Thursday, October 20, 2016

by -

Newman's prepared to make his first start at safety for the Vikings

Image courtesy of

When the Arizona Cardinals and their top-ranked offense take the field tonight, they won’t have to worry about Harrison Smith and Andrew Sendejo at safety. With the Minnesota Vikings’ starters sidelined, Anthony Harris and veteran cornerback Terence Newman will take their place in the secondary. It’s not the most ideal situation against a group of wide receivers that includes Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, and John Brown, but injuries necessitate the change.

In place of Newman, rookie cornerback Trae Waynes will make the start opposite Xavier Rhodes. He’ll be tested by Carson Palmer and must have a solid night if the Vikings are to have any chance in Arizona. The rest of the Vikings’ inactives include:

Young players will need to step up at every level of the defense, including a handful of rookies and second-year players. Edmond Robinson, Minnesota’s seventh-round draft pick out of Newberry, will start in Anthony Barr’s place. Depending on Mike Zimmer’s strategy, he’ll either play an important role blitzing, or, will be asked to cover the intermediate area of the field. Palmer has been deadly accurate between the numbers this season, putting even more pressure on a relatively inexperienced linebacker corps.

Like last week, Tom Johnson and Sharrif Floyd will start in the middle of the defensive line. According to the team’s official website, Johnson will replace Joseph at nose tackle and Floyd will play his normal defensive tackle position. Arizona is missing its top running back, but rookie David Johnson is a threat running the football, catching out of the backfield, and returning kickoffs. The Vikings had three days to correct their mistakes against Seattle, which may not be enough against Arizona’s high-octane offense.

by -

Who should you be rooting for this week in addition to the Vikings? Find out here.

Vikings Mike Zimmer Travel To Arizona
Photo courtesy of

About this time last week, the Vikings found themselves in a much more favorable playoff situation. We detailed in our Week 13 Edition of this segment Minnesota’s very high probability of making the playoffs if they managed to win their game against the Seahawks. And if the Lions managed to upset Green Bay? Well, then it was almost a done deal.

However, those things did not happen. And while the odds are still in the Vikings favor that they will make the playoffs, things get more complicated (as they always seem to). As of right now, according to the NY Times Playoff Simulator, the Vikings make the playoffs in 85% of [128,000] simulations. They are currently two games ahead of the next best teams not currently in the playoffs. (The Buccaneers and Falcons who are both at 6-6). The Vikings are also still currently tied with the Packers for the division title. However, as we know, Green Bay holds the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Last week, we outlined who you should root for to give the Vikings the best shot at the most favorable playoff position. Let’s start by taking a look at how that all panned out.

by -
Image courtesy of

For all their success on the defensive side of the ball, the Minnesota Vikings have been a lackluster bunch on offense in 2015. With a number of weapons at wide receiver, tight end, and running back, this is a group that, on paper, should put up a healthy score each week. Teddy Bridgewater proved at the end of last season that he’s capable of carrying Norv Turner’s offense, and Adrian Peterson’s resurgence this year has helped the Vikings to eight wins.

And yet, the balance between the running game and the passing attack just isn’t there. You could point the blame at the offensive line, which ranks 28th in pass protection, per Football Outsiders. Or, you could say that the wide receivers aren’t getting open down the field and Bridgewater’s holding the ball too long in the pocket. Maybe, just maybe, the Vikings can’t pass the ball because they’ve relied too heavily on Peterson’s legs.

Either way, the problems go deeper than the players on the field; they start with Norv Turner. Long regarded as one of the game’s top offensive minds, he’s struggled to kick Minnesota’s offense into high gear, especially this season. The Vikings rank 28th in the NFL with 19.8 points per game and almost dead-last in every major passing statistic. Fans have grumbled, and now, I’m asking the VT staff one simple question:

Should the Vikings consider a switch at offensive coordinator after the season, and if so, who would you choose?

by -
Image courtesy of

Not much time to breathe for the Vikings this week as they only had three days to prepare for their Thursday night matchup against the Arizona Cardinals. Minnesota’s offense is coming off a game against the Seattle Seahawks in which they scored as many points as did the fans watching them in the stands last Sunday.


Coincidentally, the Cardinals (10-2) are coming off their Week 13 game against the St. Louis Rams in which they held the Rams to a grand total of three points. The Vikings (8-4) may have to find other, less conventional, ways to score points against one of the NFL’s top defenses on Thursday night,

Minnesota’s offense (bottom) and the Cardinals’ defense (top) show up on the opposite ends of the league’s rankings, but how do each unit’s individual position groups stack up against each other?

by -
Image courtesy of

I’m just a 30 year old guy with a $200 Chromebook.

I am not a former NFL player or coach. I don’t have some crazy insider access. I’m not the guy that’s going to feed your football analytics craving. Heck, I’m not even that strong of a writer.

I’m just a guy that loves Vikings football, started a website, and surrounded himself with enough talent to make this whole thing fairly successful.

Since Sunday’s epic failure at TCF Bank Stadium, I have been reading everything I can get my hands on about this Vikings team, and I can tell you that the media coverage of this team has abruptly changed their narrative. Perhaps to an even stronger degree, the fan reaction to those articles and radio shows has gone to an extreme end of the spectrum, as well.

I’ve told you what I’m not, as a writer, but what I am is someone that’s been around the block a time or two covering this team. And, let me tell you, writing about a team’s failures is enormously E-A-S-Y.

It is far easier to write about glaring mistakes leading to a loss than it is to illustrate for a reader just how, exactly, a team found success. It is easier to write a powerful article about a player hurting a child than it is to pen a compelling piece about a linebacker that helps them every single day (Vote for Chad!). It is easier to call for a man’s head than it is to produce a list of adequate replacements.

It is just easier to point out the negatives at every turn, both as a writer and as a fan, than it is to articulate the positives.

So, why the ramblin’ preamble?

Well, I want you to know that what I am about to write isn’t an attempt to pile on. I’m not trying to kick this Vikings team while they are down. It isn’t coming from a place of wavering fanhood. I’m not trying to be negative simply because it is E-A-S-Y and popular to do it at this moment.

I’m just a guy at his keyboard… a guy who has carefully observed the 2015 Minnesota Vikings… a guy who says there is no way in hell this is the year they bring home the Super Bowl victory.

Get Social