Wednesday, July 27, 2016

adrian peterson

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Mike Zimmer jumped the gun when he gave his team “Beat Green Bay” shirts before their Week 11 matchup with the rival Packers. Although they’d won five straight games and led the NFC North at that point of the season, many wondered — “Are the Vikings ready to challenge Green Bay for the division title?”.

The answer was a resounding “no.” Minnesota was blown out at home, losing 30-13 to a Packers team that had struggled offensively all year. They played more like the team that was embarrassed Week 1 than the team that dominated opponents on the ground and with an up-and-coming defense. And after losing two of their three games following that dreary November night, they looked more “pretender” than “contender.”

In three short weeks, though, Mike Zimmer has learned the value of the proverbial bulletin board. It’s an age-old metaphor in sports; coaches pin negative quotes up in the locker room or play sound bites to motivate their players before games. Listen to what the media and fans are saying, and use that as fuel to your fire when you’re on the field. Some players — especially veterans — don’t always respond to that method, but for a young team in Minnesota, Zimmer’s tactics seem to be working.

They entered last week as heavy underdogs against a red-hot Arizona Cardinals team, but found a way to not only keep the game close, but competitive. If not for Teddy Bridgewater’s fumble on the last offensive snap, the Vikings could have easily sent the game into overtime. Their surprising performance came without three of their top defensive players and in the face of public doubt. Instead of buying t-shirts or feeding the swirling hype, Zimmer put the onus on his players to believe in themselves despite the negative noise:

“Really, when teams believe – everybody in the world thought we were going to get killed by Arizona and we went out there and we played and fought – and sometimes you have to have something that happens within your football team, that you can believe. You can believe these young guys are going to go in there and play and play good. You can believe no matter how much we’re up against the wall that we can continue to fight. That was kind of my message all week long. This is the team we have to be, this is who we are, we have to prepare with the same focus and I was on their rear ends pretty hard this week.”

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Teddy Dave Bridgewater silenced a lot of critics Sunday with his four passing touchdown, zero interception and one rushing score performance at The Bank lifting the Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings over the Chicago Bears 38-17 in a crucial game for the final playoff push. We recap the game that was and explain why it might have happened…..

Control Our Own Destiny Talking Points Include
• Teddy Bridgewater Quieted The Haters
• Teddy Ballgame
• Props to Norv Turner for Calling a Solid Game
• Freed McKinnon
• The Offense is Better Without Adrian Peterson
• Welcome Back Stefon Diggs!
• Take a Bow, Brian Robison
• The Defense Played Well Without Key Starters
• The Vikings Kickoff Coverage Game Needs Work.
• Mike Zimmer Coaching Nuggets
• Random Thoughts
• Giants Coming Up
• We Control Own Desitny: 2 Wins Get the North

All this and other “I’m not smart enough to figure out playoff scenarios” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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BONUS Bears-Vikings coverage this week with a special chat with show favorite Julie DiCaro (@JulieDiCaro) of 670 The Score in Chicago.

We talked about how Jay Cutler suddenly is being re-embraced by the Chicago faithful, how Vikings and Bears fans can be eerily similar, why 30-year old running back Matt Forte and 30-year old running back Adrian Peterson are extremely different, predictions for Sunday’s game, and what it’s like for Julie to be married to a diehard Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings fan.

All that and other “Clark Griswold was a Vikings fan” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Winners of their last three games on the road, the Chicago Bears (5-8) will make their annual trip to Minnesota this Sunday to face off against the Vikings. Minnesota (8-5) was able to defeat the Bears 23-20 in Week 8 and the Vikings will be hoping for a similar result this weekend.

Minnesota is likely hoping to win by more than three points on Sunday. A big part of that being able to happen will depend on how the offense performs against Chicago’s defense for the second time this season.

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Star Wars is a thing. And the Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings and the Chicago Bears are set to clash at TCF Bank Stadium Sunday like the Rebel Alliance and the Dark Side and the Romulans and the…. I’ve never seen Star Wars…. But Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) has! We talk about The Force as well as the Purple People Eaters as he makes his weekly stop.

We also chatted about which Vikings will make the Pro Bowl (not that the Pro Bowl matters), ask if Rick Spielman is underrated, why Linval Joseph being back is monsterous for our playoff chances, and Arif casts Vikings players as Star Wars characters. Because that’s original.

All that and other “I’ve only seen the Family Guy Star Wars….” 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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