Monday, May 30, 2016

adrian peterson

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings may be 8-4, but winning records don’t always reflect a team’s actual place on the NFL’s totem pole. Power rankings and speculation aside, the Vikings are a team that’s too reliant on Adrian Peterson, too thin at a few key positions, and too predictable on offense to compete with the NFC’s best. That was painfully obvious on Sunday, when the Seattle Seahawks burst into TCF Bank Stadium and demolished the Vikings, winning 38-7 in a devastating loss for Mike Zimmer’s upstart team.

It’s time to put the Purple Kool-Aid down. Yes, the Vikings have the league’s best running back and a terrific young defense, but they’ve failed when it’s mattered most this season. They lost their two biggest games of the year —at home against the Packers and Seahawks — by a combined score of 68-20 and have yet to put together a “signature victory” over a quality opponent.

8-4 is impressive. The Vikings currently hold the NFC’s fifth playoff spot. If they win two of their next four games, they’ll finish the season 10-6 and likely play January football for the first time since 2012. But throw out the idea that this team is ready for anything beyond the first round of the playoffs; they’re not, and Mike Zimmer knows it:

“I’m concerned about a lot of things right now.”

“Yeah, we’re not quite as good as what we think we are. Especially if we don’t play the way we’re capable of playing we’re definitely not as good as what we think we are.”

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The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings got embarrassed by the Seattle Sea-Chicken Seahawks Sunday afternoon at The Bank 38-7. The final score was not indicative of how one-sided the game was as the Purple defense gave up 38 points and 433 yards of offense to Seahawks, while Teddy and the Vikings offense was shutout and only had 4 snaps on the Seattle half of the field. It was an eye opening game for a team that has a short week and the 10-2 Arizona Cardinals on Thursday. We recap the game the was and remind ourselves that our season isn’t over. Just like when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor.

“Good Teams Don’t Get Curb Stomped at Home” Talking Points Include:
• What does it mean to be a “true” fan?
• The Zimmer Hellfire Defense Was Non-Existent
• At Some Point Teddy Bridgewater Runs Out of Excuses
• Norv Turner Needs to be Fired
• Brandon Fusco is Terrible
• Adrian Peterson Wasn’t a Factor
• Where Did Stefon Diggs Go?
• Antone Exum is Our Man
• Penalities Have Been Killing Us
• No Time to Hang Our Heads

All that and other “Crushed Like a Grape” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings entered Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks with a litany of injuries, and now, there may not be any room left on the bench. Anthony Barr (groin) and Harrison Smith (hamstring) left the field early in the first quarter and didn’t return the rest of the first half. Robert Blanton was injured on a hit from teammate Antone Exum, forcing Terence Newman to move from cornerback to free safety for a play. Blanton returned, but the injury bug is biting, and biting hard in Minnesota.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

At 8-3, the Minnesota Vikings are the surprise team in the NFC and a legitimate threat to claim the NFC North division title. With the league’s second-best scoring defense and Mike Zimmer’s steady hand leading the ship, Minnesota has — at the very least — a 90 percent probability to reach the postseason.

When the Vikings lost to the San Francisco 49ers to open the season, a playoff berth appeared unlikely. The defense couldn’t stop the run, Adrian Peterson ran like a 30-year-old running back, and the offensive line looked lost without John Sullivan and Phil Loadholt. Mike Zimmer’s team lacked an identity early on, but they’ve slowly established themselves as one of the NFL’s most physical, technically sound teams on both sides of the ball.

As I’ve written these “What Went Right” pieces, I’ve noticed a consistent pattern. When the Vikings win, it’s because of the defense and the legs of Adrian Peterson. Specifically, the defense plays with discipline, filling run gaps correctly, tackling in space, and preventing big plays down the field. On offense, Minnesota wins when they unleash Peterson, who has at least 19 carries in every Vikings victory this season. Any less, and they’ve gone on to lose.

While the defense created turnovers against Atlanta in Week 12, it was Peterson who powered Minnesota to victory. This Sunday, when the Vikings host the Seattle Seahawks, he’ll need to do the same against an aggressive, stout run defense that hasn’t allowed a 100-yard rusher all season.

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The playoffs start NOW for the Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings as the remaining schedule features zero easy games starting with Sunday as we welcome the Seattle “Bad Defense and Balling Offense” Seahawks into The Bank.

Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) makes his weekly pit stop to discuss how the Purple can prevail over the Blueish-Neon Green and make a push for the 2-seed. We also chat about Warren Moon’s thoughts on Teddy Bridgewater, how Mike Zimmer plans to corral Russel Wilson, Harrison Smith or Earl Thomas/Kam Chancellor, if the Vikings offense is turning into the 2012 Adrian Peterson Offense, and we predict NFL coaching changes just for the LOLs.

All that and other “Jarius Wright is no Markus Wheaton” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

Read all of Arif’s stuff at The Daily Norseman and Vikings Journal as well as listen to his podcast Norse Code.

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