Monday, February 27, 2017

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Over the last two weeks, we have seen the Minnesota Vikings (5-2) offense overcome two lopsided defensive efforts and come out victorious.

Two weeks ago, the Detroit Lions sold out to stop Adrian Peterson by flooding the running lanes and consistently stopping him in the backfield, only to let Teddy Bridgewater take advantage of some leaky coverage for over three hundred yards.

Last week, the Bears did their best to clog up all of Bridgewater’s passing lanes all afternoon, and Peterson was able to exploit the softer approach at the line for a 100-yard chain-moving performance.

This week, however, the Vikings offense will square off against a St. Louis Rams (4-3) defense that is talented enough to play well against both the run and the pass, overwhelm Minnesota’s offensive line, and pressure Bridgewater on a regular basis.

The Vikings will likely have to play great in all phases or be quite lucky to beat the Rams, and it is hard to predict which is more likely. They will need plenty of help from the defense and special teams to come out on top, but the offense needs to do their part if they want to avoid another close loss like they saw in Denver.

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Vikings Injury Report
NamePositionInjuryWed.Thur.Fri. Status
Floyd, SharrifDTKnee/AnkleDNPDNPDNPOUT
Trattou, JustinDEFootLimitedLimitedLimitedOUT
Barr, AnthonyLBLow BackDNPDNPFullQuestionable
Berger, JoeCChestDNPLimitedFullProbable
Cole, AudieLBFingerLimitedFullFullProbable
Clemmings, T.J.TNeckFullFullFullProbable
Diggs, StefonWRHamstringDNPLimitedFullProbable
Ellison, RhettTEConcussionFullFullFullProbable
Griffen, EversonDENeckLimitedLimitedFullProbable
Johnson, TomDTKneeLimitedFullFullProbable
Smith, HarrisonSNeck________LimitedFullProbable

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The Gurley-Adrian Tecmo Bowl is upon us and we got our man Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) of The Daily Norseman and Vikings Journal in the house to chat about the upcoming, sneakily important for the playoff picture match between our Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings and the Los Angeles St. Louis Rams.

We talk about the clash of two great defenses, if Teddy Bridgewater can put together a complete game, Aaron Donald or Anthony Barr, Nick Foles looking like John Heder, is Adrian Peterson actually a hindrance to this offense? And who has the edge in all of the various running back attributes: Todd Gurley II or Adrian Peterson in his prime?

Arif and I also theorize that Todd Gurley might have his “Adrian-William Gay” moment on….. Sendejo.

All that and other “We ALL have an uncle that looks like Jeff Fisher” 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 listen to his podcast Norse Code.

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The intrepid Lindsey Young (@LindseyMNSports) of Vikings Territory joined me at the house studio to talk a little Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings, eat some of my fine home cooking (roast pork chops, mashed potatoes and roast squash FTW), and meet future President of the United States Mugsy “Football Baby” Carlson.

All that and other “Lindsey has a Thaddeus Young jersey” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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    Mike Zimmer’s first regular season game as a head coach turned out to be a lopsided victory at the expense of the St. Louis Rams. This week’s matchup, however, is sure to be different for a number of reasons.

    I decided to check back in with our friend Nathan Kearns of Turf Show Times to see what we can expect out of this 2015 version of St. Louis.

    ADAM: Last time we talked, you were really high on Shaun Hill’s ability to be the starter in St. Louis. He’s now a backup in Minnesota. After our Week One win in 2014, our readers voted Cordarrelle Patterson as the “Player of the Game.” Obviously, a ton has changed since Minnesota’s 34-6 thrashing of St. Louis, so help get us Minnesota fans up to speed. What has all taken place to make this year’s version of the Rams different than last years?

    NATHAN: The fact that Rams Nation was high on Shaun Hill to start last season (myself included) shows how far we’ve come in a little over a year. In terms of the roster, Jeff Fisher finally got his “Eddie George” in the drafting of Todd Gurley, who just had his jersey enshrined in the Hall of Fame for four consecutive 125+ rushing yard games. The offensive line is also (literally) completely new, with the Rams shifting from the “one-foot-into retirement,” over-paid veterans to green, recent-draftees. The change has brought new energy to the offense, including some much needed speed and versatility. Lastly, Shaun Hill and the hopes and dreams of a healthy Sam Bradford have been replaced with Nick Foles, who has been underwhelming, but efficient, so far this year.

    However, the two more important changes to the “new” Rams aren’t players. Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams has now had over a full year to install and tweak his complex defense. Last time the Rams played the Vikings, the Mad Scientist had only been around for four or five months. Since then, the Rams defense has posted two shutouts (at the end of 2014), and currently have the top graded defense on Pro Football Focus (PFF), all while allowing the 4th-fewest total points in the league. Finally, arguably the biggest change to the Rams was the release of Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, and the promotion of Frank Cignetti. We’ll certainly touch on this a little more…

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