Saturday, October 22, 2016

adrian peterson

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Balanced Vikings Edge Bengals
Image courtesy of

The casual fan will tell you that preseason football doesn’t matter. A head coach will say it’s a critical juncture in the formation of a 53-man roster. The third-string running back will say it’s his time to prove he belongs in the NFL.

Opinions may vary among different audiences, but one fact holds true; the preseason marks the start of professional football, and with that, a chance to analyze the Minnesota Vikings for the first time since January 2016.

Minnesota’s humble 17-16 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals last Friday left much to be desired. Head coach Mike Zimmer won’t be happy with his team’s sloppy play, especially that of the first-team offense and defense. Still, there are signs of a contender in-the-making, with pieces in place at every level to enjoy another strong season in 2016.

After each win — and unfortunately, each loss — I’ll break down key aspects of the game that led to a victory or Sunday defeat. This morning, I’ll dive into the Vikings’ film against the Bengals, which reveals Minnesota’s slow growth up to this point of the offseason.

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image courtesy of Tom Moore

It’s no real surprise that a triple-option quarterback from Georgia Southern has been overshadowed in his first two seasons in the NFL by future Hall of Fame running back Adrian Peterson. Last season, Jerick McKinnon was limited to just 73 touches for the Minnesota Vikings as Peterson went on to win his third career rushing title while toting the rock a league leading 327 times. Peterson is ninth all-time in rushing touchdowns (97) and 17th all-time in rushing yards (11,675) and his quest to climb the NFL leader board could fleece more snaps away from McKinnon again this season.

It’s true McKinnon’s opportunities were slighted in 2015, yet the 5’9” 205 pound speedster was anything but lost in the shadows of an icon. A lack of playing time hasn’t stopped McKinnon from flashing his unbelievable athletic ability. For a smaller running back known for his breakaway speed, McKinnon has shown some surprising power as well. He is recognized as a freak in the weight room who can bench press twice his weight and squat three times his weight. His incredible work ethic is beginning to translating to the gridiron as he continues to develop strength as a pass blocker and improved power as a runner.

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Minnesota Vikings Bengals

The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings got their first free skate of the year out of the way Friday night in Cincinnati getting a win 17-16. There was some good, bad, and ugly to go around and we talk about it all in tonight’s recap as we also get in some preseason reps. Also order Purple FTW! SWAG here!

Preseason Feeling Talking Points Include:
• The “Teddy Can’t Throw the Deep Ball” Party is OVER
• Trae Waynes is Your Starting LCB
• 1st Team Offensive Line is Still a Concern
• John Sullivan is Not the Same Player. Accept That.
• We Don’t Really Know about the 1st Team Defense
• Who’s Going to Start at Safety?
• Laquon Treadwell Update (UPDATE)
• Kentrell Brothers is Going to Be Good
• CJ Ham is an NFL RB
• The Backup QB Situation is _____…..
• Two Minute Drill

All that and other “On to Seattle” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint

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Minnesota Vikings 53 Man Roster
Photo Courtesy of Luke Inman

The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings begin their two days of practice with the Cincinnati Bengals before Friday’s first preseason game in Southern Ohio (but really Northern Kentucky). Mankato Training Camp is in the rear view mirror. Impressions were made, but still plenty of time for jobs to be won or lost. But that won’t stop us from recklessly speculating who will (Teddy Bridgewater) and who won’t (Antone Exum) be in Purple to start the 2016 season.

Follow along with our 53-man roster projection on the Google Doc.

All that and other “I MADE THE ROOSTER!” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint

Listen to the Episode Below (31:11)

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Producer Credit: Daniel Paluch (@DanielPaluch)

Purple FTW! – The Podcast dedicated to the Pain AND Pleasure that is the Minnesota Vikings.

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Vikings' Depth Chart Begins to Take Shape
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Training Camp for the Minnesota Vikings hasn’t been all that exciting this year. Save for a few one-handed catches from Stefon Diggs and some specular deep shots from Teddy Bridgewater, much remains the same in Mankato. Roster turnover isn’t an issue for the team, free agent acquisitions are performing as advertised, and trust in the organization is at an all-time high.

There’s plenty to be certain about in Minnesota; the strength of the defense, Adrian Peterson’s rushing ability, and Blair Walsh’s renewed confidence. Uncertainty, in a sense, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The Vikings have so much young talent that difficult depth chart decisions won’t make or break the team’s season.

In Minnesota, the front office isn’t asking, “Who’s our quarterback;” they’re debating the hierarchy of a loaded roster. And no matter the final decision, the result will be a 53-man roster with more potential than any Vikings team since 2009.

This morning during walkthroughs, head coach Mike Zimmer gave the media a sneak preview of the team’s ‘Cincinnati’ depth chart. It’s the first unofficial roster of the 2016 preseason and reveals exactly where the Vikings stand after two weeks in Mankato.

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