Monday, October 23, 2017

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NFC North
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

In Week Seven of the 2016 NFL regular season, two NFC North teams won, and two lost. Unfortunately, one of the losing teams was none other than our beloved Minnesota Vikings. They still boast a division best 5-1 record, but valuable ground was lost in the standings this week.

Perhaps even more importantly, a blueprint to beat the Vikings is now sprawled out across the table in plain sight of all opposing coaching staffs. That plan includes overwhelming an offensive line that may be incapable of changing things up (or, you know, getting better) in a meaningful enough way to fend off the league’s better defenses.

While flaws were exposed by Philadelphia this week (flaws that most Minnesota fans suspected would surface at some point) there are no other teams in this division that are without blemishes of their own. For that reason, it is important to stay grounded and remember that securing a playoff spot is the only real prerequisite for making a run at the Super Bowl.

And what’s the best way to secure a playoff spot? Why, winning the North, of course!

Let’s take a look around the NFC North and see what our greatest enemies are up to.

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

When news began to spread of a serious knee injury to Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater on the afternoon of August 30th this past summer, the hope for many was for this kid to be okay. When Bridgewater went down to the ground that day at practice, the Vikings’ medical staff immediately knew that this was no ordinary football injury.

The fact that an ambulance had to be called to get the quarterback to a hospital minutes after the injury initially occurred should tell someone just how serious it was.

The hope for Minnesota and their young quarterback is that he will make a full recovery and eventually return to the field one day to throw his first regular season touchdown in U.S. Bank Stadium. That is just a hope for now because no one truly knows if Bridgewater will ever be able to make it back onto the football field.

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Mark Craig

Here at Vikings Territory we love when we get the opportunity to pass along some good freebies to our incredibly good looking (with no exceptions) readers.

This time around, thanks to the generosity of Mark Craig and Triumph Books, we are pleased to be giving away two copies of their new book “100 Things Vikings Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die.” There are numerous ways to get your name in the hat to win a copy of your own using the widget below, but if you don’t win a copy then you should know that this is now required reading for all current and future Vikings fans: BUY IT HERE.

In case you missed it, be sure to read Sam Neumann’s review of the book, and also make certain you listen to Mark Craig himself discuss all things Vikings with Andy Carlson on the Purple For The Win! podcast.

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can bookmark this page and enter every day between now and October 31st, when the winners will be announced, so be sure to check in often to increase your chances! Be sure to hit up Vikings Territory, Mark Craig, and Triumph Books on Twitter to increase your odds while also checking us out on Facebook.

 

100 THINGS VIKINGS FANS SHOULD KNOW & DO BEFORE THEY DIE

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Five thoughts on the train wreck in Philadelphia.

blame
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

1. A lot of bad to go around.

In two of the three phases of the game—offense and special teams—the Vikings were somewhere between “lacking” and “unmitigated disaster.” The normally sound special teams units were uncharacteristically bad; the kickoff coverage unit left a gaping hole for Philadelphia returner Josh Huff, who returned it for the Eagles first touchdown, and Marcus Sherels lost a fumble on a punt return. On offense, the Vikings turned the ball over three times and got just seven points on four trips to the red zone, plus a 48-yard field goal from Blair Walsh. The offensive line was a factor in all three offensive turnovers, and played its worst game of the season, which is saying something. Sam Bradford wasn’t good, either; he missed a number of throws he usually makes, but it’s hard to put too much of the blame on his shoulders considering there was at least one defender in his face at all times.

For at least one week, the addition of Jake Long did nothing, and the offensive line went from liability to train wreck—even Mike Zimmer placed most of the blame for the loss on the blocking, saying, “We didn’t block anybody. We were soft. We got overpowered.”

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Cordarrelle Patterson
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

This Vikings Territory tradition is among my absolute favorites, but the process of awarding a “Player of the Game” following an excruciatingly lame loss like this is always less fun. It is simply less meaningful, too. However, there are always a bright spot or two worth highlighting, and considering the positives can serve as a bit of therapy during the grieving period.

Here are the winners so far this season:

WEEK ONE: Eric Kendricks

WEEK TWO: Sam Bradford

WEEK THREE: Everson Griffen

WEEK FOUR: Xavier Rhodes

WEEK FIVE: Adam Thielen

Week six was a bye, so that leaves the Vikings with a 5-1 record after their 21-10 loss in Philadelphia. I had a bit of a bye week myself (in case you didn’t notice my absence) and want to take a quick second to thank Dianna and Sam at U.S. Bank Stadium for helping my family and I make some Vikings memories during the off week.

 

Okay, onto the nominees:

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