Monday, May 30, 2016

adrian peterson

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The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings are your NFC North Champions after defeating the hated Green Bay Packers 20-13 Sunday Night at Lambeau Field. Everson Griffen and the Vikings defense kept Aaron Rodgers and Eddie “Slim” Lacy in check to bring home the Purple’s first division title since 2009. The Vikes square off against the Seattle Seahawks (revenge game, son) in the Wild Card Round at noon Sunday at The Bank. But before we look ahead, let’s look back at the Vikings shaking off the “You can’t beat Green Bay/You can’t win big games in prime time” narratives.

Other “This is Our Damn Division” Talking Points Include
• The Idea of Losing Intentionally Was Moronic
• Defense Take a Bow
• We Don’t Win Without Everson Griffen. Period.
• Teddy Was Okay When Throwing Right-Handed….
• Adrian Got His Rushing Title
• FREE McKinnon
• Adam Thielen: NFC Title Game MVP
• Vikings Got the Calls?
• Zimmer Farmer Blow = Elite
• Zimmer End of Half/Game Management…
• Twitter Qs
• Charting Out the Vikings Revenge Tour

All this and other “Home ” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint

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Bridgewater hitting his stride in year two

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

What makes a “good” quarterback? Is the idea of being “good” measured by the number of touchdowns a quarterback throws? Is it measured by his passing yards? His completion percentage? Ask any fan, analyst, or sports journalist who the league’s best quarterbacks are, and you’ll get similar answers. Year after year, it’s Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton, Carson Palmer, and so on and so forth. The list remains relatively the same each year, with a select few alternating at the top of the rankings season-to-season. But how do we determine what qualifies them to be considered the NFL’s best?

For some, it’s film study and hours spent breaking down game tape. For others, it’s the statistics and the deeper analytics. And for a select few, it’s the blind faith in one’s quarterback, the unwavering opinion that he is, of course, a “good” quarterback. We can all agree that the tried-and-true quarterbacks deserve to operate in a class of their own. Some have won multiple Super Bowls, some throw for 4,000-plus yards each year, and some win double-digit games each season. It’s easy to see when a quarterback just “gets it;” he intimately understands an offensive scheme, from where to throw the football pre-snap to how to adjust protections at the line of scrimmage.

Fans of teams with young signal callers, like the Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders, and our very own Minnesota Vikings, would tell you that their respective quarterbacks are the “best of the class.” At times, Blake Bortles, Derek Carr, and Teddy Bridgewater display some of the same characteristics that make players like Brady and Brees so consistently effective. But for the most part, they make the mistakes you’d expect from young, inexperienced players, like missing the simple throws, forcing passes into coverage, or taking unnecessary sacks. The growing pains aren’t unexpected, but definitely frustrating in today’s world of instant gratification. As football fans, we expect immediate success from quarterbacks, when honestly, that’s rarely the case.

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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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