of other quality Vikings minds and sent them a list of questions to weigh in on. The questions cover a bevy of Vikings talkers and the group knocked it out of the park with some really thoughtful answers. Mike Wobschall, Vikings.com Entertainment Network Content Manager, and Adam Patrick, Vikings Featured Analysis for Pro Football Spot, were nice enough to join us and donate some of their valuable time to participate.

You’ll find all of the questions after the break. Click the toggle buttons to expand the answers for each question. We’d love for you all to join in on the conversation. In the comments, try and respond to at least one of these questions on your own. (But by all means, feel free to tackle them all!)

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Watching T.J. Ward sack Teddy Bridgewater and hand the Vikings their second loss of the season last week, I couldn’t help but wonder — “Why don’t the Vikings have an impact strong safety on their roster?”.

There’s Harrison Smith, but he can’t be in two spots at once. The Vikings’ free safety is already making plays against the run and in coverage, most notably when he intercepted Peyton Manning last week and tackled Danny Woodhead with one arm the week before. Since the start of the 2014 season, he’s been Minnesota’s most impressive defender, and he’s close to taking the title of the league’s best safety.

But every Batman needs his Robin, and Smith is operating a one-man show through four games this season. Veteran special teams ace and muscle-bound defensive back Andrew Sendejo opened Week 1 as the starter opposite Smith, but was replaced by Robert Blanton halfway into the Vikings’ embarrassing loss in San Fran…er, Santa Clara.

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The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings continue their Bye Bye Bye Week as we fans Drive Ourselves Crazy.

THEE Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) swings by to talk a little Purple. Whether he liked the Gerald Hodges trade or Wants Him Back, if new center Nick Easton can help the offensive line get N*SYNC, why Norv needs to spend A Little More Time worrying about Teddy Dave Bridgewater, and we cast Vikings: The Sitcom.

Editors Note: The episode will not be full of N*SYNC puns. This I Promise You.

All that and other “Harrison is JT” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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(photo courtesy of Vikings.com)

Despite a narrow loss to Denver Sunday, quite a few positives stood out for the Vikings in Week 4. One of those positives was nose tackle Linval Joseph.

Against the Broncos, Joseph finished the game with three run stops as well as a monster pass deflection. ESPN1500’s Andrew Krammer put together an interesting breakdown of the Vikings’ defensive performance Sunday, including a few images of Joseph’s plays, which you can view here.

Several Vikings fans took to Twitter to comment on Joseph’s noticeable performance against the Broncos, including our friends Luke Spinman and Austin Belisle:

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

At this point last year, the Minnesota Vikings were 2-2, having just beat the Atlanta Falcons behind an eye-opening performance from rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. In his first NFL start, Bridgewater completed 19 passes for 317 yards and even scored a touchdown with his legs. The elation in Minnesota would quickly end, though, as the franchise’s newfound quarterback missed the next game and watched as his team fell to the Green Bay Packers.

Suffering from the humiliation at Lambeau Field, the Vikings continued their losing streak against the Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills to fall to 2-5. Bridgewater struggled, the running game sputtered without Adrian Peterson, and the defense was a sieve at best against the run. Their 2-2 start, kicked off by a drubbing of the St. Louis Rams, wasn’t enough to keep pace with the NFC’s playoff contenders.

This year, the Vikings find themselves in a familiar, yet much different position. Though they enter the Week 5 bye at 2-2, this is a team that’s deeper, more talented, and playing at a higher level than their 2014 counterparts through four games. The record doesn’t necessarily reflect this, and an ugly Week 1 loss to the 49ers swayed expectations early, but three strong performances against the Lions, Chargers, and Broncos put the Vikings in excellent position to compete for an NFC playoff spot this season.

The Vikings won’t return to the field until Week 6, when they host the Kansas City Chiefs at TCF Bank Stadium in a crucial inter-conference matchup. Until then, head coach Mike Zimmer will have much to assess in his time off, including a few ugly trends in his team’s two losses. After the jump, we’ll dive into the game film from the Vikings’ Week 4 loss to the Denver Broncos and try to figure out what went wrong. As the famous saying goes, “The eye in the sky never lies…”

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