Monday, October 24, 2016

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Some critics of the Minnesota Vikings were quick to point out the “strength of schedule” that they faced early on in 2015 as a reason for their success. The convincing 20-10 victory against the Atlanta Falcons, however, is a good start to quieting that crowd one week after the Vikings suffered their worst loss of the year at the hands of the Green Bay Packers.

This week featured numerous solid performances across the roster, but this will be the shortest list of nominations for our heralded (by me) weekly award. I’ll get to that in a second, but first we should review the 2015 winners thus far:

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

WEEK NINE: Linval Joseph

WEEK TEN: Terence Newman

WEEK ELEVEN: Teddy Bridgewater

This week’s nominations feature only two guys. You can click “OTHER” if you like, and cast your vote via the comments section, but if you think someone outside of these two guys deserves the game ball this week then you are simply overthinking things.

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Mike Zimmer is a man of few kind words on the field. Read his lips during a broadcast or listen to him after a game in the locker room; you’ll be sure to hear some “bleeps” and “beeps” as he chastises a referee, grills his players, or reacts to the play of his defense. Zimmer’s an old-school coach, one who leaves the pleasantries at the door every Sunday in favor of a certain few four-letter words.

And every so often, Zimmer lets his guard down to tell the media how he really feels. When Bobby Petrino deserted the Atlanta Falcons — and Falcons defensive coordinator Zimmer — in 2007, Zimmer left nothing to the imagination, calling Petrino a coward and a “gutless MF“. Maybe that’s why yesterday’s 20-10 win over the Falcons was so important to Zimmer.

More important to Zimmer, though, is the progression of his young players and the growth of his football team. He’s opened up at the podium before, most notably last January when effusing praise on the team’s top cornerback, Xavier Rhodes. He did the same yesterday when asked about Anthony Barr, Minnesota’s second-year linebacker, who forced two fumbles on Sunday and continues to improve as an every-down linebacker in the league:

“Anthony is a special player, a special kid, as he continues to play he will be even better. I really think the sky is the limit for the guy. There are so many things you can do with him. He has been limited the last couple of weeks because of the hand and today we decided we would let him loose a little more, that was good and I think he has a very bright future and can be a tremendous football player.”

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Our Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings secured their perch atop the NFC North again with a decisive 20-10 road win over the Atlanta Falcons Sunday afternoon at the sparsely populated Georgia Dome. The win put the bad taste of the Green Bay out of the mouths of Vikings fans and renews hope for the 2015 campaign as we steamroll toward the playoffs. We recap our Devils going down to Georgia.

The #AllinWithZim Talking Points Include
• First place in the NFC North (8-3)
• Do we resemble the 2013 Seahawks?
• Adrian Peterson had a Man Sized Game
• The Mandatory Teddy Bridgewater Talking Point
• Offensive Line Wasn’t Bad?
• I Don’t Trust Norv Turner
• Kyle Rudolph Might Be Okay
• Mike Zimmer: Coach of the Year?
• The Zimmer Hellfire Defense Will Travel
• Anthony Barr Take a Bow
• We Can’t Have These Penalties
• Random Thoughts
Bookmark Us and Support the Show on Amazon!

All that and other “Blandejo is still bad” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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This past summer, one of the hot Vikings related topics was associated with trying to figure out what former player was asked to work with Minnesota wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson in the offseason. The Vikings coaches felt their young receiver could benefit from working out with an experienced former professional player.

Minnesota fans and media spent a decent amount of time trying to figure out who the player was, but no definitive answer could be found. At least until earlier this morning.

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158 yards and two touchdowns rushing from Adrian Peterson helped the Vikings knock off the Atlanta Falcons 20-10 improving their overall record to 8-3 on the season.

Anthony Barr forced two fumbles and Captain Munnerlyn and Terence Newman each intercepted Matt Ryan as the defense held the Falcons to 22 first downs and 329 total net yards.

Teddy Bridgewater connected on 20-of-28 attempts for 174 yards and 1 interception. Kyle Rudolph was his top target on the day grabbing 7 receptions for 53 yards while Stefon Diggs caught 4 balls for 33 yards. Bridgewater hit 7 different receivers helping the Vikings convert on 7-of-12 third down opportunities.

Peterson’s 1-yard touchdown run gave the Vikings an early 7-0 lead in the first quarter as the Vikings marched 78-yards on a nice 13 play drive on their second possession of the game.

Atlanta got on the board with a second quarter 31-yard field goal from Shayne Graham after Bridgewater was picked off trying to find Kyle Rudolph in the end zone on a 2nd-and-8 from the 22 yard line.

The Falcons took the opening second half drive all the way to the Minnesota 10 yard line. An incomplete pass and an Antone Exum -4 yard tackle for loss set up a big 3rd-and-14 in the red zone. Newman then picked off Ryan in the end zone deflating the Falcons drive.

The defense came up big again in the fourth quarter with the Vikings holding on to a 13-3 lead with 4:40 to play and the Falcons faced with a big 4th-and-1 from mid field. Atlanta lined up with a 5 receiver set and Zimmer blitzed Barr from the A gap up the middle and stripped sacked Ryan before he had time to set and fire the pass.

The Vikings offense may have won the time of possession battle, but it was an opportunistic defense that earned the win.

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