Monday, May 2, 2016

adrian peterson

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The final week of the 2015 season has all of the drama we suspected it might when the schedule was released way back at the beginning of the year. A showdown between Green Bay and Minnesota is set to kick off tonight with the division crown on the line.

With such a magnificent ending to the regular season impending we thought it would be nice to again reach east of the border and ask our friends at Packer Ranter another round of questions.

I successfully resisted my urge to ask him five straight questions about the Netflix docu-series Making A Murderer and kept things strictly about tonight’s big game.

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A data dump of interesting stats and splits for the Minnesota Vikings.

Random Vikings Stats Overload - Adrian Peterson December Breath
Photo courtesy of Vikings.com

When it comes to football analysis, I’d say there are three major camps. Some believe you can tell most of the story with stats alone. Another feels stats are meaningless, it’s about what your eyes tell you – it’s about watching the game. The final, and the one I believe I’m a member of, believes the truth falls somewhere inbetween.

I’m not an analytics fanatic and am not a football purist who believes there is no place in the game for data and fancy formulas. I see the value of both and think each is critical to form a well rounded opinion (or hot take!).

But there will be no tape discussion here today. There won’t be any screen grabs or animated gifs of interesting plays. What we are about to have here is a complete data dump.

While other people are on Facebook or Youtube, sometimes I randomly find myself on a site like Pro Football Reference using their play index and looking for interesting nuggets. Like who’s the best quarterback in the league in the 4th quarter on 3rd down with more than 15 yards to go? (Andrew Luck) Or which running back in the league has the most 20+ yard runs in away games? (Doug Martin)

See, isn’t that fun?

So because I get so much enjoyment out of digging for stats, I thought It’d be fun to find a bunch of, what I thought were, interesting nuggets and leave them here. I’m going to do my best to omit any sort of analysis or opinion and instead will leave that to you all in the comments.

However, I will point out some things along the way or further explain what exactly it is we’re looking at.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Yesterday, I talked about how proud I am of what the gang here at Vikings Territory accomplished in 2015, but that was looking at our successes from more of a global view.

Today, I want to take a second to acknowledge what was actually produced, which also serves as a bit of an experiment in measuring what you, the reader, craved most throughout the 2015 calendar year.

These are the ten most read articles VT produced in 2015 if you are interested in taking a trip down Memory Lane:

10. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS PURSUING ADRIAN PETERSON, PER BUCSBLITZ

By Arif Hasan

I don’t want to shock you, but this isn’t the last Peterson-related article you are going to see on this list. He was obviously one of the most scorching offseason topics for the Vikings as a seemingly endless stream of twists, turns, reports, rumors, rumors, reports, turns, and twists kept us all wondering how things would play out.

This report, from Scout.com’s BucsBlitz, is another one of those twists that we can now wonder about in terms of whether or not it was factual.

Ironically enough, it is Peterson and Tampa’s Doug Martin that will race for the NFL’s rushing title this weekend, and one has to wonder how a trade might have played out in the end.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

You know the situation by now. The Minnesota Vikings clinched a playoff berth after their resounding victory over the New York Giants last week. Unfortunately, we don’t know who the Vikings will play once the postseason begins in January. Depending on the outcome of Sunday’s games, including Sunday night’s highly-anticipated Packers-Vikings tilt, Minnesota will play one of three opponents in the Wild Card round — the Green Bay Packers, the Washington Redskins, or the Seattle Seahawks.

If the Vikings win on Sunday, they’ll host the Seahawks on either January 9 or 10, per ESPN’s Ben Goessling. A loss gives the Vikings two possible scenarios. The first would require the Seahawks losing to the Arizona Cardinals, which would make the Vikings the NFC’s No. 5 seed and set them up for a first round matchup with the Redskins in Washington. The second would involve a Vikings loss and a Seahawks win, sending Mike Zimmer’s team back to Lambeau for a rematch with the Packers in January.

Knowing these scenarios, I asked the team to share their thoughts on the Vikings’ potential opponents. Specifically, which matchup gives Minnesota the best chance to move past the Wild Card round.

What’s the best matchup for the Vikings in the first round of the playoffs? The Seahawks, Packers, or Redskins?

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The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings and the Green Bay Packers are setup for a shootout at the Lambeau Corral Sunday Night to determine the NFC North Champion. Fortunately we have Teddy Earp, Zimmer Earp, Blair Earp and Doc Harrison Holiday in our posse. The Packers have Ike and Billy Clanton. (Excuse me while I go watch Tombstone. It’s a phenomenal movie.)

Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) swings by to preview Border Battle 2.0. We chat about how Green Bay can get got, why Vikings fans should want the damn home playoff game and not try to be cute, how far this team can realistically go in the playoffs and if Teddy Bridgewater’s resurgence can be enough to take us on a magic carpet ride. Also we determine that I make more references to the movie Looper more than any other human on planet Earth.

All this and other “The Vikings aren’t your Huckleberry” 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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