Tuesday, March 28, 2017

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Image courtesy of vikings.com

Blair Walsh missed a 27-yard potential game winning field-goal with 22 seconds to play as the Seattle Seahawks escaped Minneapolis with a 10-9 victory. Walsh was having an MVP like day connecting on field goals of 22, 43 and 47-yards helping guide the Vikings to a 9-0 fourth quarter lead.

The momentum swung in the Seahawks favor when a shotgun snap sailed past Russell Wilson and he not only managed to recover it, but in Houdini-like fashion, avoided the sack and found Tyler Lockett on a crossing route for the improbable 35-yard reception. Two plays later, Wilson hit Doug Baldwin for a 3-yard touchdown cutting the score to 9-7.

On the Vikings’ following possession, Adrian Peterson fumbled after making a catch out of the backfield which led to a Seattle seven play drive capped off by a Steven Hauschka 46-yard game winning field goal with 8:09 to play.

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Minnesota will play the Seahawks at full strength

Vikings Inactives Wild Card
Image courtesy of NFL Game Pass

The Minnesota Vikings are near full-health in their most important game of the season, a Wild Card matchup with the Seattle Seahawks. The last time these two teams met, Anthony Barr, Harrison Smith, and Linval Joseph were either injured before the game or left the game early because of injuries. This time around, Mike Zimmer’s defense will be primed to contain Russell Wilson and the red-hot Seahawks offense.

On Friday, the Vikings released the weekly injury report, which listed all but one player as “probable” for today’s game. Defensive tackle Kenrick Ellis is out with an ankle injury, and will be replaced by former practice squad player B.J. Dubose. Below, a look at all of the Vikings’ inactives for Wild Card Weekend:

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Zimmer's blitzes could be the key for the Vikings on Sunday

Vikings Blitz Wilson
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Sifting through recent Seattle Seahawks game film, it’s difficult to find many weaknesses for the Minnesota Vikings to exploit. Russell Wilson is playing at MVP levels, especially as of late. In Seattle’s last seven games, he’s thrown 24 touchdown passes and just one interception, helping him finish the season as the first player in NFL history to record at least 4,000 passing yards, 30 passing touchdowns, and 500 rushing yards in a single season. Known more for his mobility than his ability from within the pocket, Wilson is thriving as a traditional pocket passer. This season, he’s posted a 118.6 passer rating when throwing from the pocket, which is higher than any qualifying quarterback in the past three years.

When the Vikings and Seahawks met last, Wilson hurt Mike Zimmer’s defense every which way. He scored one touchdown on the ground and threw another three, two of which were 20 or more yards down the field. That game kickstarted his stretch of All-Pro play and helped the Seahawks win six of their last seven games. But that game was also a lopsided affair, one that found the Vikings shorthanded on the defensive side of the ball. Missing three of their most important players — one at each level of the defense — the Vikings surrendered 433 yards to the Seahawks and allowed a season-high 38 points. Finally healthy and playing some of their best football, the Vikings have the chance to upset the Seahawks and win their first playoff game.

But how can they slow down Wilson and Seattle’s suddenly dangerous passing attack? It’s simple — put pressure on the quarterback and blitz.

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[Note: Episode recorded before Marshawn Lynch was officially ruled out]

Merry Vikings Wild Card Eve, Vikings Fans! The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings are set to play the Seattle Seahawks tomorrow afternoon at The Bank (aka Hoth) kicking off what we hope to be an extended run in the playoffs for this young team. To get the other perspective of the game, we welcome back show favorite Dayna O’Gorman (@DaynaOG) of the NFL Female Podcast to chat about the ‘Birds and the Vikes.

Today’s topics include why the 38-7 beatdown a few weeks ago might not have been indicative of where these two teams are, how Russell Wilson has become the face of that franchise and how Teddy Bridgewater could/should/will become the face of ours, what Marshawn Lynch returning might mean for the game, why the Pro Bowl is stupid (until it’s not), how this clash of two great defenses might shake out, and how playing in a commercial freezer will have an effect on the matchup.

All this and other “This is a Bud Grant Game” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint

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