Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Blog Page 2

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

When it comes to the Adrian Peterson news cycle, perhaps nobody has been more connected and accurate over the last few months than Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports. Robinson is still keeping the drama alive, even late at night on a holiday weekend, and he is reporting that Adrian Peterson is still pressing for a trade out of Minnesota.

When Adrian Peterson skips this week’s organized team activities for the Minnesota Vikings, he will  attempt to send an unmistakable message to the franchise: He wants to be traded.

For Vikings fans that have been paying attention over the last nine years, Peterson skipping OTA’s is not a shocking development, but this story doesn’t end with that opening paragraph.

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The Vikings currently have 89 players on their 90-man roster. Since everything on the interest nowadays is lists and rankings, we’re going to rank the currently Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings players 1-89 on today’s show! I’ve devised a ranking system dubbed The Andy Scale (The AS) to suit our purposes. It is HIGHLY scientific.

There are seven factors that go into The AS. They are:
• Predicted 2015 Impact
• Estimated Future with the Vikings
• Ceiling
• Attitude
• Health
• Zimmer Doghouse Ability
• The Grandma Factor

All the categories will be explained in depth and the scores & rankings of all 89 Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings will be revealed on ONE episode (we don’t chunk it out like some TV shows) on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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Meet Andy Carlson. For many of our readers, you know Andy as the voice of Purple FTW! podcast. We at Vikings Territory have gotten to know Andy as not only an audio aficionado but as a family man, a Twitter fiend, a .GIF guru … and obviously, a Vikings fan.

Andy expressed his love for the Vikings at a very young age.
Andy expressed his love for the Vikings at a very young age.

Football runs in the Carlson bloodand for the most part, that blood is purple. Andy’s dad played football through high school, and his uncle Dean Carlson actually played three years in the NFL. Dean spent the majority of his career with Kansas City before a short stint with Green Baywhich, of course, “we don’t recognize,” ribs Andy.

Because of his family connection to the Chiefs, Andy identifies as a “down-low fan” of the team, second of course to Minnesota. Interestingly enough, the one game Dean started in was against the Vikings on Dec. 14, 1974.

Andy played for Rushford/Peterson High School, suiting up at both wide receiver and cornerback. He doesn’t consider himself an exceptional athlete, but being part of the team remains one of his favorite memories. He did have a few plays for the books, including a touchdown that made it onto the local KTTC news, and the team won the State Title in 2002 under Coach Jim Reinhardt (since retired).

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A lot of people are talking about the great pieces the Vikings are putting together, and there is even some speculation that Minnesota could be the dark horse and sneak into the Playoffs this season. That being said, what do you see as the biggest key to the Vikings’ success in the upcoming season? 

Brent: Offensive Line
I will try to differentiate yet again, as I like to try to provide a different perspective for each Question of the Week. I think the glaring answer here is obviously Teddy Bridgewater. There is little question in my mind that the Vikings would have been much, much worse last year had he not played so well in the second half of the season. That said, in order for Bridgewater to continue his progression as an NFL quarterback without hitting a sophomore slump, I feel the offensive line is the biggest key for the Vikings’ success. Not only will the O-line pave the way for Adrian Peterson to run wild, but its ability to help keep Bridgewater upright will be essential to take advantage of deep-threat Mike Wallace. Wallace is a perfect fit for Norv Turner’s offense and the deep threat the Vikings have been looking for to complement their power run game. In my opinion, success on offense starts with the offensive line; without that unit providing consistency, neither Peterson, Bridgewater or Wallace can thrive as intended.

Lindsey: Offensive Line
You’ve heard me complain about the offensive line before, and I have to go back to it with this question. Bottom line: the crew needs to improve. Granted, injuries to Brandon Fusco and Phil Loadholt hurt the Vikings last season, and I expect the O-Line to automatically improve with their healthy return. However, Matt Kalil has been abysmal the last two seasons. If he doesn’t get his stuff together, we’re in trouble. I’m also hoping that Fusco can possibly move over to left guard to fill that vacancy.

A huge piece of Minnesota’s success in 2015 is of course Teddy Bridgewater and his performance, and also the impact of Adrian Peterson, but neither one can perform well if there is no protection. Bridgewater spent way too much time on the ground last season … that needs to change if the Vikings hope to see the postseason.

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An American flag flutters in the wind over the Vikings' new stadium

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

In a move expected by many, the NFL’s 32 owners approved the Competition Committee’s proposal on extra points for the 2015 season. The rule changes, which were passed on a 30-2 vote Tuesday, are as follows:

  • The extra point will now be kicked from the 15-yard line with two-point conversions remaining at the 2-yard line.
  • If the defense returns a blocked extra point or failed two-point try for a touchdown, they will be awarded two points. Under the previous rule the ball was dead on a failed try.

Blair Walsh, the Vikings’ ace fourth-year kicker, has been nearly perfect when kicking extra points — in 109 attempts, he’s missed just one kick, giving him a 99.1 career percentage in such situations. With the changes, extra points will now move to the 15-yard line, where Walsh has been nearly as successful.

In 31 career attempts between 30-39 yards (extra points are now 33 yards), Walsh has connected on 28 kicks. His leg from this distance is close to perfection, as he’s a 90.3 percent kicker in this range. When news broke of the rule changes, Walsh shared his response on Twitter:

For Walsh, the change in distance is negligible. His percentages from either distance are above average, and 33-yard field goals are routine for most NFL kickers. Defensive coaches and special teams coordinators will adjust their gameplans, scheming more “block” concepts into these plays, but I expect minimal effect on box scores next season.

If anything, the news is beneficial to players like Walsh; an increased importance on the extra point equates to an increase in value for kickers who can deliver from this range. Walsh, in turn, may enjoy a salary increase once his rookie contract expires.

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