Tuesday, December 6, 2016

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

For all their success on the defensive side of the ball, the Minnesota Vikings have been a lackluster bunch on offense in 2015. With a number of weapons at wide receiver, tight end, and running back, this is a group that, on paper, should put up a healthy score each week. Teddy Bridgewater proved at the end of last season that he’s capable of carrying Norv Turner’s offense, and Adrian Peterson’s resurgence this year has helped the Vikings to eight wins.

And yet, the balance between the running game and the passing attack just isn’t there. You could point the blame at the offensive line, which ranks 28th in pass protection, per Football Outsiders. Or, you could say that the wide receivers aren’t getting open down the field and Bridgewater’s holding the ball too long in the pocket. Maybe, just maybe, the Vikings can’t pass the ball because they’ve relied too heavily on Peterson’s legs.

Either way, the problems go deeper than the players on the field; they start with Norv Turner. Long regarded as one of the game’s top offensive minds, he’s struggled to kick Minnesota’s offense into high gear, especially this season. The Vikings rank 28th in the NFL with 19.8 points per game and almost dead-last in every major passing statistic. Fans have grumbled, and now, I’m asking the VT staff one simple question:

Should the Vikings consider a switch at offensive coordinator after the season, and if so, who would you choose?

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Not much time to breathe for the Vikings this week as they only had three days to prepare for their Thursday night matchup against the Arizona Cardinals. Minnesota’s offense is coming off a game against the Seattle Seahawks in which they scored as many points as did the fans watching them in the stands last Sunday.

Zero.

Coincidentally, the Cardinals (10-2) are coming off their Week 13 game against the St. Louis Rams in which they held the Rams to a grand total of three points. The Vikings (8-4) may have to find other, less conventional, ways to score points against one of the NFL’s top defenses on Thursday night,

Minnesota’s offense (bottom) and the Cardinals’ defense (top) show up on the opposite ends of the league’s rankings, but how do each unit’s individual position groups stack up against each other?

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

I’m just a 30 year old guy with a $200 Chromebook.

I am not a former NFL player or coach. I don’t have some crazy insider access. I’m not the guy that’s going to feed your football analytics craving. Heck, I’m not even that strong of a writer.

I’m just a guy that loves Vikings football, started a website, and surrounded himself with enough talent to make this whole thing fairly successful.

Since Sunday’s epic failure at TCF Bank Stadium, I have been reading everything I can get my hands on about this Vikings team, and I can tell you that the media coverage of this team has abruptly changed their narrative. Perhaps to an even stronger degree, the fan reaction to those articles and radio shows has gone to an extreme end of the spectrum, as well.

I’ve told you what I’m not, as a writer, but what I am is someone that’s been around the block a time or two covering this team. And, let me tell you, writing about a team’s failures is enormously E-A-S-Y.

It is far easier to write about glaring mistakes leading to a loss than it is to illustrate for a reader just how, exactly, a team found success. It is easier to write a powerful article about a player hurting a child than it is to pen a compelling piece about a linebacker that helps them every single day (Vote for Chad!). It is easier to call for a man’s head than it is to produce a list of adequate replacements.

It is just easier to point out the negatives at every turn, both as a writer and as a fan, than it is to articulate the positives.

So, why the ramblin’ preamble?

Well, I want you to know that what I am about to write isn’t an attempt to pile on. I’m not trying to kick this Vikings team while they are down. It isn’t coming from a place of wavering fanhood. I’m not trying to be negative simply because it is E-A-S-Y and popular to do it at this moment.

I’m just a guy at his keyboard… a guy who has carefully observed the 2015 Minnesota Vikings… a guy who says there is no way in hell this is the year they bring home the Super Bowl victory.

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Well at least #CheeseburgerGate was a fun distraction as the Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings limp into University of Phoenix Stadium tonight to take on the red hot 10-2 Arizona Cardinals. All the odds seem stacked against the 8-4 Purple as we struggle to keep our playoff hopes alive. At least McDonalds gave the team 100 burgers though…

Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) joins us for his weekly spot and we chat about how the Vikings can attempt to right the ship out in the desert. We also touch on whether Norv Turner needs to be fired for not catering to Teddy Bridgewater, if Adrian Peterson has a right to gripe about his usage, how the Zimmer Hellfire Defense can rebound from all of the injuries, and I complain about Jarius Wright not being a “true” slot receiver.

All that and other “I got the burgers that… will… I just got burgers” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

Read all of Arif’s stuff at The Daily Norseman and Vikings Journal as well as listen to his podcast Norse Code.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

NamePositionInjuryWed.Thurs.Fri.Status
Anthony BarrLBGroin/HandDNPDNPLPOut
Scott CrichtonDEConcussion/NeckDNPDNPDNPOut
Charles JohnsonWRAnkleDNPLPOut
Harrison SmithSKnee/HamstringLPLPDNPOut
Everson GriffenDEShoulderDNPDNPLPQuestionable
Linval JosephDTFootDNPLPLPQuestionable
Robert BlantonSKneeFPFPFPProbable
Andrew SendejoSKneeLPFPFPProbable
Brandon WattsLBRibLPFPFPProbable

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