Monday, December 18, 2017

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All business for Zimmer and the Vikings

Key names out vs. Seahawks
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings were without a few starters last week, and that will be the case against the Seattle Seahawks tonight. Many of the names on this evening’s inactives list should play next week in what many consider to be a regular season “tune up.” But for now, a cautious approach means the Vikings will take the field with a lineup that’s very different from the one we’ll see in Week 1.

The full list, as well as starter changes, includes:

The only new addition is Tre Roberson, the quarterback-turned-cornerback who impressed in his first action last Friday. Gone from the list are Adrian Peterson, Marcus Sherels, and Terence Newman. Peterson isn’t expected to play, as he rarely suits up for the preseason, but Neman will return and likely start at left cornerback. Sherels, the team’s designated punt returner, may field a few kicks tonight.

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Vikings Territory Question of the Week

Preseason Proving Ground
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The first week of preseason football gave the Minnesota Vikings plenty to digest, like Teddy Bridgewater’s growth and the positive performance of the team’s rookie class. It also cast a light on certain negatives, like the struggles of the offensive and defensive lines in the trenches.

Tonight’s matchup isn’t just a test for the entire team; it’s a chance for those who underwhelmed to turn their play around and make their way onto the final 53-man roster. It’s also a chance for incumbent starters to secure their jobs, reserves to win the competition, and no-namers to make a splash.

Before the Seahawks tilt, the Vikings Territory team is taking a look at the roster and trying to determine who has the most to prove for the Vikings with three weeks left until Week 1. Is it Andre Smith, Cordarrelle Patterson, or maybe, a surprise name? Follow the jump and see what the gang thinks!

Heading into Week 2 of the preseason, who has the most to prove for the Vikings?

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Opponent Spotlight — Preseason Week 2

Vikings Meet Their Match
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Twenty seven yards and a few feet is all that separates the Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks. Had Blair Walsh made that fateful field goal last January, the Vikings would be playing the role of older brother. Instead, they’re forced to look up and admire all that the Seahawks have accomplished in a few short year; a Super Bowl title, NFC West domination, and unmatched home field advantage.

But a closer look reveals the Vikings and Seahawks to be more “twin” than “stepbrother.” From their defensive-minded head coaches to their ground-first approaches on offense, the newfound NFC rivals share plenty in common. Before the teams’ playoff matchup last season, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll acknowledged the parallels between Minnesota and Seattle; particularly, between himself and Vikings ‘captain’ Mike Zimmer.

“There’s such a similarity in the formula that we both represent as defensive guys and former coordinators,” Carroll said, per Vikings.com. “I really appreciate it because I see — because we’ve been successful at putting out this formula of playing defense and special teams and the running game, and they’re doing the same thing.”

In some regards, Zimmer has built his team in the same mold as the Seahawks. The defense is relatively simple, but that simplicity allows his players to react more quickly than most defensive units. The offense controls the clock and pace of the game through the run. And on the sidelines, Zimmer coaches with a unique personality; one that defines his roster much in the way Carroll’s does in Seattle. These are all traits that could describe the Seahawks, but the Vikings are a distinctly “Zimmer” team, built to match Seattle in any environment.

Tonight, the franchises reunite for the first time since playing in the third-coldest game in NFL history. While the stakes may not be as high, there are certainly motivating factors that make this game worth a watch. It’s a preseason tilt, but if both teams meet expectations during the regular season, a playoff rematch isn’t out of the question. Thus, it’s critical to understand what makes the Seahawks ‘tick.’

In the first “Opponent Spotlight” of the year, we’ll analyze tape from the opposing team’s most recent game; identifying concepts, schemes, and strategies the Vikings must master come Sunday morning (or in this case, Thursday night).

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Purple FTW! Podcast, Minnesota Vikings, Vikings, Andy Carlson, @AndyCarlsonShow, Podcast, Vikings Territory, Preseason, Seattle Seahawks, Antone Exum, Jayron Kearse, Anthony Harris, Laquon Treadwell, Nick Easton, Andre Smith, TJ Clemmings, Adam Thielen, Trae Waynes, Offensive Line, Teddy Bridgewater, Mortiz Boehringer, Edmond Robinson, Blair Walsh

The ‘doesn’t count’ portion of the NFL schedule is almost half over as the Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings roll into Century Link Field in Seattle play some Friday Morning Thursday Night West Coast football. I rattle through a few things I’m going to be looking for in Game 2 and also find a way to poke fun at new 49ers quarterback Christian Jerome Ponder (somehow).

Also pre-order your Purple FTW! t-shirts and badass hoodies before August 29th!

Seattle’s Best Talking Points Include:
1) Exum-Kearse Round Two
2) Hai, Anthony Harris
3) Can Treadwell Build on a Solid Debut
4) Can Nick Easton Make the Squad
5) Is the Andre Smith-TJ Clemmings
6) Will Adam Thielen Solidify Self as WR3?
7) Trae Waynes is Still Not Starting
8) Will 1st Team Offensive Line Be Less Garbage?
9) How’s Teddy Look Again?
10) Moritz Boehringer?
11) BONUS – Edmond Robinson
12) BONUS – Blair Walsh

All that and other “IT’S REAL TO ME, DAMMIT” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint

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The Minnesota Vikings are getting closer and closer to being “Home Sweet Home” again as they prepare to play their first game of football in U.S. Bank Stadium next week. First up, however, is an interesting preseason test against the Seattle Seahawks that ousted them from the postseason a season ago.

We here at Vikings Territory are champing at the bit to get this thing started for real, but the preseason is an important time when it comes to shaping a roster, and also when it comes to dusting off some of our old favorite weekly segments.

Please enjoy the return of “Links of the Week!”

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