Friday, November 27, 2015

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The Vikings aren’t losing games in the same predictable fashion week-after-week like they did last year.  Still, finding exciting new ways to lose football games doesn’t feel any better.

The Vikings had to fight a losing battle in Miami against the Dolphins, the bounce of the ball, and the officiating crew.  They weren’t necessarily their own worst enemy in this one, but they were definitely in the top five as boneheaded mistakes certainly helped the Dolphins crawl out of an early 14-0 hole.

Past Winner’s of our weekly award:

WEEK ONE:  Cordarrelle Patterson

WEEK TWO: Harrison Smith

WEEK THREE:  Harrison Smith

WEEK FOUR: Teddy Bridgewater

WEEK FIVE:  Harrison Smith

WEEK SIX:  Linval Joseph

WEEK SEVEN: Everson Griffen

WEEK EIGHT:  Anthony Barr

WEEK NINE:  Everson Griffen

WEEK ELEVEN: Charles Johnson

WEEK TWELVE:  Xavier Rhodes

WEEK THIRTEEN:  Everson Griffen

WEEK FOURTEEN:  Teddy Bridgewater

WEEK FIFTEEN:  Xavier Rhodes


The nominations for Week Sixteen are…

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Inactive lists for the Minnesota Vikings and the Miami Dolphins have been released. Vikings below:

Rudolph, Kyle TE Ankle/Knee DNP DNP LP Doubtful Inactive
Johnson, Charlie G Ankle DNP DNP DNP Out Inactive
Barr, Anthony LB Knee DNP DNP DNP Out Inactive
Dixon, Ahmad S None N/A Inactive
Prater, Shaun CB None N/A Inactive
Line, Zach FB None N/A Inactive
Bykowski, Carter T None N/A Inactive
Blanton, Robert S Ankle/Knee DNP DNP LP Questionable Active
Joseph, Linval NT Ilnness DNP DNP LP Probable Active
Floyd, Sharrif DT Knee LP LP FP Probable Active
Jennings, Greg WR Hamstring LP LP FP Probable Active
Asiata, Matt RB Foot LP LP FP Probable Active
Robison, Brian DE Ankle LP FP FP Probable Active
Rhodes, Xavier CB Wrist FP FP FP Probable Active
Sendejo, Andrew S Thumb FP FP FP Probable Active
Greenway, Chad LB Not Injury Related DNP Probable Active
Loeffler, Cullen LS Illness DNP Probable Active

Chad Greenway is playing after leaving to deal with a personal matter—his father passed away on Friday.

Anthony Barr will not play, as he’s had season-ending knee surgery, and in his place will be Gerald Hodges, per usual. This will give the Vikings and fans further ability to evaluate Gerald Hodges as an outside linebacker as they wrestle with the position in the offseason and figure out what to do.

Andrew Sendejo’s showing last week was impressive, and is supplanting Robert Blanton as the starter at strong safety. This is a big change, I think, and may determine the direction of safety acquisition to come. He moved downhill extremely well, played his run fits to a T and did an incredible job sussing out the flow of play. He deserves another look and he’ll get it.

Sharrif Floyd and Everson Griffen are both fully healthy at the same time, which should do a lot to help stifle the underrated run game Lamar Miller is putting together, and may be critical for a Vikings defense that overall is good, but has some issue with the run at times. Xavier Rhodes’ wrist issue from the Lions game seems to have not had a lasting impact; same with Andrew Sendejo’s thumb injury from the same game.

Miami inactives:

Garner, Nate G Illness DNP DNP DNP Out Inactive
Thomas, Dallas T Foot DNP DNP DNP Doubtful Inactive
Thomas, Daniel RB Knee DNP DNP DNP Doubtful Inactive
Jones, Don S Shoulder LP LP LP Questionable Inactive
McCain, Chris LB Ankle FP LP Probable Inactive
Hazel, Matt WR None N/A Inactive
Matthews, Rishard WR None N/A Inactive
Clay, Charles TE Hamstring LP LP LP Probable Active
Finnegan, Cortland CB Ankle LP LP LP Probable Active
Freeny, Jonathan LB Hamstring LP LP LP Probable Active
Jenkins, Jelani LB Foot LP LP LP Questionable Active
Misi, Koa LB Hamstring/Knee LP LP LP Probable Active
Taylor, Jamar CB Shoulder LP FP LP Questionable Active
Tripp, Jordan LB Shoulder FP LP Probable Active
Wilson, Jimmy S Ankle FP Probable Active

Miami has two linebackers—Koa Misi and Jelani Jenkins—who were inactive last week that are active this week. There aren’t many significant changes from this report that should raise any flags, however. Dallas Thomas isn’t good, so his being inactive shouldn’t change too much for the Dolphins, who are benefiting from a much improved offensive line versus last year. Containing Ryan Tannehill may be more about containing their receiver crops, who outside of Jarvis Landry is not the most impressive unit in the league—even with former Minnesota free agency target Mike Wallace.

A healthy game from Miami’s end could tip the scales in what some already think is a lopsided game in favor of the Dolphins (the Vegas spread opened with a 6.5-point advantage for the home team).

The Vikings are no longer involved in any sort of playoff possibility, but this week’s matchup against the 7-7 Miami Dolphins presents a decent challenge and plenty of people will be watching this road game for continued progression out of Mike Zimmer’s young roster.  Here is the best of the best from around the internet:

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Image courtesy of

The first guest post contributed by Seth Forst was quite well received and he’s decided to add a second contribution.  Again, we are usually trying to encourage new writers to develop their skills via guest posts here at VT, so be sure to leave Seth your feedback in the comments section.

His second article focuses on free agency, which we’ve touched on quite a bit here over the last week, and he does a nice job breaking down some different aspects.  If you notice some discrepancies between his information and what we’ve already presented here at VT, please understand that the free agent status of every single player isn’t fully known yet, as the season isn’t yet over.  For the sake of understanding the source, Seth used Spotrac for his research.


2015 Vikings Free Agent Primer

By Seth Forst

With the end of every NFL season, fan bases from Philly to Kansas City to Oakland are filled with a renewed sense of hope. “This will be the offseason that changes everything”, we all convince ourselves. Alas, it’s been 53 seasons of Viking football, and those hopes and dreams have yet to come to fruition. Nevertheless, the Vikings will begin season number 54 much the same as they’ve always done, and the Vikings fan base will invest in the same hopes and dreams as in so many seasons gone by.

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Mike Zimmer announced on Friday that rookie linebacker Anthony Barr will need to have a relatively minor knee surgery and his promising rookie season is over.

Barr was the highest draft pick for the Vikings in Zimmer’s first year as head coach and early indications were that it was a match made in heaven.  This injury is a setback, but he should be fully ready to go in 2015, and all indications are that he will be a key component of this much-improved defense.

Barr last played against Carolina on November 30th which means he appeared in 12 games this season.  In those games he managed to amass 70 tackles, four sacks, two forced fumbles, three deflected passes, and three recovered fumbles.  His best moment came against Tampa Bay when his defensive score resulted in an overtime win.

The ninth overall selection of the 2014 Draft seems like a keeper and we’ll plan on keeping you plenty updated on his status between now and next year’s regular season opener.

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