Tuesday, October 24, 2017

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

As the Minnesota Vikings prepare to play the Green Bay Packers in U.S. Bank Stadium this Sunday night, the team has yet to announce to the public who will be starting under center for the Vikings’ second game of the 2016 regular season.

Minnesota has two choices for Sunday — Shaun Hill or Sam Bradford. The choice seems obvious to some that the Vikings should go with the recently acquired Bradford.

But would that really be the best choice?

Each player has both positive and negative reasons to support the argument for why he should or should not start. But if Minnesota’s defense played like they did against the Tennessee Titans last week, it really will not matter who the team’s starting quarterback is.

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The Minnesota Vikings will officially make franchise history on Sunday night by playing the first regular season game ever in U.S. Bank Stadium. That game will be played against, of course, the Green Bay Packers which will mark a new era in an old rivalry.

A New stadium. A prime time event. A heated rivalry. A quarterback conundrum.

What more could you want when it comes to drama and excitement? There is plenty of both and right now we take our weekly glance around the web in search of some of the best links available.

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Minnesota Vikings Darren Wolfson

Darren Wolfson (KSTP/1500 ESPN) joined the show at Blue Door Pub Como to talk some Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings and life as an insider breaking stories and developing sources. We touched on the news surrounding the Teddy Bridgewater injury, what he heard prior to the Sam Bradford blockbuster trade, how long Xavier Rhodes could be out, and when/if certain players will be moved on from this season. *Cough Jarius Wright, Blair Walsh, Jeff Locke*

And oh yeah the Green Bay Packers are coming in for Sunday Night Football and the regular season opening of US Bank Stadium. Lil chatter about that minor thing too.

Get the lowdown from Doogie on The Scoop available on iTunes and PodcastOne.

All that and other “Andy is Deep Throat” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint

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Image courtesy of vikings.com

The Vikings’ defense produced two scores as Minnesota overcame a slow start to beat the Tennessee Titans 25-16 on Sunday. The Vikings started the 2016 season off right with a good win on the road, but it was the Titans who controlled the red zone in this ball game.

The Titans ran 12 plays (11 pass and 1 run) in the red zone on three possessions which yielded two touchdowns and one field goal.

The Vikings ran 8 plays in the red zone (1 pass and 7 runs) on two possessions manufacturing only one field goal and zero touchdowns.

Red Zone Notes:

The Titans found the red zone first mid-way through the first quarter. Eric Kendricks’ outstanding tackle for loss on second down helped limit the Titans to a 28 yard field goal and a 0-3 advantage.

Early in the second quarter the Vikings had their first opportunity in the red zone. The Titans shut down three consecutive running plays by Adrian Peterson and an Andre Smith holding penalty set up an impossible third-and-24 situation. Blair Walsh’s 37 yard field attempt sailed wide left spoiling a 15 play 56 yard drive.

The Titans did their best red zone work through the air as running back DeMarco Murray caught two touchdowns out of the backfield including a nifty leap over a defender for the score.

The Vikings found the red zone again in the 4th quarter and Norv Turner once again dialed up three consecutive running plays. This time, two handoffs went to Matt Asiata and one to Stefon Digg which also saw very little success. After missing two field goals earlier in the game, Walsh connected on a 30 yard attempted to give the Vikings a 25-10 lead.

Tennessee was focused on stoping Peterson, and not only did they shut down the Vikings’ running attack in the red zone, but they held Peterson to just 31 yards on 19 carries for the entire game.

Quarterback Shaun Hill was effective enough in the passing game to move the chains and sustain some drives. However, after the game he stated that the Vikings will need to do a better job turning drives into points in the future.

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What Went Right, Week 1

Vikings Go Play in Second Half of Titans Victory
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

A comeback victory usually carries talk of halftime adjustments; the winning team did ‘x,’ ‘y,’ and ‘z’ to fix its mistakes and finish on top. Sometimes, the changes are as simple as a shift in coverage. Often times, coaches flip personnel to spark their teams to a ‘W.’

On Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings got back to basics. After falling behind 10-0 in the first half, head coach Mike Zimmer scaled his play-calling back, asking his defense to “settle down” and “go play.” The Titans got the best of his unit early, throwing multiple shifts and formations their way, but Zimmer remained confident in his tried-and-true system.

“When they’re giving you a lot of complicated shifts and motions and movements, a shift and a motion and then a play that’s going back, two guys running this way and one guy running that way, the more you add, the more complicated it gets. So, it’s no different. I was giving our guys a lot of calls the first half.” 

For all of Tennessee’s read-option looks, motions, and audibles before the snap, Minnesota had an answer in the second half. And most of the time, the answer was to line up and play sound, technical football. Zimmer didn’t add defensive wrinkles or send extra blitzes at Marcus Mariota; he trusted the talent and discipline of his defense to prevail, even with the simplest of calls.

“Trickery with trickery equals too much trickery,” defensive end Everson Griffen said Monday, per Lindsey Young.

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