Friday, September 30, 2016

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Minnesota Vikings Sam Bradford

sThe Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings opened the gates to historic US Bank Stadium Sunday night in rousing fashion defeating the Green Bay Packers 17-14. The Purple were led by a strong effort by the Zimmer Hellfire Defense, an other-worldly performance by Stefon Diggs, and a completely surprising/electric outing from newly acquired quarterback Sam Bradford. We recap the game that was and even do it without “sampling” other teams’ & sports’ traditions.

Today’s Border Battle Talkers Include:
• Sam Bradford Played Better Than Anyone Could Have Expected
• The Defense Owned Aaron Rodgers
• Stefon Diggs is Already Antonio Brown
• Why Adrian Peterson’s Injury Could Be a Positive
• The Ballad of Trae Waynes
• The Good and Bad Coaching Calls
• Matt Kalil is Back to Being Bad Kalil
• The Offensive Line Needs to be Fixed
• Loose Thoughts

All that and other “Shaun Hill Who?” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint

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Five(ish) thoughts on Sunday night's win over the Packers

Bradford is the best passer
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

1. Sam Bradford is a better passer than Teddy Bridgewater.

I KNOW. I know it reads like a reactionary take, and there’s more to playing quarterback than prowess as a pure passer. I’m not trying to pick on a player who is unavailable due to injury, nor am I trying to throw out a splashy take based on one game. But I really don’t think this take is even hot; it was obvious in Bradford’s first start with the Vikings, he is a superior passer to Bridgewater at this point in their respective careers. This was an idea many astute observers floated before Bradford first took the field for Minnesota, and it was supported Sunday night. Sam Bradford is a natural passer—his arm strength is upper-echelon and his throws against Green Bay were extremely accurate. He had two beautifully placed touchdown passes, and he was decisive and poised against nearly constant pressure. And he’s been with the team for two weeks. You can see how he could be a good fit for a Norv Turner, vertical passing offense, and understand why Spielman targeted him via trade. That first round pick seems fully justified today.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Not only was it the regular season debut for the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium, but quarterback Sam Bradford made his own debut in a purple and yellow jersey on Sunday night. He certainly looked impressive as he guided the Vikings to a 17-14 win over the Green Bay Packers.

With the win, Minnesota is now alone atop the NFC North division.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Thanks to an announcement earlier this week, Minnesota Vikings fans were able to prepare themselves to watch a defense minus Xavier Rhodes (again) and Shariff Floyd against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night.

Both players are dealing with a knee injury and neither practiced all week. Rhodes sat out the Vikings’ game last week against the Tennessee Titans while Floyd only managed to play 25 of the defense’s 67 snaps in Tennessee.

Below are the additional players that Minnesota will be without tonight.

In addition to Rhodes and Floyd, the Vikings will be without the services of tight end MyCole Pruitt for the second straight week. Pruitt is still recovering from a minor knee injury he suffered back in the preseason against the San Diego Chargers.

Wide receiver Jarius Wright is a healthy scratch for Minnesota for the second straight week. Still unsure why his status on the team is basically non existent these days.

On the other side of the ball the Packers will be without the following players tonight.

– Joe Callahan, QB

– Josh Hawkins, CB

– Chris Banjo, S

– Sam Shields, CB

– Kyle Murphy, T

– Jayrone Elliot, LB

The absence of their top cornerback in Sam Shields could lead to a big night for Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs. Sure would be nice if new Minnesota quarterback Sam Bradford could light up the Green Bay secondary in front of the home crowd during the team’s opening game at U.S. Bank Stadium.

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Green Bay Backers
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

As is the case every week, but is particularly true this week, the enemy is the Green Bay Packers. The outcome of Sunday night’s matchup will give one of the two teams an early boost in their bid for the NFC North which makes it a very important one on the schedule.

A lot is going on, no doubt, with the quarterback situation and the new stadium… but make no mistake about the goal being the same as it has ever been: Beat Green Bay.

We invited back our old sparring partner, Packer Ranter, for a quick Q&A session with this idea that we’d have a little fun while also learning something about the 2016 version of the Green Bay Packers. I agreed to answer some of their questions, as well, so be sure to keep an eye out for my answers over at Packer Ranter.

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