Thursday, August 25, 2016

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Teddy Bridgewater

Over the last 24 hours, give or take, Minnesota Vikings fans and pundits have collectively wondered why quarterback Teddy Bridgewater actually stayed sidelined during their 18-11 victory in Seattle. A preseason contest that would normally be given the nuanced “meaningless” label received an electric shock of intrigue by Bridgewater’s absence and head coach Mike Zimmer’s unwillingness to definitively satisfy the mass curiosity.

Zimmer’s mysterious approach to the situation clearly annoyed local members of the media, along with some fans. This approach might be old hat in New England, but it is new to Minnesota, and if it is a sign of things to come then I think it is safe to say that Zimmer’s status as a media darling could be in danger.

The theories have run rampant since Shaun Hill took that first snap, and there were some fun ones, but we are still getting trickled-down information that can help provide some clarity on the matter. We’re going to take a look at what is currently known.

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Vikings-Seahawks Recap - So How'd Teddy Look?

Teddy Bridgewater didn’t play in a game that doesn’t matter, but Vikings fans still freaked out. The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings mercifully ended their late night fiasco in Seattle without overtime, despite Pete Carroll’s best efforts. Here are a few half-awake thoughts.

Tonight/This Morning’s Talking Points Include:
• Why Didn’t Teddy Play?
• Shaun Hill Looked Good Enough
• WTF, Joel Stave
• Well Hello Cordarrelle Patterson
• Adam Thielen is WR3. Period.
• Lack of Running Game This Preseason is Worrisome
• Kyle Rudolph Is Alive
• CJ Ham is RB4
• Vikings Defense Played Well, BUT….
• Everson Wants 20 Sacks and Might Get It
• Danielle Hunter is a Man
• We’re In Good Hands with Our Backup Defensive Tackles
• LOL Antone Exum
• Michael Griffin Time with the ones with Harrison
• Terence Newman is no longer a starting caliber CB. Major regression from 2015.
• Secondary Cannot Catch
• Marcus Sherels Saved Us From Preseason Overtime
• Blair Walsh finally kicked a 27-yard FG
• Jeff Locke was Horrible

All that and other “Shaun Hill is Trade Bait” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint

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All business for Zimmer and the Vikings

Key names out vs. Seahawks
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings were without a few starters last week, and that will be the case against the Seattle Seahawks tonight. Many of the names on this evening’s inactives list should play next week in what many consider to be a regular season “tune up.” But for now, a cautious approach means the Vikings will take the field with a lineup that’s very different from the one we’ll see in Week 1.

The full list, as well as starter changes, includes:

The only new addition is Tre Roberson, the quarterback-turned-cornerback who impressed in his first action last Friday. Gone from the list are Adrian Peterson, Marcus Sherels, and Terence Newman. Peterson isn’t expected to play, as he rarely suits up for the preseason, but Neman will return and likely start at left cornerback. Sherels, the team’s designated punt returner, may field a few kicks tonight.

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Vikings Territory Question of the Week

Preseason Proving Ground
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The first week of preseason football gave the Minnesota Vikings plenty to digest, like Teddy Bridgewater’s growth and the positive performance of the team’s rookie class. It also cast a light on certain negatives, like the struggles of the offensive and defensive lines in the trenches.

Tonight’s matchup isn’t just a test for the entire team; it’s a chance for those who underwhelmed to turn their play around and make their way onto the final 53-man roster. It’s also a chance for incumbent starters to secure their jobs, reserves to win the competition, and no-namers to make a splash.

Before the Seahawks tilt, the Vikings Territory team is taking a look at the roster and trying to determine who has the most to prove for the Vikings with three weeks left until Week 1. Is it Andre Smith, Cordarrelle Patterson, or maybe, a surprise name? Follow the jump and see what the gang thinks!

Heading into Week 2 of the preseason, who has the most to prove for the Vikings?

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Opponent Spotlight — Preseason Week 2

Vikings Meet Their Match
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Twenty seven yards and a few feet is all that separates the Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks. Had Blair Walsh made that fateful field goal last January, the Vikings would be playing the role of older brother. Instead, they’re forced to look up and admire all that the Seahawks have accomplished in a few short year; a Super Bowl title, NFC West domination, and unmatched home field advantage.

But a closer look reveals the Vikings and Seahawks to be more “twin” than “stepbrother.” From their defensive-minded head coaches to their ground-first approaches on offense, the newfound NFC rivals share plenty in common. Before the teams’ playoff matchup last season, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll acknowledged the parallels between Minnesota and Seattle; particularly, between himself and Vikings ‘captain’ Mike Zimmer.

“There’s such a similarity in the formula that we both represent as defensive guys and former coordinators,” Carroll said, per Vikings.com. “I really appreciate it because I see — because we’ve been successful at putting out this formula of playing defense and special teams and the running game, and they’re doing the same thing.”

In some regards, Zimmer has built his team in the same mold as the Seahawks. The defense is relatively simple, but that simplicity allows his players to react more quickly than most defensive units. The offense controls the clock and pace of the game through the run. And on the sidelines, Zimmer coaches with a unique personality; one that defines his roster much in the way Carroll’s does in Seattle. These are all traits that could describe the Seahawks, but the Vikings are a distinctly “Zimmer” team, built to match Seattle in any environment.

Tonight, the franchises reunite for the first time since playing in the third-coldest game in NFL history. While the stakes may not be as high, there are certainly motivating factors that make this game worth a watch. It’s a preseason tilt, but if both teams meet expectations during the regular season, a playoff rematch isn’t out of the question. Thus, it’s critical to understand what makes the Seahawks ‘tick.’

In the first “Opponent Spotlight” of the year, we’ll analyze tape from the opposing team’s most recent game; identifying concepts, schemes, and strategies the Vikings must master come Sunday morning (or in this case, Thursday night).

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