Saturday, August 19, 2017

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

For a majority of people that root for an NFL team, they are used to their favorite squad either being a consistent winner or a consistent loser. Occasionally their team will have a random season on the other end of the spectrum, but for most, the outcomes usually stay the same each and every year.

However, no team in the league is as good at ripping the hearts out of their fans’ chests and then immediately scheduling an emergency heart transplant like the Minnesota Vikings are.

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Waive TE MyCole Pruitt
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Injuries have a way of influencing the way teams operate both on and off the field. The balance between sufficient depth and play-making potential is often put to the test when faced with a lengthy injury report.

After weaving through a multitude of high-impact injuries, the Minnesota Vikings were forced to make a difficult decision in an effort to field a 53-man roster that boasts talent, depth, and stability.

The Vikings announced they have activated Taylor Heinicke from their non-football injury list, and, in order to clear a roster spot for the former Old Dominion quarterback, the team waived tight end MyCole Pruitt.

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Vikings Must Rediscover Their Identity
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings face a bit of an identity crisis. The team that started the regular season 5-0 is suddenly 5-3, stuck in the middle of an ugly three-game losing streak.

Minnesota’s vaunted defense isn’t just bending, it’s breaking. The offense, mired in mediocrity, is making the slow transition from Norv Turner to newly-minted offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. And head coach Mike Zimmer, for all his acclaim, can’t seem to right the ship.

It’s not that the Vikings were a bad team simply squeaking by; at one point, the defense was compared to the vaunted 1985 Chicago Bears. And it’s not that the roster is full of holes; general manager Rick Spielman’s long been praised for his ability to draft, develop, and maintain a deep collection of talented players.

No, it’s that the Vikings have lost their identity.

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Vikings Territory

Vikings Territory adds writer BJ Reidell to their staff.

I’m not an overly superstitious fellow and what we do here at Vikings Territory certainly doesn’t play into the cosmic forces currently forcing the Vikings into a nosedive. BUT… just to be safe… we’ve decided to shake things up in case we can help Minnesota pull out of this.

I’m thrilled to introduce you all to BJ Reidell. The St. Paul native, who now resides in Bismarck, is increasingly well-known within Vikings circles for his work at NFCN Barroom.

BJ is a graduate of Marquette University and works as a sports journalist for the Bismarck Tribune. He also co-hosts the popular About The Labor podcast which focuses on the ever-evolving state of the Minnesota Vikings.

Please join me in welcoming BJ to the VT crew down in the comments section or by following him on Twitter. We are certainly excited about adding his voice and knowledge to our mix of coverage with a whole half of a season left to be played and an exciting offseason already on the horizon.

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Five thoughts after Week 9, with a dash of optimism

Classic Minnesota Vikings Football
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

1. These are the Vikings I grew to love (and loathe)

Don’t get me wrong, Mike Zimmer’s current Minnesota Vikings are a far cry from the teams I grew up watching. Long gone are the days of inept quarterback play, porous defense, and conservative coaching; or so I thought.

On Sunday, we were brutally reminded of the bumbling franchise that’s broken so many hearts over the years. The Vikings shouldn’t have lost to the Detroit Lions, and they shouldn’t have done so in such ugly fashion. A 22-16 overtime defeat wouldn’t have been so devastating it wasn’t the third in a string of embarrassing failures.

More than that, it would’ve been acceptable had the Vikings looked anything like the team that started the season 5-0. Instead, we saw many of the traits that defined the Vikings of old; the Vikings that fell short of expectations and consistently found ways to lose games.

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