Wednesday, June 29, 2016

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2015 is almost in the books, so why not close out in the most cliche way possible by doing a “The Best of 2015” episode! (I….. I’m lazy and not creative.) It’s been a extremely fun year with you the listeners here at the Purple FTW! Podcast. From the end of the 2014 7-9 season, the 5-Hour NFL Draft Live Stream, doing shows from Mankato and all of the insightful guests we’ve had — especially the regular contributors Di Murphy, Luke Inman, Lindsey Young and Arif Hasan. Hopefully we cranked out some quasi-quality and quasi-coherent Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings audio action and gave you a few chuckles along the way. Let’s look back before we dive forward into 2016.

The Best of 2015 Clips Include
Jenna-King Shepherd – Austin Shepherd’s Wife (Episode 172)
Todd Steussie – Former Viking Left Tackle (Episode 108)
Matt Waldman – Rookie Scouting Portfolio (Episode 110)
Paul Allen – KFAN/Radio Voice of the Vikings (Episode 111)
• Redoing the 2011 Vikings Draft (Episode 123)
• Every Vikings Starting QB Ever. Ranked. (Episode 128)
Dave Schwartz – Kare 11 (Episode 130)
Matt Vensel – Star Tribune (Episode 132)
Chad Greenway – Vikings Linebacker (Episode 133)
• Andy Talks Vikings with Uncle Nick while Cooking General Tso’s Chicken (Episode 135)
Andrew Krammer – 1500 ESPN (Episode 137)
Luke Inman, Sam Ekstrom, Arif Hasan (Episode 145)
Arif Hasan – Daily Norseman/Vikings Journal (Episode 227)
Phil Mackey – 1500 ESPN (Episode 181)

Michael Grey – WBBL Grand Rapids (Episode 166)
Ron Johnson – Former Gophers/Ravens Wide Receiver (Episode 180)

All this and other “You ain’t seen nothing yet. Wait until 2016.” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint

Peterson's catch was made possible by McKinnon

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Adrian Peterson lines up eight yards behind Teddy Bridgewater, eyes up, feet planted, ready to explode into the wall of defensive linemen waiting for him. It’s a position he’s comfortable in, and one he’s been successful in his entire career. Of his 2,362 career rushing attempts, 98 percent (2,241) have come when the quarterback is under center. On those carries, he’s rushed for 11,143 yards — five yards per carry — and scored 94 of his 96 career rushing touchdowns.

That trend’s continued this year, his first full season back since missing nearly every game in 2014. Through 15 games in 2015, he’s rushed the ball 272 times with Bridgewater (and Shaun Hill) under center. Those carries have helped propel him to the top of the league’s rushing standings, with 1,362 of his 1,418 yards coming in such situations. It’s a formula that’s pushed the Vikings’ offense near the top of the rushing yardage standings, but one that’s proven frustrating at times.

Before his 104-yard performance against the New York Giants last Sunday, Peterson had failed to eclipse the 100-yard mark in the three previous games. The Vikings lost two of those contests by forcing the ball to Peterson on first and second down, putting Bridgewater in third-and-long situations far too often. That’s been the case in each of the Vikings’ five losses this season; rely too heavily on Peterson despite a failure to produce early, and the offense will flounder. Play-action passes are successful when a defense commits to stopping the run. If Peterson isn’t producing on early downs, linebackers and safeties won’t bite when Bridgewater fakes the handoff to his running back. Simply lined up behind Bridgewater, Peterson is a threat, but that threat can only become a reality if the defense isn’t completely honed in on No. 28.

Fortunately, offensive coordinator Norv Turner’s discovered a new weapon — one that can distract defenses from Peterson — in his loaded arsenal; second-year running back Jerick McKinnon.

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The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings have been perpetually searching for a big-bodied, go up and get it type wide receiver ever since Sidney Rice left. Here we are again. We were fortunate to find the electric Stefon Diggs late in the draft (5th round) and past two drafts have been prodigious in terms of wide receivers available with no sign of slowing down. Could the Vikes find another stud late to pair with Diggs? Luke Inman (@Luke_Spinman) drops some knowledge on us about some late round sleeper wideouts Vikings fans should keep their eye on.

Today’s Roster Includes
• Corey Davis, Western Michigan
• De’Runnya Wilson, Miss State
• Rashard Higgins, Colorado State
• Leonte Carroo, Rutgers
• Devon Cajuste, Stanford
• Malcolm Mitchell, Georgia
• Braxton Miller, Ohio State
• Ricky Seals-Jones, Texas A&M

All this and other “Let’s find on the field Josh Gordon 2.0” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint

Hit up all of Luke’s stuff at eDraft and Cold Omaha.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Teddy Bridgewater has won this heralded (by me) award two weeks in a row, and it was a landslide last week, but he’ll be in for a little tougher competition this week, I suspect.

The 49-17 shellacking of the visibly uninspired New York Giants featured a ton of impressive performances for the Vikings. It really was a team win, and despite all the great stats and highlights to come out of it, picking just one player to anoint as “the best” of the week might be tougher than I imagined.

Here are this week’s nominees…

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It's time we view the Vikings as contenders

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

It’s Déjà vu all over again for the Minnesota Vikings, who for the second time this season, will look to defeat the Green Bay Packers in their most important game of the year. The last time these two teams met, the Vikings were riding a five-game win streak, while the Packers were trudging through a three-game slide. It seemed, at last, that the Vikings were primed to dethrone the Packers from the top of the NFC North! Right? Wrong.

Minnesota lost that Week 11 game, falling 30-13 at home to their biggest rival. Since that eye-opening defeat, they’ve fallen behind the Packers in the division. But, next Sunday night, they’ll have a chance to knock Green Bay out of the top spot and secure the NFC’s third playoff seed. Whether they win or lose on Sunday Night Football, the Vikings are guaranteed a playoff spot; their victory over the New York Giants secured a postseason berth for the first time since 2012. But knowing Zimmer’s win-first mentality and steadfast approach to his franchise, the Vikings want and need to claim the division to be satisfied.

How can they do that? It starts by “righting the wrongs” from the team’s first meeting. Most notably, pressuring Aaron Rodgers and winning the turnover battle — a strategy they failed to execute in November. Yesterday, the Arizona Cardinals did just that to Rodgers and the Packers offense, sacking the quarterback nine times and creating four turnovers. The Vikings experienced similar defensive success against the Giants last night, and it’s a formula that can assuredly bring Minnesota their first NFC North title since 2009:

“When you create turnovers and you put pressure on the quarterback, good things typically happen. I thought we put good pressure on the quarterback tonight. I thought we got him to make some bad throws and we took advantage of it. The three interceptions we had were all huge.” — Mike Zimmer

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