Thursday, October 27, 2016

adrian peterson

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Minnesota Vikings Sam Bradford

sThe Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings opened the gates to historic US Bank Stadium Sunday night in rousing fashion defeating the Green Bay Packers 17-14. The Purple were led by a strong effort by the Zimmer Hellfire Defense, an other-worldly performance by Stefon Diggs, and a completely surprising/electric outing from newly acquired quarterback Sam Bradford. We recap the game that was and even do it without “sampling” other teams’ & sports’ traditions.

Today’s Border Battle Talkers Include:
• Sam Bradford Played Better Than Anyone Could Have Expected
• The Defense Owned Aaron Rodgers
• Stefon Diggs is Already Antonio Brown
• Why Adrian Peterson’s Injury Could Be a Positive
• The Ballad of Trae Waynes
• The Good and Bad Coaching Calls
• Matt Kalil is Back to Being Bad Kalil
• The Offensive Line Needs to be Fixed
• Loose Thoughts

All that and other “Shaun Hill Who?” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint

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Five(ish) thoughts on Sunday night's win over the Packers

Bradford is the best passer
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1. Sam Bradford is a better passer than Teddy Bridgewater.

I KNOW. I know it reads like a reactionary take, and there’s more to playing quarterback than prowess as a pure passer. I’m not trying to pick on a player who is unavailable due to injury, nor am I trying to throw out a splashy take based on one game. But I really don’t think this take is even hot; it was obvious in Bradford’s first start with the Vikings, he is a superior passer to Bridgewater at this point in their respective careers. This was an idea many astute observers floated before Bradford first took the field for Minnesota, and it was supported Sunday night. Sam Bradford is a natural passer—his arm strength is upper-echelon and his throws against Green Bay were extremely accurate. He had two beautifully placed touchdown passes, and he was decisive and poised against nearly constant pressure. And he’s been with the team for two weeks. You can see how he could be a good fit for a Norv Turner, vertical passing offense, and understand why Spielman targeted him via trade. That first round pick seems fully justified today.

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If someone had any player on the Minnesota Vikings offense starting on their fantasy team during last week’s games, they likely were not too happy with the results. However, the Vikings’ defense and Minnesota kicker Blair Walsh (at least in the second half) definitely made their fantasy owners happy with their performances against the Tennessee Titans last Sunday.

Despite the Titans 3-13 record a year ago, their defense is still one of the toughest in the league. So, the fact that the Vikings offense struggled against them (especially running the ball) was not too much of a surprise.

This week, Minnesota gets to face off against a slightly easier defense of the Green Bay Packers and it could lead to some better fantasy performances from some of the Vikings’ most talented players on offense.

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Meet the run defense

Packers will stack the Box Against Adrian Peterson
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For as long as Aaron Rodgers has been in Green Bay, he’s been an issue for the Minnesota Vikings. In 16 games, he’s thrown 34 touchdowns to five interceptions, winning 11 of the matchups while compiling a 113.2 passer rating. Calling Rodgers unstoppable, especially when facing the Vikings, wouldn’t be an exaggeration.

Recent history, however, suggests the Vikings are learning how to slow Rodgers down. Most of that has to do with head coach Mike Zimmer, who is 3-3 against Rodgers in his coaching career, holding the Packers quarterback to comparably pedestrian numbers. In his last two meetings with the Vikings, Rodgers threw three touchdowns and one interception, completing 55.3 percent of his throws and finishing the stretch with a sub-84 quarterback rating. That, combined with the limitless talent up and down Zimmer’s defense, means Rodgers is in for a fight every time he straps up to play the Vikings.

Minnesota knows how to prepare for Rodgers, but he’s far from the only concern in Green Bay. Looming ahead of Sunday’s Week 2 clash is the Packers’ stout run defense, which held Jaguars running back T.J. Yeldon to 48 yards on 26 carries last week, good for 1.8 yards per carry. If the Vikings plan to beat Green Bay, they’ll need more than a solid effort from the defense; they’ll need Adrian Peterson to regain his 2015 form against an underrated defensive front.

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Only two weeks into the 2016 regular season and the Minnesota Vikings are already hosting their most hated rival in the Green Bay Packers. But this game will be like no other Vikings/Packers game in the past as it will be the first to be played in Minnesota’s brand new home at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Despite not scoring a single touchdown on offense, the Vikings were able to come out of Tennessee last Sunday with their first win of the season. That absolutely cannot happen again if Minnesota has any ideas about starting the year 2-0.

The big question leading up to Sunday night’s game is who will be starting under center for the Vikings. It will be either Sam Bradford or Shaun Hill and only Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer knows the answer to that question right now.

Or does he?

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