Friday, July 1, 2016

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(photo courtesy of Vikings.com)

Adam: Seattle Seahawks (1-2)
After three weeks of regular season action, I can honestly say that there is not much about the current standings that significantly surprise me. Part of that response might simply be because I expect some anomalies in the beginning of the season, as teams figure out their own identities, and that very little about the NFL surprises me these days.

I will say, however, that I would not have guessed that the Seattle Seahawks would be sitting there with a losing record at this point. Losing to Green Bay and beating Chicago are not overly surprising, but St. Louis blindsiding them in Week One sets them back in a way I cannot claim to have foreseen.

Lindsey: New Orleans Saints (0-3)
I had a feeling the Saints would struggle this year, and it’s not like their 7-9 record in 2014 was overly impressive. However, I definitely did not expect them to start the season with triple losses. I expected Arizona to beat New Orleans in Week 2, but seeing Drew Brees and Co. get beat at home by the Buccaneers in Week 2 absolutely caught me off guard. The Panthers are showing themselves to be a contender, already off to a 3-0 start, but I have to say I was still surprised to see the Saints lose to Carolina most recently. Their next game is Sunday Night Football against Dallas, and even without Tony Romo, I think the Saints are looking at an 0-4 start for the first time since 2007.

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All eyes will be on the star cornerback this week

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

In what may be the most important, and crucial development heading into the Minnesota Vikings’ Week 4 game against the Denver Broncos, cornerback Xavier Rhodes has passed the NFL’s concussion protocol. The news, announced by head coach Mike Zimmer in a press conference Wednesday morning, paves the way for Rhodes to start this Sunday against one of the league’s most dangerous offenses and receiving corps.

The surprising clearance comes just days after a vicious hit that left Rhodes motionless on the field against the San Diego Chargers. Safety Andrew Sendejo collided with Rhodes while trying to break up a pass to Keenan Allen,  hitting Rhodes’s head and jerking his neck back in the process. When asked how concerned he was about the injury, Zimmer praised his cornerback’s toughness.

“I’m always concerned about my players when they get hurt, but Xav’s pretty tough,” Zimmer said on Monday. “I know he’ll be all right.”

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The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings (2-1) are on to Denver as we invade the undefeated Denver Broncos’ Mile High perch and try to break the stallions in the late game Sunday afternoon. The Purple are 0-3 all-time vs Peyton Manning, while Mike Zimmer is 1-5 against Chicken Parm as a defensive coordinator.

Di Murphy (@DiMurphyMN) of The Daily Norseman stops in to chat about the rekindled Zimmer Hellfire Defense, why Vikings Rubes need to relax on Teddy, how the Bears are a barren wasteland of nothingness that needs to be blown up & rebuilt, and how we both hate/respect the hell out of Aaron Rodgers. (Even though PFF only hate/hates him…)

All that and other “Start Over” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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Expect a heavy dose of Adrian Peterson...again.

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Lost in the shuffle of the media’s obsession with Peyton Manning is the fact that Manning himself isn’t the one winning games for the Denver Broncos. Gone are the days of Manning-led teams riding their quarterback’s arm to the playoffs. Those 40,50-touchdown seasons? A thing of the past, a feat left to quarterbacks who can deliver a deep ball without a grimace.

For a player who struggles to remove his own shoes after games, it’d be unrealistic to expect Manning to lead his Denver Broncos to yet another Super Bowl. The sun began to set on Manning’s game near the end of the 2014 season, and now, we’re witnessing a player’s unglamorous descent into the twilight of his 18-year career.

Fortunately for Peyton, the Broncos have a defense that’s doing all it can to hold off the imminent sunset. According to the Denver Post, Wade Phillips’s unit is leading or near the top of every major statistical category, and they’re the first team since the 2010 Pittsburgh Steelers to record at least 10 sacks and 10 takeaways through the first three games of the season:

  • Takeaways: 10 (2)
  • Sacks: 11 (3)
  • Yards allowed per game: 259 (1)
  • Passing yards allowed per game: 176.3 (1)
  • Rushing yards. allowed per game: 82.7 (7)
  • Pts. allowed: 49 (4-T)
  • TDs allowed: 6 (4-T)
  • Defensive TDs: 2 (1-T)
  • Opponents third-down pct.: 19 percent (1)

On the opposite side of ball, the Minnesota Vikings and Adrian Peterson will need to play their best game of the season to leave Denver with a victory this week. This Sunday’s game is Mike Zimmer’s first chance at a “statement” win, and gashing this Broncos defense would be a step in the right direction — a playoff direction — for the second-year head coach.

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Photo courtesy of vikings.com

Three games into the 2015 season, the Vikings are 2-1 and most fans would be delighted with the current state heading to Denver in week four.

The defense has played well after a poor showing against San Francisco and have put a beating on both Matthew Stafford and Philip Rivers in consecutive weeks. Offensively, Adrian Peterson leads the league in rushing and has proven yet again he can make big plays.

If there is a reason to be concerned about this team heading to Denver to face the leagues top ranked defense, it is the play of second year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

With expectations of Bridgewater at an all time high prior to the start of the season, Bridgewater has some up and down moments and has yet to take full reign of the Vikings passing game.

After taking a look at some key plays from Sunday, I think there are a few areas that will help Teddy get back on track.

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