Tuesday, October 13, 2015

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Success in the National Football League is measured by the slightest of margins. An inch on fourth and short, the fateful bounce of a football off a receiver’s fingertips, a field goal that sails just left of the uprights. Wins and losses are defined by more than highlight touchdown runs or explosive touchdowns — they boil down to a team’s ability to do the little things to perfection, no matter the situation or conditions.

On Sunday afternoon, in a hard-fought battle a mile above the ocean, the Denver Broncos proved they’re a team capable of making the minute details of the game second-nature. Drive down the field and kick the game-winning field goal? Not a problem. Blitz Teddy Bridgewater and seal the victory with a sack-fumble? Schemed — and executed — to perfection. When the bell rang, the Broncos answered, and for that, they came away with a 23-20 win over the Minnesota Vikings.

Mike Zimmer’s team, meanwhile, weathered the storm that was Denver’s top-ranked defense and held on until the very end, making yesterday’s game a much closer battle than originally anticipated. Unlike the Broncos, though, the Vikings missed golden opportunities to steal a win from a 2014 playoff contender. A missed field goal, costly penalties on Denver’s final drive, and miscommunication along the offensive line squandered Minnesota’s opportunity to claim a “signature win” against the Broncos.

No one understands those details better than second-year Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who went into Denver and outplayed the Broncos’ Peyton Manning, finishing the game with a 92.4 quarterback rating to the future Hall-of-Famer’s 68.9 rating. The stats jump out on paper, but a loss is a loss, and Bridgewater believes yesterday’s game was a learning lesson for himself and his teammates:

“We were in this game and had an opportunity to win it. We were a couple of plays away,” Bridgewater said. “This is one of those games where you have to be perfect. We know that we’re going to be in another game like this at some point this year and make sure we come out on top.”

Playoff teams win those games, and playoff teams find ways to win with their backs against the wall. The Vikings may not be ready for January football yet, but Mike Zimmer has this team heading in the right direction a quarter into this young 2015 season.

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Despite a valiant effort by the Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings Defense and Teddy “Dave” Bridgewater, the Purple came up short Sunday afternoon in Denver 23-20. The Zimmer Hellfire Defense forced Peyton “Chicken Parm” Manning into two interceptions and his 2nd lowest QB rating of the season, but it wasn’t enough in Mile High as a sluggish start, a faulty offensive line, and a lame kicker denied the Vikings a much sought after road win and leave them at 2-2 heading into the bye week. We discuss the gold and fool’s gold from the game that was.

Other “No Moral Victories” Talkers Include
• My theory on why there were so many Vikings fans in Denver
• That Zimmer Hellfire Defense Leads the Way
• The Offensive Line Did Not
• Anthony Barr is Becoming a Force
• Harrison Smith is the Best Safety in the NFL
• Teddy Ballgame
• Mike Wallace BEASTED Today
• Adam Thielen & Stefon Diggs Deserve to Eat
• Robert Blanton is Still Blanton
• Blair Walsh Needs a Fire Lit Under Him
• Schedule After the Bye: 5-3 or 6-2 isn’t crazy
• Bye Week Podcast Schedule
• Visit our new sponsor Stars Draft for Daily Fantasy Sports!
Bookmark us on Amazon & show some love!

All that and other “We’re On To The Bye Week” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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photo courtesy of vikings.com

T.J. Ward’s sack and forced fumble with 35 seconds to play foiled the Vikings fourth quarter comeback allowing the Broncos to stay unbeaten with a 23-20 victory at Mile High Stadium on Sunday.

Denver’s number one ranked defense looked stellar once again especially in the pass rush department. Teddy Bridgewater was sacked seven times and hurried almost every time he dropped back as Denver brought pressure via the blitz from safeties and linebackers for most of the contest.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings will be without a few key players this week when they take the field against the Denver Broncos, including wide receiver Charles Johnson and rotational defensive end Justin Trattou. Johnson left last week’s game with a rib injury, while Trattou was shaken up after suffering a foot injury against the San Diego Chargers.

Johnson’s deactivation — and the questionable status of Jarius Wright — means Vikings fans will get their first look at rookie (preseason) sensation Stefon Diggs, who is active for the first time this season. Other inactive players include:

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The Vikings travel to Denver where two strong defensive units will butt heads.

Vikings Travel to Denver
Photo courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings are back on the road after an impressive victory last week at home against the San Diego Chargers. This weekend, the Vikings travel to Mile High Stadium to take on Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. Last week’s match-up featured another impressive performance from Adrian Peterson but the reborn running back, who seems to be getting back into his groove, will have his hands full against a Denver defense that is arguably the best in the league.

Brent LaBathe previewed the Vikings uphill battle on offense this week. It’s likely the Broncos will sell out to bottle up Adrian Peterson, so Teddy Bridgewater, who struggled against the Chargers, will need to find success through the air. That’s much easier said than done considering the Broncos not only feature one of the best front sevens in the league but also one of the best secondaries.

On defense, the key to winning this game will be the Vikings getting after senior quarterback Peyton Manning. Minnesota has had no problem with this the past few weeks. Both Phillip Rivers and Matthew Stafford left their games against this strong defensive unit feeling abused. Much like the past two matches, Minnesota is once again facing a team with major offensive line problems. Furthermore, Denver has not been able to run the ball well this year. If the Vikings secondary can limit the Broncos after the catch and limit Manning’s time in the pocket, the Vikings should be able to hang against this undefeated squad.

Before giving my prediction, I asked the staff here at Vikings Territory to give their bold predictions for the game. You’ll find those and my thoughts on the final score after the break.

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