Thursday, October 19, 2017

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Vikings Buccaneers
image courtesy of Vikings.com

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Case Keenum had squared off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers twice in his career before Sunday’s matchup.

He won both of those matchups as a member of the St. Louis — er, Los Angeles — Rams, completing 28 of 43 passes for 424 yards, four touchdowns and one interception.

Keenum picked up where he left off in Minnesota’s 34-17 Week 3 win over Tampa Bay. He torched Tampa Bay’s depleted defense at all levels of the field, specifically both Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen on an array of deep throws.

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Next Man Up

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Special teams has always been the odd-phase out.

Extra-point bathroom breaks are a weekly routine for many fans, and others even have had the audacity to challenge whether or not kickers and punters qualify as “football players”. It is understandable that special teams phases are typically viewed similarly to a third wheel, as offense and defense provide the vast majority of explosive, highlight-reel plays while the tug-of-war between the two “primary” game phases is perpetually tracked on scoreboards, statistical websites and, of course, social media.

This perception is rooted in a very simple, elementary-level dynamic: Six points will always be more than three, and, correspondingly, field goals will always finish second to touchdowns. Furthermore, attempting field goals, regardless of result, is the football-equivalent of settling for a consolation prize.

The scoreboard may not always directly reflect superior special teams play, but over the course of an entire season, teams that perform well in these phases of the game tend to finish much higher in the standings. The Minnesota Vikings are well aware of this truth and, as a result, have demonstrated that special teams excellence is not just an annual objective but a formal expectation every single season.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Vikings fans are back in a familiar position with Sam Bradford’s latest injury — Hoping for a miracle.

The day began with Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer declaring starting quarterback Sam Bradford out for Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That was bad enough, knowing Bradford was going to miss his second straight missed game. The culprit? The same left knee injury that kept Bradford out of last Sunday’s game versus Pittsburgh.

But then, things got even worse.

Amid Zimmer’s vague description of Bradford’s knee situation, the scope of the quarterback’s injury was unknown. Although he practiced, Bradford was limited and didn’t appear to be comfortable throwing. The injury, according to Bradford, occurred during the Viking’s Week 1 win against the New Orleans Saints. It was a non-contact injury, one that resulted from a “twisted knee.”

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Episode 110

Graphic designed by Brett Anderson

BJ Reidell and Drew Mahowald stick to their weekly routine with a comprehensive breakdown of the Minnesota Vikings’ Week 3 opponent — Jameis Winston, Lavonte David and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Also included are segments discussing the matchup history between Minnesota and Tampa Bay as well as a little brief analysis of other goings on in the NFL.

Episode 110 is proudly sponsored by BlackStack Brewing and The Twin Cities Directory.

PRIMARY TALKING POINTS

  1. Into: The Agenda (0:00)
  2. Sponsor Note: BlackStack Brewing & The Twin Cities Directory (2:00)
  3. Matchup History: TOUCHDOWN BARR AND THE VIKINGS WIN IT!(2:32)
  4. Bucs Preview: Jameis Winston, Mike Evans, Desean Jackson and Plenty More (10:30)
  5. Bucs Preview: Elite-caliber Player at Each Level (29:35)
  6. Friday Frenzy: Props to Steve Sarkisian and Belief in the Rams (46:45)
  7. Week 3 Picks: Drew is 0-1 during Week 3 thus far (51:38)
  8. Twitter Takes: More Dangerous — Desean Jackson or OJ Howard? (1:04:03)
  9. Sign-Out: Vikings Viewing Party September 9th at BlackStack Brewing (1:10:08)

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Bump & Run returns to tackle the Sam Bradford kerfuffle. Amidst seriously uncertainty about the nature and severity of his knee injury, I play the role of doctor (because nothing means anything anymore) to try to sort it out.

We review Wednesday’s practice footage to determine what exactly is going on with the knee, and discuss possible diagnoses of arthritis, gangrene, and more serious ailments.

Plus, I discuss whether it’s sensible to have a conversation about firing Mike Zimmer and Rick Spielman, and predict the outcome of Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers.

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