Thursday, July 28, 2016

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The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings and the Green Bay Packers are setup for a shootout at the Lambeau Corral Sunday Night to determine the NFC North Champion. Fortunately we have Teddy Earp, Zimmer Earp, Blair Earp and Doc Harrison Holiday in our posse. The Packers have Ike and Billy Clanton. (Excuse me while I go watch Tombstone. It’s a phenomenal movie.)

Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) swings by to preview Border Battle 2.0. We chat about how Green Bay can get got, why Vikings fans should want the damn home playoff game and not try to be cute, how far this team can realistically go in the playoffs and if Teddy Bridgewater’s resurgence can be enough to take us on a magic carpet ride. Also we determine that I make more references to the movie Looper more than any other human on planet Earth.

All this and other “The Vikings aren’t your Huckleberry” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

Read all of Arif’s stuff at The Daily Norseman and Vikings Journal as well as listen to his podcast Norse Code.

An Andy Carlson Joint

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The Vikings' kicker is suddenly cold-blooded

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

On the heels of a Sunday night performance that saw him connect on a perfect 5-for-5 field goals, Blair Walsh has been named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week. The honor, announced on the team’s official website, marks Walsh’s fifth time winning the award and his first since the Vikings Nov. 24, 2013 game against the Green Bay Packers.

Walsh, who has been the focus of much scrutiny this season, turned in his strongest performance of the year against the Giants, contributing 19 points to the Vikings’ season-high total of 49. His scoring outburst jettisoned him into the top-five in scoring among kickers, giving him 127 points on the season. He finished the game with field goals from 32, 52, 22, 53 and 27 yards, as well as four converted extra points. On the season, he’s improved his accuracy percentage by 12 points since 2014, having connected on 32-of-37 field goals (86.5 percent) and 6-of-8 from 50-plus yards.

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Photo courtesy of Vikings.com

At the conclusion of the Vikings 49-17 thrashing of the New York Giants on Sunday night, there was an odd feeling throughout Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium. A feeling similar to that of an awkward teenage boy stepping onto the dance floor for the first time and not knowing what to do with his hands.

There was no game winning field goal, no fourth quarter comeback, or any other late game shenanigans the fans of this franchise have become accustomed to. The Vikings (10-5) defiantly beat the Giants (6-9) to clinch a berth in the upcoming NFL playoffs and simultaneously left their fans wondering how they were supposed to act after a game that left their hearts beating at a semi-normal pace.

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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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