Friday, December 15, 2017

adrian peterson

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Case Keenum has been named November’s NFC Player of the Month. It was a big month for Keenum, who has continued to win, and in the process win over Vikings fans with his strong play.

Keenum led the Vikings to a 3-0 record in the month of November. The team had a bye in Week 9 (November 5th). Minnesota ended the month with its streak of seven straight wins intact. The team also built a three-game lead over Detroit in the NFC North.

In wins over the Lions, Rams and Redskins Keenum completed 69 of 97 passes (71.1%) for 866 yards with seven touchdowns and two interceptions. He had a QBR 90.3 and a passer rating of 114.0. Number seven added 39 rushing yards with a touchdown on the ground.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

TEDDY OR CASE: Who should start?

It’s the hottest debate surrounding the Vikings right now.

The points are clear on both sides of aisle.

One side argues, “Keenum is just as good as Teddy ever was,” “He’s basically 5-2 and has won four games in a row,” “Case gets the job done so roll with him,” and “the Vikings have chemistry so don’t mess with it.”

The other side argues, “Teddy has a higher ceiling and can win us a Super Bowl,” “Bridgewater was an average starter in 2015 but has better pieces around him now,” and “You need to make a decision on him for next year, so start him now and see what you have.”

It’s a very interesting debate. Both sides make valid points. Plus, it seems like everyone has an opinion.

Whatever your opinion may be, Keenum and Bridgewater are similar quarterbacks. They both make smart decisions, take care of the ball, extend plays with their feet, and make plays through the air. Even their Pro Football Focus grades are similar.

So, what really sets them apart?

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Week 5: Vikings and Bears – Three Reasons For Optimism

By all accounts, last week was a tough one. Outside of the Vikings’ sobering loss to the Detroit Lions, we witnessed the gut-wrenching event in Las Vegas and the death of music legend Tom Petty. Like much of the country, Vikings fans are in mourning, once again attempting to move forward after a crippling turn of events.

Dalvin Cook, the team’s most electric rookie running back since Adrian Peterson, is done for the year after tearing his ACL. Cook is undoubtedly the team’s best back, and his loss has left many Vikings fans pondering if the team can even compete without him in the lineup.

For whatever reason, it seems the football gods keep creating reasons for the Vikings and their fan base to give up hope. Yet, despite the all-too-familiar news for Minnesota’s football team, there are multiple reasons why the franchise can’t, and won’t, back down.

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This is fine
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

A happy cartoon dog sits dutifully on a wooden chair, the surrounding room engulfed in flames. His world may be in chaos, but he’s perfectly content to remain seated. “This is fine,” he thinks, as the temperature rises and the fire take its toll.

This nameless pooch has become the face of self-denial and blind optimism; an oft-referenced meme in times of dire straits and despair. If you’ve logged onto Twitter during any Vikings game the past few years, you’ve likely seen his empty smile and blank stare on your timeline.

When news of Sam Bradford‘s knee injury broke, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one to panic, then find reassurance, and hope for the best. “This is fine,” I thought, rationalizing the team’s best-case scenario — Case Keenum leading the Minnesota Vikings to a Week 2 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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saints
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

1. Yes, Sam Bradford can throw deep, and he’s pretty good at it.

Full disclosure: I started jotting down bullet points after the first two offensive drives, and the original headline for this point was, “Sam Bradford: still not letting ‘er rip.” Because up until then, he wasn’t; the Vikings offense moved the ball, but we saw Bradford dink and dunk down the field and ignore open receivers running longer routes in favor of checkdowns. This, of course, became all too common last season, and tainted the all-time completion percentage record Bradford set in 2016 in the eyes of many.

But then something changed. Sam Bradford started looking downfield, and finding open receivers, and the Vikings got two quick touchdowns to end the first half (and another in the second), almost all because of Bradford’s arm. Maybe he was feeling the game out, or maybe he just got comfortable with the Vikings new-look offensive line (more on that later), but suddenly Sam Bradford was uncorking beautiful intermediate and deep shots, one after another, and the Minnesota Vikings looked like a completely different team.

And when I say beautiful, I mean flat-out, drop-dead gorgeous. Sure, it was against the Saints defense, but Bradford was putting the ball exactly where it needed to be just about every time. This particular throw was my favorite:

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