Tuesday, June 28, 2016

adrian peterson

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Thanksgiving for Minnesota Vikings
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The NFL’s slate of games won’t be released for another two months, but schedule-makers are already planning an exciting Thanksgiving for Minnesota Vikings fans. According to a report from the Sports Business Journal, the Vikings are “likely” to play the Detroit Lions on Turkey Day.

Minnesota hasn’t played on Thanksgiving since 2000, when they defeated the Dallas Cowboys 27-15. The Vikings are 5-1 all-time in Thanksgiving Day games, with both of their most recent victories coming against the Cowboys. In 1998, Randy Moss famously caught three passes, all of which resulted in touchdowns. That dominating team would go on to win the game 46-36 and finish the season 15-1.

Below, a look at the results from each of Minnesota’s Turkey Day games, per the team’s official website:

  • 11/27/1969 vs. Detroit, 27-0 W
  • 11/26/1987 vs. Dallas, 44-38 W OT
  • 11/24/1988 vs. Detroit, 23-0 W
  • 11/23/1995 vs. Detroit, 38-44 L
  • 11/26/1998 vs. Dallas, 46-36 W
  • 11/23/2000 vs. Dallas, 27-15 W

Historically, the Vikings have fared well against the Lions on Thanksgiving. Although their lone loss came at the hands of Detroit in 1995, they’ve outscored the Lions 88 to 44 in three total games.

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Tre Madden missed four games down the stretch in 2015 because of knee soreness. He played in the final two regular season games for USC but only carried the ball eight times in those contests. Madden underwent knee surgery following the season and missed the Holiday Bowl.

He was originally recruited by the Trojans to play linebacker before switching to running back in 2012. Madden has complied 1,155 yards and eight touchdown on 223 career rushing attempts. His 32 receptions for 334 yards and five touchdowns in the passing game will certainly catch the eye of Norv Turner.

Tre Madden | Running Back, USC

Measurements

Height: 6’1
Weight: 225
Age: 22

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The offseason is a time for some serious discussions on multi-million dollar contracts, the character and integrity of numerous young men, and the metrics of a hundreds of new potential Vikings prospects. As some folks far more clever than I remind us on an annual basis, however, there is always time to have a little fun. That is especially true if it involves a little NFL Lip Reading.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I love these videos and have watched each one repeatedly.

If nothing else, here is a reminder to have a little bit of fun on this football-less Saturday.

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Vikings 2016 Offseason Plan Part 1

[In part one of this three-part series, Austin Belisle and Brett Anderson team up to put together an in-depth offseason plan for the Minnesota Vikings.]

Blair Walsh lined up to kick a 27-yard field goal, a routine chip shot that would’ve won the Minnesota Vikings their first playoff game in nearly seven years. But the ball didn’t sail through the uprights; it veered left, and just like that, the team’s promising 2015 season was over. Visions of Mike Zimmer hoisting the Lombardi Trophy faded from memory as an exasperated fan base watched in disbelief. “How could he miss that kick?”

Lost in the heartbreak was the fact that the Vikings didn’t just exceed expectations in 2015 — they shattered them. Minnesota entered the year as a darkhorse playoff contender, a young team that flashed promise in 2014 and would only get better with the return of Adrian Peterson. They did, winning 11 games and snatching the NFC North title from the Green Bay Packers for the first time since 2009. With a mix of young talent and veteran leadership, the Vikings emerged as one of the league’s surprise teams last year.

Their success started in the offseason, where general manager Rick Spielman assembled one of the NFL’s deepest, most talented rosters. Rookies like Eric Kendricks and Stefon Diggs became immediate contributors, while second-year free agent acquisitions like Captain Munnerlyn and Linval Joseph elevated their respective games to new levels. In order to take the next step in 2016, the franchise will need to continue its steadfast approach in free agency and the annual NFL Draft.

But in order to do that, it’s critical the team establishes a clear vision. Every organization’s ultimate goal is the same — to claim a Super Bowl victory. Some, like the Vikings, may be closer than others like the Cleveland Browns or Tennessee Titans. Regardless, each begins a new season with a 0-0 record. It’s the path they take that separates them.

Bad first round picks for the Vikings
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The first round of the NFL Draft is a marquee of top prospects and college football’s best players. Over the past five years, the Minnesota Vikings have taken advantage of the talent pool, selecting nine players in the first round since 2011. And while most of those picks have been successful for general manager Rick Spielman, some failed to pan out. Names like Christian Ponder and Cordarrelle Patterson come to mind, if only because the price Spielman paid doesn’t match the return on investment.

Ponder was the 12th-overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, while Patterson went 29th-overall in 2013 behind a trade that sent four Vikings draft picks to the New England Patriots. Minnesota can’t afford to make a similar mistake this year, especially when tantalizing names like Jaylon Smith and Josh Doctson may be available when the Vikings select 23rd-overall. But other, more trendy players may fall; players the Vikings shouldn’t draft in the first round. Who are they? Well, I asked the VT Team, and the answers may surprise you!

Who is one player you DO NOT want the Vikings to draft in the first round?

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