Wednesday, November 25, 2015

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It’s almost time to party. We’re only two days away from our Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings welcoming in the Green Bay 2nd in the Division Packers for the biggest throwdown of the 2015 campaign. We brought in our man Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) to help get us ready for Border Battle 1.0 as well as expand on his latest piece about chlling out on Teddy Bridgewater.

Other topics include: why comparing Teddy to Alex Smith isn’t necessarily an insult, how the Zimmer Hellfire Defense can put the clamps on Aaron Rodgers, why the Packers offense is suddenly anemic, what to expect from Teddy and the passing game against the suddenly not frisky so Packers defense, and why the Purple’s recent record means absolutely nothing against the Green and Gold on Sunday.

All that and other “T-Shirts Are Dumb” 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 focus this week is understandably the Green Bay Packers, who will look to come to Minnesota, defeat the Vikings at a home, and pull half a game ahead in a tightly-contested NFC North divisional race. But before Lindsey and Brent break down the key offensive and defensive matchups tomorrow, I want to look back on last week’s victory over the Oakland Raiders.

While the Vikings excelled in a number of areas — the running game, pass defense, turnover differential — one stands out in particular, because it may be the key to the Vikings taking a two-game lead over the Packers — the pass rush.

Before they hosted the Vikings, Oakland’s offense line hadn’t given up a sack since Week 7 against the New York Jets. According to Football Outsiders, they’re the best pass protecting unit in the league, having allowed just 12 sacks this season (2.9% adjusted sack rate). The Vikings, though, exploited what’s been a stout group up front, combining aggressive first steps, solid technique, and Mike Zimmer’s varied looks to create confusion and havoc at the line of scrimmage.

They sacked Derek Carr twice and flushed him from the pocket a number of times, forcing the second-year quarterback into bad decisions and even poorer throws. That’s been the blueprint to beat Aaron Rodgers this season, and against the Packers’ 17th-ranked offensive line, Minnesota’s front-seven should have little trouble doing just that to No. 12.

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(photo courtesy of

Adrian Peterson. Randy Moss. Two of the biggest offensive names for the Minnesota Vikings in the last decade. Just for fun, we decided to make the VT writers choose. We saw an interesting question posed on Reddit: If the two were in the same NFL Draft class and you could choose only one to be a part of the Vikings roster, which do you take? Check out our answers, take the poll and leave us some comments!

AndyRandy Moss
A couple parameters: 1) I’m drafting for a blank team with no existing players, coaches, philosophy, etc and 2) I’m looking only at college production and not factoring in any NFL history. That being said, I’m taking the PRIDE of Rand, West Virginia Randy Moss. Adrian Peterson was a phenomenal college player at Oklahoma and was frankly robbed of the Heisman Trophy in 2004 (Matt Leinhart won as Oklahoma quarterback and 2003 winner Jason White stole votes from Adrian), but he was also injury prone, fumble prone and had diminishing stats each of his three years in Norman after his 1925-rushing-yard and 15-touchdown apex as a freshman.

Yes, Moss had a checkered past washing out of Florida State and Notre Dame due to off-field issues. Yes, Marshall did not play elite competition in 1997 in the MAC one year after transitioning from I-AA. But I have never seen dominance on display like redshirt sophomore Randy Moss and I might never see it again in my lifetime in college football. No. 88 was a man playing among toddlers putting up 96 receptions for 1820 yards and 26 touchdowns, the latter setting an NCAA single season record and still remains the second most in history (La Tech’s Troy Edwards broke it the following season hauling in 27 scores).

Moss was a potential once-in-a-generation type talent with baggage, but I’d still roll the dice with him over a very talented yet injury prone running back. Also, this.

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    Robert Greenfield of the long-time fan site Packer Ranter was kind enough, once again, to come over here and chat about the upcoming game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Aaron’s.

    (Oh, and there’s always a fair amount of smack talk when Packer Ranter is invited to the table.)

    I asked Greenfield to answer five questions below and by reading the answers you’ll learn that Aaron Rodgers has simply been drunk these last three weeks, just how much more productive our rookie class has been than theirs, and just how disappointed Packers fans will be when Teddy Bridgewater starts lighting them up.

    ADAM: The obvious elephant in the room is that the Packers are on a three game slide and playing some pretty ugly, relatively speaking, football. Can you talk a little bit about what factors have been involved with these three losses and what solutions the team might try to employ in Minnesota?

    ROBERT: It’s as though they went on a two-week bender and were still hungover last week. A good night’s sleep and a strong cup of coffee should sufficiently wake them up. Rodgers has always been a master of improvisation and there’s a chance he’s been boxed in by some vanilla play calling. Giving him more freelance ability with the secondary playmakers will keep defenses guessing and frustrated before #12 drops the hammer.

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    Photo Courtesy of Alex Gelhar

    Border Battle 1.0 is nearly upon us. Will the Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings assert their dominance over the NFC North or will the Green Bay Packers stage a second act comeback? We welcome in Alex Gelhar (@AlexGelhar), Fantasy Writer and Packer apologist, to the show to dissect who will be Ronda Rousey and who will be Holly Holm Sunday afternoon at The Bank. (We’re obvious Holly Holm.)

    We chatted about what Aaron Rodgers’ deal is, if Adrian Peterson can keep up his historic 2012 pace, where the Vikings’ passing game is going wonky, how the Zimmer Hellfire Defense matches up against the Packers offense, and much much more. I also continue to whine about Chase Ford becoming a Raven.

    All that and other “BEAT GREEN BAY” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

    An Andy Carlson Joint.

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