Monday, December 5, 2016

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Cross your fingers, knock on wood, say a prayer, wish upon a star. Whatever you do, send positive vibes to the Minnesota Vikings this week. They’ll play the Arizona Cardinals this Thursday, likely move to 8-5 without four of their defensive starters available for the game, and prepare for a brutal three-game stretch to end the regular season. If they want to make the playoffs, the Vikings will need to win at least nine games by year’s end.

While 10, 11, or even 12 would be ideal, nine victories almost ensures Mike Zimmer’s team sneaks into the postseason as a Wild Card contender. After tomorrow’s matchup, they’ll host the Bears and Giants before a crucial Week 17 game at Lambeau Field, which could very well decide their playoff fate and determine the winner of the NFC North. But if you’re the Vikings, who would you rather play come January?

Win the division, and they’d enter the playoffs as the NFC’s third seed. Based on ESPN’s projection models (adjusted for win percentage), the third seed would host the Seattle Seahawks in the first round; definitely not an opponent the Vikings want to meet again this season. Finish second in the division, and the Vikings (fifth seed) would travel to play the winner of the NFC East, which has been lackluster as a whole for the majority of the year.

There’s a few ways the rest of the regular season can play out, and all but one guarantees the Vikings a shot at the playoffs. The question is, who would you rather see the team play on the road to Super Bowl 50?

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The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings are limping into Thursday’s showdown with the 10-2 Arizona Cardinals in a game that most Purple supporters are dreading. After the 38-7 dismantling at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, even the most fervent Purple Kool-Aid drinkers are anticipating an ass kicking on Thursday and us falling to 8-5. It’s possible. It’s also possible the Vikings blow the Cardinals out by thirty because football is stoopid.

Di Murphy (@DiMurphyMN) of The Daily Norseman makes her weekly appearance to vent about the Seahawks game, complain that we have no healthy safeties left, talk about how Teddy Bridgewater is being shafted and if the Vikings truly have to worry about missing the playoffs.

All that and other “I’m Glenn” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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For the second straight season, Teddy Bridgewater is operating behind a sub-par offensive line. And with the status of veterans John Sullivan and Phil Loadholt up in the air for 2016, the Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings need to look for some new hosses up front in the upcoming Draft. Our man Luke Inman (@Luke_Spinman) of eDraft and Cold Omaha drops some knowledge on some o-line names to keep an eye on as draft season nears. Hopefully one (or more) of these dudes can keep Teddy on his feet.

Offensive Line Prospects Include
• Laremy Tunsil, OT Ole Miss
• Ronnie Stanley, OT Notre Dame
• Taylor Decker, OT Ohio State
• Jack Conklin, OT Michigan State
• Cody Whitehair, G Kansas State
• Spencer Drango, G Baylor
• Vadal Alexander, G LSU
• Landon Turner, G North Carolina
• Nick Martin, C Notre Dame
• Dan Voltz, C Wisconsin
• Max Tuerk, C USC

All that and other “I miss Charlie Johnson” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

Anthony Harris Vikings
Photo courtesy of Vikings.com

Prior to their big prime time game in Arizona this Thursday evening, the Vikings made a few notable roster adjustments in hopes of coping with the recent string of injuries that has impacted the team.

To help in filling the voids left by Harrison Smith and Antone Exum, the Vikings moved undrafted free agent rookie Anthony Harris to the active roster and resigned Shaun Prater, who was a late preseason cut this past fall.

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Given the quick turnaround from Week 13 to Week 14, it’s no surprise that Anthony Barr (Groin), Linval Joseph (Foot), Antone Exum (Ribs/Shoulder), and Harrison Smith (Hamstring) have all been ruled out for Thursday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals. A.J. Mansour of KFAN broke the news early Tuesday morning and cast a dark shadow over the hopes of an optimistic Minnesota Vikings fan base.

Coming off a 38-7 drubbing at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks, the Vikings will need to regain their early season form to retain the NFC’s fifth Wild Card spot. They’re currently a game ahead of the Seahawks and two games ahead of a crowded group of teams “in the hunt.” On paper, Thursday’s game heavily favors the Cardinals, who enter Week 14 with the league’s top-ranked offense and fourth-ranked defense.

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