Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

There are numerous outlets that rank pending free agents.  Some do it by position, others by team, but they are just so much fun to browse around and dream up different scenarios for your favorite team.

I’ve seen a number of names consistently tacked onto the wishlists of Vikings fans and decided to compile them into one poll (below) and see who comes out as our top target as voted on by you, the highly intelligent and incredibly good looking readers of VT.

The names on this list by no means are meant to suggest another couldn’t be your favorite target.  If another player that I haven’t listed is atop your personal list of favorites, then please do click “other” and tell us who it is in the comments section.

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The Super Bowl football game around Katy Perry (and Left Shark) is over, signaling the end to yet another fantastic season (on the field) of American tackle football. But luckily, this signals the giving way to my favorite season of all: HOT TAKE Season.

In honor of Episode 99 of the Purple FTW! Podcast, I threw together a list of 9.9 Hot Takes. Now these are definitely not #StoneColdHotTakes level of outlandishness (although my ‘Harbaugh to Ann Arbor’ call from September landed pretty well), but they definitely have some kick.

Costco Free Sample: “2) We’ve got OUR Brady & Belichick”…

Boom. Roasted.

Get the rest & the full episode after the jump.

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The botched call that wasn't

Photo Courtesy Seahawks.com

I know this isn’t Vikings news, but it’s on my mind and it’s my blog so I’m talking about it. The final play from the Super Bowl—or rather, the final meaningful play aside from some smart chicanery by Belichick to draw an encroachment penalty—will probably go down in history as one of the worst calls in sports, up there with Red Right 88.

The fact that Red Right 88 was probably a much more defensible call than fans would have you believe is besides the point, because the call for a slant off of a receiver pick is too being unfairly maligned. End-of-game decisions are the easiest decisions to model in theory, but present with them a degree of complexity created by the clock and the down system that actually make end-of-game decisions the most difficult decisions of all to model in real-time.

There are a couple of different points in the process where the Seahawks were presented with a decision, and throughout those different decision points, the Seahawks made defensible calls.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Before I get started on this week’s roundup, I want to take a second to recognize this week’s Blind Squirrel Award recipient:

Okay, now that we got that out there for the world to see, let’s take a look at the topics currently surrounding our greatest enemies.

GREEN BAY PACKERS

As if the Vikings needed another reason to continue their defensive growth under Mike Zimmer, Aaron Rodgers is again the NFL’s reigning MVP and is showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, the guy only seems to get better.

Rodgers ended the season with a 65.6% completion percentage that produced 4,381 yards and 38 touchdowns. He threw only five interceptions over the course of the 2014 season. He got 31 of the the 50 possible MVP votes and J.J. Watt came in second with 13.

I personally think Watt should have been the MVP this season, but that has more to do with my opinion of Watt than it does Rodgers. It is impossible, even for the most devoted Viking fan, to deny that Rodgers is playing at anything other than a truly elite level.

It’s the question everyone will be asking until the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are finally at the podium with the first overall pick in April’s NFL draft.

Recent momentum has swung toward Jameis Winston as the favorite to land the top spot, however, in my 2015 mock draft, I have Marcus Mariota as the first overall pick.

I think he’s the right fit for one major reason… on January 8th the Buccaneers officially hired Dirk Koetter as the team’s new offensive coordinator.

Koetter worked eight seasons with Mariota’s current head coach, Mark Helfrich, as part of the same coaching staff at Boise State and Arizona State.

Koetter’s strong connecting with the current Oregon staff might be a telling sign that the Buccaneers already know the direction they are headed.

You can checkout more of my mock draft here.

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