Friday, August 26, 2016

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

I’ve repeatedly called Mike Zimmer’s defense aggressive, his coaching style brash, but never has he crossed the line into “dirty” territory. That special place is reserved for coaches like Gregg Williams, whose ties to the Minnesota Vikings trace back to 2009, when his New Orleans Saints defense nearly crippled Brett Favre in the NFC Championship Game. It was later revealed that Williams was the architect of the team’s “Bountygate” scandal — a deliberate injure-for-money operation designed to motivate defensive players.

After his year-long suspension following the league’s investigation, Williams spoke on the scandal and his role in the matter. “One of the things was it was on my watch, but there was nothing that hasn’t been done in the last 50 years in the sport and there was nothing done to try to hurt somebody,” he said.

Zimmer would have to disagree, especially after yesterday’s chippy, playoff-like game that saw Rams players repeatedly target Teddy Bridgewater. The Vikings’ second-year quarterback was the victim of not one, but two questionable hits late in the game, with the final blow knocking him out for good. You’ve seen the play; Bridgewater scrambles and slides, but Rams safety LaMarcus Joyner launches himself into the quarterback’s head, briefly knocking Bridgewater out. It was clearly a dirty play, and one that left Zimmer furious at the podium:

“Well, we’re a disciplined football team, we do things right. That’s why we are the least penalized team in the league, because we play by the rules, we continue to play by the rules and just because other teams don’t do it doesn’t mean we’re going to do it.”

The game could have easily turned and become ugly after Bridgewater left for the locker room, but Zimmer supressed the fire to keep his team focused. They stuffed the Rams on the first overtime series and rode the legs of Adrian Peterson to a victory. For the second time in as many weeks, Blair Walsh kicked the game-winning field goal to move the Vikings to 6-2 and a share of the NFC North lead.

More than the play of Linval Joseph, Peterson, and Anthony Barr, it was the Vikings’ composure, discipline, and restraint that secured their fourth-straight victory. Despite the Rams’ best efforts to swing the game in their favor, Minnesota followed Mike Zimmer’s calm, collected script to yet another win.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

When Gerald Hodges was traded to San Francisco, it was rookie linebacker Eric Kendricks that was handed the keys to the defense. Those keys were tossed to Audie Cole when Kendricks was unable to face St. Louis on Sunday due to an injury to his ribs.

Cole, however, did not survive this game and Head Coach Mike Zimmer indicated he would miss the rest of this season after suffering a fractured ankle during the action.

“I think Kendricks will get back and I think we’ll be fine,” Zimmer said following the game. “[Edmond] Robinson is doing a good job. [Brandon] Watts is a doing a good job. We’re not going to cry because we have injuries. We’re going to get the next guy in there and go fight.”

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The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings grabbed a share of the NFC North lead with a rough and tumble 21-18 overtime win Sunday over the St. Louis Rams. That should be the headline, but it’s not. All Vikings fans already hated defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, but now we somehow hate him with the fury of a thousand suns after something-called-Lamarcus Joyner threw his elbow into Teddy Bridgewater’s face as the second-year quarterback was sliding. Us Vikings fans cannot separate the fact that we have history with Captain Bountygate, but I try not to dwell on that storyline as our 6-2 Vikes have a solid young team with a great leader in Mike Zimmer and may make some noise come playoff time. Heal up, Teddy and let’s roll.

Other “Gregg Williams Should Be Deported to Mars” Talking Points Include
• I love you Mike Zimmer. So so much.
• LOL Green Bay
• Teddy Before the Cheapshot
• Where You At Mike Wallace?
• The Offensive Line is Back!
• Old Adrian Peterson is Like 2013 Kobe
• Linval Joseph for MVP
• Containing Todd Gurley
• Trae Waynes is a UFO
• Stefon Diggs Held Quiet
• Zimmer going for the Morninwheg in OT (But it worked and was smart)
• Random Game Thoughts
• On to Oakland
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All that and other “Start Over” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings got their fourth straight victory, and assumed position atop the NFC North with the Green Bay Packers, on an overtime boot from kicker Blair Walsh. The game was physical (perhaps, at times, too physical) and the Vikings found just enough production on both sides of the ball to escape another close one.

After three straight weeks of winning this heralded (by me) award, Stefon Diggs and the rest of the Vikings passing game will step aside and let somebody else claim the prize this week. We’ll get to the nominees, but first let’s take a look at which Vikings players have won the weekly contest so far this year:

The previous winners of this award for 2015 are as follows:

WEEK ONE: Anthony Barr

WEEK TWO: Adrian Peterson

WEEK THREE: Harrison Smith

WEEK FOUR: Linval Joseph

WEEK SIX: Stefon Diggs

WEEK SEVEN: Stefon Diggs

WEEK EIGHT: Stefon Diggs

And this week’s nominations are…

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Image courtesy of vikings.com

Blair Walsh’s 40 yard field goal in overtime gave the Vikings a 21-18 victory at TCF Bank Stadium against the St. Louis Rams on Sunday. Mike Zimmer’s defense came up big again this week holding Todd Gurley to 86 yards and one touchdown on 24 carries ending his four game streak of 125-plus yards per game.

In a grind-it-out affair that saw Teddy Bridgewater get knocked out of the game with a concussion, solid defense plus 125 yards rushing from Adrian Peterson helped propel the Vikings past an evenly matched Rams team.

The Vikings won the overtime coin toss and elected to kickoff. Zimmer’s confidence in his defense paid off as they held the Rams to a three-and-out and forced a punt. Marcus Sherels tiptoed down the sideline on the 26-yard return and Peterson contributed 21 yards on the ground to move the Vikings into game winning field goal range.

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