Friday, August 26, 2016

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The Minnesota Vikings were “victorious” in their preseason debut, but the final score means much less than the evaluation of how things actually went, and I would tend to agree with Mike Zimmer in that this team has a ways to go before they are ready to compete in Week One. That can be said for every team right now, however, and it is time to take our weekly look at what is happening with our NFC North enemies.

PED Problems For The Packers

I love when the Vikings beat the Packers, but I like it best when both teams are playing as close to full strength as possible. With the drawn out StarCaps saga going down into history as one of the most tedious and boring bits of Vikings history I’ve ever written about, I can assure our Packer fan foes that this latest news will not be fun for them to follow.

Three prominent Packers players (Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers, and Mike Neal) have been informed by the NFL that they will be suspended indefinitely if they do not participate in an investigation regarding performance enhancing drugs by August 25th. James Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steelers is also subject to those terms.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Each year, the Minnesota Vikings welcome a new batch of players to their roster after selecting them in the NFL Draft. Vikings general manager Rick Spielman likes to add as many players as he can through the draft (nine or more in four of the last five years) and this year was no different as Minnesota selected eight players.

Most of the players drafted in 2016 will not likely see a ton of playing time this season. Some of the Vikings later round picks could even be fighting during the preseason to see their name on the team’s final 53-man roster.

How did each of Minnesota’s eight 2016 draft picks look after playing their first game ever in a Vikings uniform last Friday in Cincinnati?

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Minnesota Vikings Jerick McKinnon Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt is cool and all, but he’s no Jerick McKinnon. I open the show with an opining love letter to #21 and how I hope the Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings will actually use him this year. Then we turbo through a couple roster battles that I’m keeping an eye on. There’s a lot of suss out over the next few weeks for the Vikes.

Battle Talking Points Include
• Joel Stave vs Taylor Heinicke
• Matt Asiata vs CJ Ham
• Adam Thielen vs Jarius Wright
• David Morgan II vs Rhett Ellison
• Willie Beavers vs Everyone
• Scott Crichton vs Everyone
• Emmanuel Lamur vs Edmond Robinson
• Marcus Sherels vs Everyone
• Antone Exum vs Jayron Kearse

All that and other “Two Men Enter, One Man Leaves” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint

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Balanced Vikings Edge Bengals
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The casual fan will tell you that preseason football doesn’t matter. A head coach will say it’s a critical juncture in the formation of a 53-man roster. The third-string running back will say it’s his time to prove he belongs in the NFL.

Opinions may vary among different audiences, but one fact holds true; the preseason marks the start of professional football, and with that, a chance to analyze the Minnesota Vikings for the first time since January 2016.

Minnesota’s humble 17-16 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals last Friday left much to be desired. Head coach Mike Zimmer won’t be happy with his team’s sloppy play, especially that of the first-team offense and defense. Still, there are signs of a contender in-the-making, with pieces in place at every level to enjoy another strong season in 2016.

After each win — and unfortunately, each loss — I’ll break down key aspects of the game that led to a victory or Sunday defeat. This morning, I’ll dive into the Vikings’ film against the Bengals, which reveals Minnesota’s slow growth up to this point of the offseason.

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two new starters
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

With one preseason game in the books, the Vikings are doing some shuffling atop of the depth chart.

When the team returned to practice Sunday, there were two new faces in the starting lineup. Most notably, Andre Smith had been demoted to second team and T.J. Clemmings was practicing as the starting right tackle, according to numerous media outlets.

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