Sunday, October 22, 2017

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Wow, four games and four wins for the Minnesota Vikings so far in this 2016 NFL season. Not many thought this was possible even before their starting quarterback’s leg fell off and their elderly running back crumbled to the ground.

But the Vikings are taking the lead of head coach Mike Zimmer and not worrying for a second about what could possibly prevent them from accomplishing their goals this year.

The game plan has varied in each of their four games, but each strategy shared one common nucleus.

Defense.

Most of Minnesota’s fans who are younger than 40 have not seen a Vikings defense ever play the way in which they are doing so in 2016. Minnesota’s current strategy is working for them so far, but that still does not mean that a few improvements cannot be made heading into their game on Sunday against the Houston Texans.

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Minnesota Vikings

Life-long Cubs fan and local media personality Phil Mackey joins Purple FTW! at Blue Door Pub to talk parallels between The Lovable Losers and the Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings. We also delve into if Sam Bradford is really playing at MVP levels, if we’d rather have a dominant offense or a dominant defense, and if the Vikings would have won any of those Super Bowls in ’98, 2000, or ’09. I also went on a minor jag about PFF, broke down the offensive line by position, and discussed if Norv Turner or Brad Childress would be the better head coaching candidate in the offseason.

All that and other “The Cubs Will Blow This Like the Vikings” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

Listen to Phil weekdays from 9-1 on Mackey & Judd as well as the Touch ‘Em All Podcast (it’s about baseball).

An Andy Carlson Joint

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Bradford MVP
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

You’ve surely heard by now. On Wednesday, Peter King named Sam Bradford his MVP through the first quarter of the season. This elicited a wide range of responses, many of which amounted to boundless outrage —just look at the replies to this tweet for a sample. The idea was strongly opposed. And those in in opposition generally did one of the following: they offered a different candidate they found more worthy—Matt Ryan and Russell Wilson were named the most, and both are understandable choices—or, more frequently, they said something to the effect of “the Vikings defense is so good! How could Bradford be the MVP?!?!?!”

For his part, I thought King’s explanation made a lot of sense:

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Eric Kendricks
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings advanced another week and remained undefeated, and with a 4-0 record they have two more wins to their name than any other NFC North opponent, and the early success gives even the most reasonable expectation of a post-season appearance.

They still have to square off against their NFC North foes in five more contests, however, and considering three of those games will be away from the home-field hospitality of U.S. Bank Stadium it is certainly worth keeping a watchful eye on our closest enemies.

The Vikings have a +10 turnover differential so far in 2016. The defense is fearsome at their worst and downright devastating at their best. The offense continues to play efficiently enough to win and take care of the football, while signs of progression give us hope that things can get better in the near-enough future.

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In this week’s episode, we give Odell Beckham Jr. a pacifier, thank Norv Turner for watching the show, and make a few suggestions for the offense. That, plus predicting the outcome of the Texans game and the Somewhat Random Player who will score a touchdown this week.

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