Wednesday, November 25, 2015

blair walsh

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The HUGE Border Battle week is upon us as Mike Zimmer and the NFC North leading Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings (7-2) prepare to welcome in the loser of three-straight professional football contests Green Bay Packers (6-3). Di Murphy (@DiMurphyMN) of The Daily Norseman joins us for her weekly spot to talk about the Purple as we scheme on how to defeat the Green, Yellow and Blaze Orange.

Di and I chatted about what it’s like to have the #1 Defense in the NFL, how Adrian is back and on pace to win the rushing title (almost by default), why Kyle Rudolph should be benched forever, what Teddy and Norv need to do to get this passing game on fleek, and we play America’s newest favorite game What Pisses Di Off More?

All that and other “BEAT GREEN BAY” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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Our Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings (7-2) are alone at the top of the NFC North. Breath. It. In, Vikings Fans.

The Purple secured our perch with a 30-14 (but really 34-14 if Kyle “18.5M GTD” Rudolph wasn’t a thing) road win over the upstart Oakland Raiders. The defense and running game paved the way for the fifth straight Vikings win and all the momentum as we roll back home to take on the Green Bay Packers next Sunday afternoon at The Bank. Damn it feels good to be a gangsta right now…

We Survived The Black Hole Talking Points Include
• Dat Zimmer Hellfire Defense is on Fire
• Adrian Peterson is Legit Again
• Teddy “WON” the First Teddy-Carr Bowl
• Linval Joseph is #ELITE
• The Mandatory Kyle Rudolph Talking Point
• Harrison Brings the Boom
• The Raiders Offense is Going to be GOOD
• Replace TJ Clemmings with Austin Shepherd
• Replace Andrew Sendejo with Antone Exum Jr
• Cordarrelle Patterson’s Blind Squirrel Moment
• Blair Walsh is NOT a Concern
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All that and other “BRING ON THE PACKERS!!!” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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I’ve repeatedly called Mike Zimmer’s defense aggressive, his coaching style brash, but never has he crossed the line into “dirty” territory. That special place is reserved for coaches like Gregg Williams, whose ties to the Minnesota Vikings trace back to 2009, when his New Orleans Saints defense nearly crippled Brett Favre in the NFC Championship Game. It was later revealed that Williams was the architect of the team’s “Bountygate” scandal — a deliberate injure-for-money operation designed to motivate defensive players.

After his year-long suspension following the league’s investigation, Williams spoke on the scandal and his role in the matter. “One of the things was it was on my watch, but there was nothing that hasn’t been done in the last 50 years in the sport and there was nothing done to try to hurt somebody,” he said.

Zimmer would have to disagree, especially after yesterday’s chippy, playoff-like game that saw Rams players repeatedly target Teddy Bridgewater. The Vikings’ second-year quarterback was the victim of not one, but two questionable hits late in the game, with the final blow knocking him out for good. You’ve seen the play; Bridgewater scrambles and slides, but Rams safety LaMarcus Joyner launches himself into the quarterback’s head, briefly knocking Bridgewater out. It was clearly a dirty play, and one that left Zimmer furious at the podium:

“Well, we’re a disciplined football team, we do things right. That’s why we are the least penalized team in the league, because we play by the rules, we continue to play by the rules and just because other teams don’t do it doesn’t mean we’re going to do it.”

The game could have easily turned and become ugly after Bridgewater left for the locker room, but Zimmer supressed the fire to keep his team focused. They stuffed the Rams on the first overtime series and rode the legs of Adrian Peterson to a victory. For the second time in as many weeks, Blair Walsh kicked the game-winning field goal to move the Vikings to 6-2 and a share of the NFC North lead.

More than the play of Linval Joseph, Peterson, and Anthony Barr, it was the Vikings’ composure, discipline, and restraint that secured their fourth-straight victory. Despite the Rams’ best efforts to swing the game in their favor, Minnesota followed Mike Zimmer’s calm, collected script to yet another win.

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Marcus Sherels spent much of the offseason surrounded by question marks, specifically those addressing his status with the team. Like Cordarrelle Patterson, he’s a backup at his native position whose main contributions come on special teams. Unlike Patterson, though, Sherels is making an impact in the return game and being rewarded for his winning efforts.

On Monday, Sherels was named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance against the Chicago Bears. In the first quarter, he returned a punt 65 yards for a touchdown, putting the Vikings up 7-3 at Soldier Field in a game Minnesota needed to win. Sherels also returned a punt 12 yards on the Vikings’ game-winning drive and led the team with two special teams tackles.

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The Vikings relied on a number of big plays, and big breaks, to secure their third divisional win in Chicago on Sunday. Sitting at 5-2, only one game behind the Green Bay Packers, this team continues to show and improved version of their 2014 selves as they head into a very challenging stretch of their 2015 season.

Last week, it was Stefon Diggs squeaking past Teddy Bridgewater to secure his second consecutive win of this heralded (by me) award. Diggs is the first Viking to win this award twice this season and it seems safe to say he’ll be in the running again this week.

The previous winners of this award for 2015 are as follows:

WEEK ONE: Anthony Barr

WEEK TWO: Adrian Peterson

WEEK THREE: Harrison Smith

WEEK FOUR: Linval Joseph

WEEK SIX: Stefon Diggs

WEEK SEVEN: Stefon Diggs

And this week’s nominee’s are…

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