Tuesday, October 6, 2015

adrian peterson

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A lot of people are talking about the great pieces the Vikings are putting together, and there is even some speculation that Minnesota could be the dark horse and sneak into the Playoffs this season. That being said, what do you see as the biggest key to the Vikings’ success in the upcoming season? 

Brent: Offensive Line
I will try to differentiate yet again, as I like to try to provide a different perspective for each Question of the Week. I think the glaring answer here is obviously Teddy Bridgewater. There is little question in my mind that the Vikings would have been much, much worse last year had he not played so well in the second half of the season. That said, in order for Bridgewater to continue his progression as an NFL quarterback without hitting a sophomore slump, I feel the offensive line is the biggest key for the Vikings’ success. Not only will the O-line pave the way for Adrian Peterson to run wild, but its ability to help keep Bridgewater upright will be essential to take advantage of deep-threat Mike Wallace. Wallace is a perfect fit for Norv Turner’s offense and the deep threat the Vikings have been looking for to complement their power run game. In my opinion, success on offense starts with the offensive line; without that unit providing consistency, neither Peterson, Bridgewater or Wallace can thrive as intended.

Lindsey: Offensive Line
You’ve heard me complain about the offensive line before, and I have to go back to it with this question. Bottom line: the crew needs to improve. Granted, injuries to Brandon Fusco and Phil Loadholt hurt the Vikings last season, and I expect the O-Line to automatically improve with their healthy return. However, Matt Kalil has been abysmal the last two seasons. If he doesn’t get his stuff together, we’re in trouble. I’m also hoping that Fusco can possibly move over to left guard to fill that vacancy.

A huge piece of Minnesota’s success in 2015 is of course Teddy Bridgewater and his performance, and also the impact of Adrian Peterson, but neither one can perform well if there is no protection. Bridgewater spent way too much time on the ground last season … that needs to change if the Vikings hope to see the postseason.

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In the inaugural edition of the Purple FTW! Mailbag, I answer some of your questions tossed in through Twitter, Facebook, and the Purple FTW! Voicemail.

Talkers include:
• Did the Vikings do a good job filling needs in the offseason?
• Trades that could still be made in 2015
• Would I do ____ for a Vikings Super Bowl?
• The affects of Fusco moving to left guard
• Why I got into podcasting
• Why I refuse to watch “The Avengers”

A fun little bite sized morsel to get your through the midweek hunger pains on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

More often than not, Skip Bayless embraces the role of human clickbait, bred by ESPN to incite anger among fan bases and drive traffic to his daily morning show, ESPN First Take. A little over a year ago, Bayless made the Vikings a target by criticizing then-rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater:

Bayless’s jab at Bridgewater sparked heated debate; “Are his hands too small? Is he too skinny to play in the NFL?”. One year later, and Bridgewater, like most who end up on the other end of Bayless’s buffoonery, is smashing those low expectations. He won the Pepsi Rookie of the Year Award and finished the season as the league’s best rookie quarterback — Bridgewater threw 14 touchdowns and went 6-6 as the team’s starter.

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In the theme of Mad Men, Sam Ekstrom (@SamEkstrom) of 105 The Ticket and Cold Omaha joined the show to make it two dark, handsome, mysterious, and creative dudes talking about Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings football. No smoking though because: 2015. And no drinking brown liquor because: 9am on a Monday. (Okay maybe a little brown liquor)

Also in the theme of the final season of Mad Men, I broke up the chat into two parts. Please enjoy! Preferably while sipping an ice cold Coca-Cola.

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Arif: 9-7
The Vikings were 7-9 last year, and I think they played like a 6-10 team—the bad luck happened about as often as the good luck. I think Teddy improves significantly, and it looks like Adrian Peterson is playing, so that should bring the offense up to at least league average even with the OL problems. On defense there are still a lot of moving parts, with a rookie corner, some questions at LB and safety and no clear answer at LDE. That said, it can be a top-10 defense even with those questions. Normally that would be a good case for 10-6, but I think that it is not only really difficult to improve a team more than three wins in a season but also that the Vikings have one of the most difficult schedules in the country.

Carl: 10-6
The Week One matchup against the 49ers on the road will be a huge tone setter for the Vikings. I think the 49ers are beatable, and the Vikings will also pick up a win in week two against the Lions. The Vikings have some tough games early, and the week three, four and six contests could very well dig the Vikings in a hole with games against the Chargers, at Broncos and Chiefs. The Vikings should win one of those three games. After weathering a 3-2 start, the Vikings will win the next four against at Lions, at Bears, Rams and at Raiders. The Vikings then start a three-game skid with the Packers, at Falcons, and Seahawks. The Vikings will be 7-5 heading into the final four games, winning three vs at Cardinals, Bears, Giants and finishing the season with a loss to the Packers.

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