Monday, August 29, 2016

adrian peterson

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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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Vikings Post-Season Awards
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

If there’s one thing Minnesota Vikings fans can agree on, it’s that the 2015 season didn’t end as well as we all hoped (or thought) it would. At 11-5 and atop the NFC North, Mike Zimmer’s team surprised the NFL world, knocking off the Green Bay Packers to storm into the playoffs for the first time since 2009. But Blair Walsh’s missed last-second field goal ended what had been a promising campaign in Minnesota.

Fortunately, it was a season to remember, and a season to build upon in the coming years. With one of the league’s best coaches at the helm and a young roster built to last, the Vikings should stay competitive in 2016 and beyond. Before we jump too far into the offseason though, now presents the perfect opportunity to reflect on a memorable 2015.

We saw rookies outperform their draft positions and 30 year-old running backs lead the league in rushing. We saw a second-year quarterback shine, and often struggle behind a leaky offensive line. More importantly, we saw a team realize it’s potential and exceed expectations. To celebrate the successful season, we’re asking you to hand out awards to the most deserving Vikings. From the Most Valuable Player to the Rookie of the Year, the power to choose is in your hands. Without further ado, here are your VT post-season awards nominees:

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The season ended abruptly for the Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings in (sadly) typical Minnesota Fightin’ Viking fashion as Blair Walsh shanked the game-winning field goal out of bounds on the 18th tee. However, a few days removed we can appreciate the 2015 season for what it was: a solid step forward for a young and hungry team under a coach we completely trust. That’s a lot more than most fanbases have to hang their hats on as our offseason begins. Di Murphy (@DiMurphyMN) of The Daily Norseman joins the show to put a bow on the Purple’s 2015 campaign.

We talk about why it wasn’t ALL on Blair Walsh, Adrian Peterson’s fumbling history rears its ugly head once again, what Teddy Bridgewater needs to do to become a bigger redzone threat, how the Vikings beat Seattle in every aspect of the game Sunday, and what our priorities are in free agency and the draft.

All that and other “Bye, Jeff Davidson” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast.

An Andy Carlson Joint

Vikings Jeff Davidson Offensive Line
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

In his final press conference of the 2015 season, Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer thanked the University of Minnesota, revealed his players’ offseason surgeries, and announced the release of one of the team’s coaches.

According to Zimmer, the team has parted ways with offensive line coach Jeff Davidson. When asked why he chose not to retain Davidson’s contract, Zimmer told reporters, “I didn’t want to.”

Davidson spent five years with the Vikings. He was a holdover from Leslie Frazier’s coaching staff and led a unit that struggled over the past two seasons. In 2014, the line allowed 51 sacks. In 2015, the banged-up group allowed 45 more sacks. Second-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was the victim of 44 of those — far too many in Norv Turner’s Air Coryell offense.

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