Friday, December 15, 2017

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jake long
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Yesterday the Vikings worked out former No. 1 overall pick Jake Long, and things must have gone well. The team’s website reported this morning they have signed the veteran offensive tackle.

As Austin pointed out yesterday, adding an offensive lineman has become a virtual necessity with the rash of injuries to the unit. Most recently, Brandon Fusco left the Texans game with a concussion, and yesterday the team announced Andre Smith will go on injured reserve. So both starting tackles are likely gone for the season and the right guard is in concussion protocol. It’s also worth noting that Mike Harris isn’t returning this season, and his future seems dicey beyond that. The team is in desperate need of depth, and will get some with the signing of Long.

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NFC North
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The Minnesota Vikings came out of Week Five victorious, and enter the bye week unbeaten, hoping to find some relief when it comes to their excessive injury report. Most pressing, the offensive line continues to fall apart with Andre Smith being the latest to join the Injured Reserve following an announcement that he’ll have surgery to repair his triceps.

The Vikings have an extra week to heal up and sort things out, which will include looking at some free agent blockers, but under the guidance of Mike Zimmer the team continues to find a way to win. They are the last undefeated team of 2016. They are tops in the NFC North.

They are the team to beat and our NFC North enemies get five more tries at it before the season is out. So, we take our weekly look around the division to see what is going on with our greatest foes.

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Vikings to Work Out OL Jake Long
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At some point, the injuries have to take their toll. The Minnesota Vikings continue to lose key starters, and yet, continue to win games. Mike Zimmer’s team is 5-0 and heads into the bye week as the NFL’s last remaining undefeated team.

They’ll have an extra week to get healthy, but that won’t stop the Vikings from preparing for the worst. As first reported by ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, Minnesota will host veteran tackle Jake Long for a workout in the coming days. Long last played for the Atlanta Falcons in 2015, appearing in just 11 snaps for the team.

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More of the same, and that's a good thing.

five thoughts
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1. This is starting to sound like a broken record.

Gathering my thoughts following the Vikings’ 31-13 win over the Texans Sunday, I realized they’re basically the same as they have been most of the season; great defense, a virtually mistake-free Sam Bradford, a big play on special teams, and another round of injuries that would seem a lot worse if they ever had an impact on the outcome of a game. The Vikings are now the lone undefeated team in the NFL, which is a nice place to be heading into a bye.

I don’t know what else to say other than this team is damn impressive. It’s gotten to the point where I expect them to score on offense, am shocked if the defense gives up points on a given drive, and I feel reasonably comfortable the team will hold leads in the second halves of games. We have to be ready for bumps in the road—at some point, the offense will turn the ball over—but the team is good enough in all three phases, it feels like they’ll be able to overcome a lot of miscues. Who knows, maybe they’ll eventually run out of offensive linemen, and maybe a missed kick will come back to haunt them. But for now? Let the good times roll. The Vikings are the best team in the NFL.

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Adam Thielen
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The Minnesota Vikings Week Five “Player of the Game” voting is underway.

The Minnesota Vikings have a lot to be thankful for, namely their head coach, as they enter their early bye week boasting a 5-0 record. Their latest stomping of the Houston Texans by a score of 31-13 was a well-rounded victory that adds to the pile of evidence that suggests the Vikings are a legitimate contender in the NFC.

This weekly tradition doesn’t grant awards to coaches, however. It doesn’t award points to the home crowd. It is strictly reserved for the individual players that stood out the most, win or lose, in any given game. The winners so far have been:

WEEK ONE: Eric Kendricks

WEEK TWO: Sam Bradford

WEEK THREE: Everson Griffen

WEEK FOUR: Xavier Rhodes

This week’s award will be decided via the poll at the bottom of this post, so be sure to cast your vote! I’m guessing this is the first time in weeks that the decision isn’t a landslide. And, now, the nominees:

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