Friday, May 6, 2016

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Given the quick turnaround from Week 13 to Week 14, it’s no surprise that Anthony Barr (Groin), Linval Joseph (Foot), Antone Exum (Ribs/Shoulder), and Harrison Smith (Hamstring) have all been ruled out for Thursday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals. A.J. Mansour of KFAN broke the news early Tuesday morning and cast a dark shadow over the hopes of an optimistic Minnesota Vikings fan base.

Coming off a 38-7 drubbing at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks, the Vikings will need to regain their early season form to retain the NFC’s fifth Wild Card spot. They’re currently a game ahead of the Seahawks and two games ahead of a crowded group of teams “in the hunt.” On paper, Thursday’s game heavily favors the Cardinals, who enter Week 14 with the league’s top-ranked offense and fourth-ranked defense.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

I love this in-season weekly segment. It provides the readers of Vikings Territory a chance to weigh in on a weekly basis and cast a vote for their favorite individual performance for each game. Even after a loss, even a lopsided loss, it can provide an opportunity to focus on something positive if even for just a quick minute.

This heralded (by me) award is a fun way to review the season as it progresses, and even long after it has concluded, to remember which players brought their A-Game on a consistent basis. In fact, here is where we stand as of today with Anthony Barr topping the charts last week:

WEEK ONE: Anthony Barr

WEEK TWO: Adrian Peterson

WEEK THREE: Harrison Smith

WEEK FOUR: Linval Joseph

WEEK SIX: Stefon Diggs

WEEK SEVEN: Stefon Diggs

WEEK EIGHT: Stefon Diggs

WEEK NINE: Linval Joseph

WEEK TEN: Terence Newman

WEEK ELEVEN: Teddy Bridgewater

WEEK TWELVE: Anthony Barr

I’m going to be honest… for the first time ever, I considered not doing this post at all because there were is so little material to work with following the 38-7 home loss at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks. But, no, I won’t have it. I’ve come up with a first (and hopefully last) solution to the conundrum, however, and you’ll see what that is by viewing the nominations.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Vikings safety Antone Exum Jr. will reportedly miss at least the next two weeks due to a rib fracture and another injury to his AC joint. The injuries occurred during Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks, but it is unsure when exactly the injuries were suffered.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings may be 8-4, but winning records don’t always reflect a team’s actual place on the NFL’s totem pole. Power rankings and speculation aside, the Vikings are a team that’s too reliant on Adrian Peterson, too thin at a few key positions, and too predictable on offense to compete with the NFC’s best. That was painfully obvious on Sunday, when the Seattle Seahawks burst into TCF Bank Stadium and demolished the Vikings, winning 38-7 in a devastating loss for Mike Zimmer’s upstart team.

It’s time to put the Purple Kool-Aid down. Yes, the Vikings have the league’s best running back and a terrific young defense, but they’ve failed when it’s mattered most this season. They lost their two biggest games of the year —at home against the Packers and Seahawks — by a combined score of 68-20 and have yet to put together a “signature victory” over a quality opponent.

8-4 is impressive. The Vikings currently hold the NFC’s fifth playoff spot. If they win two of their next four games, they’ll finish the season 10-6 and likely play January football for the first time since 2012. But throw out the idea that this team is ready for anything beyond the first round of the playoffs; they’re not, and Mike Zimmer knows it:

“I’m concerned about a lot of things right now.”

“Yeah, we’re not quite as good as what we think we are. Especially if we don’t play the way we’re capable of playing we’re definitely not as good as what we think we are.”

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The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings got embarrassed by the Seattle Sea-Chicken Seahawks Sunday afternoon at The Bank 38-7. The final score was not indicative of how one-sided the game was as the Purple defense gave up 38 points and 433 yards of offense to Seahawks, while Teddy and the Vikings offense was shutout and only had 4 snaps on the Seattle half of the field. It was an eye opening game for a team that has a short week and the 10-2 Arizona Cardinals on Thursday. We recap the game the was and remind ourselves that our season isn’t over. Just like when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor.

“Good Teams Don’t Get Curb Stomped at Home” Talking Points Include:
• What does it mean to be a “true” fan?
• The Zimmer Hellfire Defense Was Non-Existent
• At Some Point Teddy Bridgewater Runs Out of Excuses
• Norv Turner Needs to be Fired
• Brandon Fusco is Terrible
• Adrian Peterson Wasn’t a Factor
• Where Did Stefon Diggs Go?
• Antone Exum is Our Man
• Penalities Have Been Killing Us
• No Time to Hang Our Heads

All that and other “Crushed Like a Grape” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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