Wednesday, September 28, 2016

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hell's trainer
Photo courtesy of Vikings.com

The Vikings are 5-2, sit comfortably atop of the NFC Wild Card race, and yet, may find themselves in the thick of negotiations when the NFL trade deadline closes at 4 pm ET today. General manager Rick Spielman — known draft pick hoarder and trade aficionado — could very well be planning to swap a player like Chase Ford for future late-round picks. Or, he may do the unexpected and use some of the team’s $3.49 million cap space to add a veteran offensive lineman to a struggling unit.

Fortunately for the Vikings, making a “splash” move this afternoon isn’t a necessary evil. Teams gasping for life this season, like the 49ers, Browns, and Chargers, have been at the center of trade rumors and  speculation in recent days. Their playoff hopes are all but dashed, and the trade deadline offers hope as those franchises shift their focus to rebuilding in the offseason. The Vikings, meanwhile, are a team built for long-term success — 16 of their 22 starters were drafted and developed in Minnesota, per CBS Sports.

The trade deadline, then, is a chance for Rick Spielman to go “window shopping.” If something catches his eye or makes him stop and evaluate, there’s no harm in asking for a price. Is he willing to spend a little more and add to the quality of his roster now, or will Spielman barter for the future and accumulate even more draft picks?

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Vikings relied on a number of big plays, and big breaks, to secure their third divisional win in Chicago on Sunday. Sitting at 5-2, only one game behind the Green Bay Packers, this team continues to show and improved version of their 2014 selves as they head into a very challenging stretch of their 2015 season.

Last week, it was Stefon Diggs squeaking past Teddy Bridgewater to secure his second consecutive win of this heralded (by me) award. Diggs is the first Viking to win this award twice this season and it seems safe to say he’ll be in the running again this week.

The previous winners of this award for 2015 are as follows:

WEEK ONE: Anthony Barr

WEEK TWO: Adrian Peterson

WEEK THREE: Harrison Smith

WEEK FOUR: Linval Joseph

WEEK SIX: Stefon Diggs

WEEK SEVEN: Stefon Diggs

And this week’s nominee’s are…

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Before the season began, Blair Walsh was Public Enemy No. 1 in Minnesota. He struggled through the team’s five preseason games, connecting on less than 50 percent of his attempts (5/11) while battling a nasty case of the “yips.” Field goals that usually sailed straight veered to the right, and routine PATs found their way outside of the uprights.

And when the Vikings opened 2015 in San Francisco, Walsh continued to let fans, and the team, down. He missed his first attempt of the year, and in a crucial road game against the Denver Broncos three weeks later, pushed a kick that was the difference between a loss and potential overtime victory.

Just three months after signing one of the most lucrative contract extensions among NFL kickers, the pressure was on Walsh to deliver. Since his last miss, Walsh has been perfect, making 13 consecutive field goals to offset the offense’s red zone struggles and lack of scoring.

In just eight games, Walsh has gone from a liability to cornerstone of this football team, a player Mike Zimmer can rely on in crucial situations. As Jeff Locke told the Star Tribune’s Jason Gonzalez two weeks ago, “no one ever really questioned Blair,” and their faith in their kicker is paying off:

“Those are moments you dream about as a kid and what you work for every single week,” Walsh said. “To be put in those situations where the game’s come down to the wire and they depend on you.”

Walsh’s 36-yard field goal as time expired sealed a 23-20 victory for the Vikings yesterday and helped Minnesota move to 5-2 on the season. Thanks to his suddenly automatic leg, Mike Zimmer and the Vikings are well on their way to the playoffs, and his consistency will be crucial in late-game situations against some of the league’s better teams moving forward.

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The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings earned an ugly win at the buzzer 23-20 over the Chicago Bears at Solider Field Sunday on the foot of Blair Walsh, who was perfect on the day. The Purple (5-2) now have two-straight divisional road wins in their pocket as we plow through the 2015 season towards the playoffs. We recap the game that broke the mythical 7-game losing streak in Chicago.

“Teddy Had a Tebow Game” Talkers Include
• Teddy Bridgewater Was Good When It Mattered
• Stefon Diggs is a Treasure
• That Defense….
• Adrian is Back to Being a Bulldozer
• #FreePruitt
• Eric Kendricks Love
• Harrison Smith Messed Up
• Props to Charles Johnson
• Marcus Sherels Love
• Hai, Blair Walsh
• Rams Next. HOW ARE WE GONNA STOP TODD GURLEY?
• Mike Wallace is not healthy.
• Credit where it’s due: Matt Kalil did well.
• This Vikings offense leaves roughly 10 points a game on the field
• Jerick McKinnon should be used like Dion Lewis
• Great teams finish drives…
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All that and other “Start Over” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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Image courtesy of vikings.com

The streak of seven consecutive losses for the Vikings in the Windy City came to an end Sunday when Blair Walsh split the uprights with a 36-yard field goal as time expired to give the Vikings a dramatic 23-20 victory over the Chicago Bears.

Walsh’s game winner was set up by a terrific Charles Johnson jump ball reception with less than a minute to play. The 6’2″ wide receiver flashed his vertical skills as he went up to high-point a 37-yard deep shot down the right sideline on 2nd-and-six from the Vikings’ 36 moving them in field goal range.

It was Stefon Diggs however, who stole the show once again with a 40-yard catch and run for the score to tie the game at 20 with 1:49 to play. On a big 3rd-and-four from Chicago’s 40 yard line, Bridgewater had plenty of time to find Diggs on a crossing route which he broke back to the outside and went up the left sideline for the touchdown.

On a day that didn’t feature the best of Teddy Bridgewater (17 of 30 for 187 yards 1 touchdown and 1 interception), the Vikings got 103 yards rushing from Adrian Peterson plus a Marcus Sherels 65-yard punt return to the house helping capture a second-straight division road win. The Vikings improve to 5-2 on the season.

37 year old Terrence Newman led the defense with seven total tackles and was tested often by Jay Cutler and Alshon Jeffery. The duo connected 10 times for 116 yards and 1 touchdown. The defense wasn’t dominate, but with the game on the line, they forced a big three-and-out with 60 seconds to play giving the Vikings a chance to move into game winning field goal range.

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