Friday, December 9, 2016

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It seems odd that it’s only Week 7 and the Vikings are already facing the Lions for the second and last time of the 2015 season. After beating up on Matthew Stafford and defeating Detroit 26-16 in Minneapolis Week 2, Minnesota will look to shut out its division rivals on the road Sunday.

The Lions are coming off its first win of the 2015 season, having beat Chicago last week, and you can bet they’re feeling some momentum on their end. The Vikings should prepare to face a chippy team in a must-win situation.

Lets take a look at how the Vikings offensively line up against the Lions for their second meeting.

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Thee Arif Hasan makes his weekly pitstop to talk about our Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings (3-2) and how we look to move two games above .500 in this 2015 season.

Topics include: Why Stefon Diggs is the greatest thing since sliced bread, how Harrison Smith is somehow still underrated nationally, how the cornerback room will shake out with Captain Munnerlyn balling and Josh Robinson coming off of PUP, and if Vikings fans should fear Matthew Stafford getting back to just throwing up YOLO balls to Megatron as the crux of their offense.

All that and other “The Twin Cities hottest club is SPY-SEE. This place has everything.” 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 listening to his podcast Norse Code.

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The 2015 Minnesota Vikings have plenty of question marks when it comes to predicting just how competitive they will be when it comes to earning a ticket to the playoffs. Currently sitting at 3-2, and in second place in the NFC North, the Vikings are spending the next two weeks on the road hoping to topple a pair of divisional foes.

With any luck, they’ll answer some of those questions we all have on their way to a 5-2 record.

Despite the woes of the Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears, however, games played within the NFC North are never easy and our enemies cannot be underestimated.

We’ve gathered all the best links from around the internet this week so that you browse every last nugget of information and opinion before Sunday’s kickoff. Go there, read it all, and tell ’em who sent ya…

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When the Minnesota Vikings “win ugly,” as they did against the Kansas City Chiefs last week, I find myself feeling worse than if they had lost a hard-fought game against an opponent like the Denver Broncos. Sure, their record improved to 3-2 after the 16-10 victory, but they looked average at best holding off a Chiefs team that shouldn’t have had a chance at TCF Bank Stadium.

At least in their Week 4 loss to the Broncos, the Vikings were competitive and looked like a playoff team, forcing two Peyton Manning interceptions and challenging the league’s best secondary through the air. I was encouraged by their losing effort, and turned the game off feeling optimistic about the team’s future. Once the Chiefs game ended, I was less enthused by a team that made far too many mistakes against Alex Smith and the rest of Andy Reid’s 1-5 squad.

Before I get too pessimistic, though, there’s plenty of positives to take away from the game. For one, rookies stepped up in a big way, from wide receiver Stefon Diggs to middle linebacker Eric Kendricks. Without Everson Griffen on the defensive line, even Danielle Hunter made the most of his opportunity, forcing a fumble and recording half a sack.

After the jump, I’ll take a look at a few of the Vikings’ strengths and how those plus plays led to a win last week.

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Adam: Zack Martin, G
Obviously, a number of quarterbacks have to be in consideration here, including one in particular that would hurt our worst enemy as much as it would help this team. But I know that isn’t in the spirit of this question, and I really do have faith that Teddy Bridgewater is a guy capable of leading us to the promised land. I’m also tempted to add a dominant game-changer like DeAndre Hopkins, Devonta Freeman or Rob Gronkowski… but will refrain.

Instead, I’m going to add a bullying young guard to help this offensive line get things rolling in the right direction. 24-year-old Zack Martin, upon being drafted by Dallas 16th in 2014, has played a huge part in transforming the Cowboys offense in a hugely positive way (until all the injuries, anyways). He’s playing as good of football as any guard in the league right now and certainly appears to be a guy capable of playing at a Pro Bowl level for a decade or so. Mike Zimmer’s defense is only getting better, but our offense can’t consistently put full drives together unless it experiences some major growth and improvement along the offensive line… Martin would instantly make them better by a lot.

Brent: Zack Martin, G
Martin is young and very, very good and would be an immediate upgrade on the offensive line. I am fairly happy with the rest of the Vikings team, but the offensive line needs some major retooling in order to help the offense and Martin would fit the bill. Equally good in run and pass blocking, Martin would serve as the anchor in the middle of the Vikings offensive line and provide some confidence in blitz pick ups, while also helping to create additional space in the running game.

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