Saturday, May 28, 2016

adrian peterson

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Top Vikings Plays of 2015
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The beauty of football is that it’s a subjective sport. Two people may watch the same exact play and find two completely different things they enjoyed about it. On a long punt return, one person may notice the devastating block that sprung the returner free. Another may cheer for the returner’s quick feet and dizzying jukes.

Think of everything that happens from the snap to the whistle; a period of time that lasts just four seconds. Linemen crash into each other, creating a violent collision of helmets and facemasks. Wide receivers sprint, cut, plant, and fly through their breaks down the field. Shoulder pads pop, footballs whistle out of quarterbacks’ hands, and fans cheer wildly from the stands. It’s an explosion for the senses and a spectacle to behold each Sunday.

Now think back on the Vikings’ 2015 campaign. They ran 973 offensive plays, defended another 1,076, and used their special teams units on 439 more. That’s 2,488 total plays, per Sporting Charts. It’d be nearly impossible to narrow down the best play of the season, but that’s exactly what the poll of the week is for. Many of you will share your own choices in the comments, but I’ve tried to narrow down five of the most memorable, noteworthy plays from a wild 2015. After the jump, we’ll run through my choices.

Who will coach Adrian Peterson next season?

running backs coach Kirby Wilson
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

In his first full season under running backs coach Kirby Wilson, Adrian Peterson put together one of his most successful campaigns. Last year, he rushed for 1,485 yards and won the league’s rushing title at 30 years-old. Unfortunately, he’ll be without Wilson on the sidelines in 2016. According to ESPN’s Josina Anderson, Wilson signed a contract with the Cleveland Browns to become their running game coordinator next season.

Earlier this week, the Vikings blocked the Browns’ request to interview Wilson prior to his contract expiring on Tuesday, per ESPN 1500. While addressing the media last week, Zimmer refused to speculate on Wilson’s future in Minnesota. “Kirby is under contract. Period,” he told reporters. Once Wilson’s contract expired, the Browns were free to negotiate. They offered the 17-year coaching veteran an upgraded title, making it impossible for the Vikings to retain Wilson.

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Didn’t Tony Sparano hear that Dan Campbell was the new Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings offensive line coach?……

As we dive into the offseason for the Purple, Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) joins us for his last weekly spot of the season. We chat about what the hell happened with The Shank at the Bank, what the Vikings’ priorities should be in free agency and the draft, and why this young team could/should/will contend for the Lombardi in 2016.

All that and other “RETURN OF THE JIMMY GAROPPOLO DROP” 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 selection is the defensive end's first Pro Bowl appearance

Everson Griffen Pro Bowl
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

In Minnesota, Vikings fans have known for years that Everson Griffen would become a Pro Bowl player. He flashed the ability as a backup behind Jared Allen and shined as a full-time starter in 2014. Before his first season as the team’s premier pass rusher, Griffen signed a five-year, $42.5 million deal with the Vikings and has proven he’s worth every penny. This year, the six-year veteran recorded a team-high 10.5 sacks and earned the first Pro Bowl berth of his career, as announced on the team’s official website.

Griffen joins Adrian Peterson as one of two Vikings named to this year’s Pro Bowl roster. He replaces Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, who will miss the game after undergoing offseason groin surgery. In addition to his double-digit sacks, Griffen recorded 44 tackles (34 solo), four defended passes, 30 quarterback hits, 14 tackles for loss, and one forced fumble.

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The VT staff's favorite Vikings moments of 2015

Vikings Favorite Moments
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

As soon as the final whistle blew on Sunday afternoon at TCF Bank Stadium, Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman transitioned to the next phase of life in the NFL; the offseason. Now that the quest for a Super Bowl title has come to an unsatisfying end, Spielman will begin analyzing the roster, targeting free agents, and preparing for the 2016 NFL Draft. It’s a process that takes months to execute, and one that’s informed by the results of the previous season. A season, that in many people’s minds, was an enjoyable, successful ride.

Here at Vikings Territory, we cheered, we cried, and we celebrated through the ups-and-downs of the season. On the roller coaster ride that was 2015, we each found our favorite moments that made the Vikings’ campaign a memorable one. After the jump, enjoy as we recount specific memories, and be sure to share your own in the comments section!

What was your favorite thing about the Vikings’ 2015 season?

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