Saturday, December 10, 2016

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

When Brad Childress returns to the Twin Cities this Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings hope some of his post-bye magic will rub off on head coach Mike Zimmer. The Kansas City Chiefs’ Spread Game Analyst, who served as the Vikings’ head coach from 2006-2010, was 4-1 after a bye in Minnesota, while Zimmer lost his only game following an off-week last season.

This year, the odds favor the Vikings, who will play host to the Chiefs at TCF Bank Stadium and try to move to 3-2 on the season. Without Jamaal Charles, the Kansas City offense will run through Alex Smith and second-year running back Charcandrick West — a matchup that looks much better on paper for the Vikings’ sixth-ranked defense, especially against an offensive line that Pro Football Focus ranks 21st in pass protection.

What are some of the Chiefs’ greatest strengths on offense, and where do the Vikings need to focus their efforts when Alex Smith and the unit take the field Sunday? I’ll break it down after the jump and share some quick-hit thoughts before Sunday’s matchup.

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(photo courtesy of Vikings.com)

Lindsey: YES
I suppose this question is more complex than it looks on the surface, for two reasons: (1) we’re only four games into the season, and (2) there is Wallace’s contract to consider. However, I see no reason why the Vikings will be ready to part ways with him after a year. Against the Broncos, we caught glimpses of what could be a great connection between Teddy Bridgewater and Wallace—I’m hoping to see that continue over the next several weeks. Wallace was brought in as a deep threat, and we haven’t seen him utilized that way yet; that being said, we haven’t really seen Bridgwater throw deep to anyone yet. I’ll be the first to admit that I wasn’t completely thrilled about the move to bring Wallace to Minnesota, mostly because of the buzz we’d all heard about his attitude issues. However, the receiver has appeared to be a great personality to media, fans and teammates alike since joining the Vikings, and I think (at least for now) he’s happy with being here. The only thing I could really see happening for 2016 is a restructured contract if Wallace doesn’t end up with higher production by the end of the 2015 season. But, as I’m sure my fellow writers will also say, it’s still a big early to predict.

Carl: YES
I think he’ll be back. I realize it was four games into the season before Mike Wallace caught his first touchdown pass from Teddy Bridgewater, but his eight receptions for 83 yards and a TD against the Broncos is good sign of what might be to come. I like the fact that he is trying to develop into something more that just a deep threat. If I’m not mistaken, Wallace is under contract through the 2017 season, and the Vikings don’t have anyone lined up at the moment to take his job. He has had five consecutive season of 60 or more receptions, and I think he extends that streak again this season.

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Image Courtesy of Phil Mackey | Modified (slightly)

Phil Mackey of 1500 ESPN swings in to chat about the 2-2 Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings, why they (and fans) shouldn’t be overlooking the Jamaal Charles-less Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday, and how the Purple look to fare down the stretch of 2015.

We also get into his rise to power in Twin Cities sports talk radio (basically Narcos), the reaction to his infamous Adrian Peterson apology letter, what it’s like to be the second most famous person in a relationship (ala Christian Ponder) and who would square off in his dream pro wrestling match.

All that and other “LOL at Donovan McNabb’s $88M Washington contract” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

Listen to Mackey & Judd weekdays 9-1 on 1500 ESPN. The Touch Em All Podcast is available on iTunes.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

These early bye weeks always feel kind of out of place. If you are like me and draft way too many Vikings on your fantasy teams, then the early bye is even kind of a pain in the ol’ keister.

The plus side is that you get some time to rest up those players that have bumps and bruises, and you can perhaps make some needed adjustments before the standings get away from you. Hopefully the Vikings were able to take advantage on both fronts.

Before I get to the meat and potatoes of the “Links” segment, I want to welcome a new addition to our roundup, which is a site I only recently became aware of… but they are plenty worth bookmarking and making a part of your daily routine.

NFC North Bar Room is putting out some great content about all four teams in our division, including some coverage from our local word warrior Austin Belisle, and encourage you to check into their Vikings stuff on a regular basis.

We’ll be sure to include NFC North Bar Room in the “Links” from here on out, but now it is time to check in on what everyone else around the web is saying:

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Image Courtesy of Ron Johnson | Modified

Former Minnesota Golden Gopher and Baltimore Raven wide receiver Ron Johnson (FOX 9/KFAN) stopped in to talk about our Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings as we come out of the bye week. We touched on what attributes make Teddy Bridgewater special, Ron ranks the current corps of Vikes wideouts, how Mike Zimmer’s defense is starting to resemble the great Ravens defenses of the 2000s, and why his former teammate Jamal Lewis’ 295 game might still be the NFL record.

All that and other “Hot Pockets Suck” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

Make sure to catch Ron every Sunday morning on the FOX 9 Vikings Kickoff show, in studio with Paul Allen Wednesdays at 9:55am on KFAN, and on the Minnesota Huddlecast previewing and recapping all of the Minnesota Gopher football action.

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