Friday, February 5, 2016

blair walsh

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The season ended abruptly for the Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings in (sadly) typical Minnesota Fightin’ Viking fashion as Blair Walsh shanked the game-winning field goal out of bounds on the 18th tee. However, a few days removed we can appreciate the 2015 season for what it was: a solid step forward for a young and hungry team under a coach we completely trust. That’s a lot more than most fanbases have to hang their hats on as our offseason begins. Di Murphy (@DiMurphyMN) of The Daily Norseman joins the show to put a bow on the Purple’s 2015 campaign.

We talk about why it wasn’t ALL on Blair Walsh, Adrian Peterson’s fumbling history rears its ugly head once again, what Teddy Bridgewater needs to do to become a bigger redzone threat, how the Vikings beat Seattle in every aspect of the game Sunday, and what our priorities are in free agency and the draft.

All that and other “Bye, Jeff Davidson” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast.

An Andy Carlson Joint

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Everson Griffen
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

With the dust frost finally settling on the latest heartbreaking loss, Vikings fans are left with little else to do other than nickname their latest addition to the lore, and reflect back on the season that was. Some might even speculate on what could have been.

We’re going to have plenty of time for reflecting on the season as a whole, but right now we are narrowing our gaze to the playoff loss at TCF Bank Stadium at the hands of the defending NFC Champs.

As you can probably expect, given the complete void of touchdowns produced by the Vikings, this final batch of nominees is a tad defense-heavy. This is the final time, until September, that you’ll use your collective votes to bestow this heralded (by me) award upon one lucky Minnesota Viking.

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Last year's first round pick made a splash on Sunday

Vikings Select 23rd 2016 NFL Draft
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings suffered the cruelest of ends to their 2015 season, but there is hope. It begins with the NFL Draft this spring, when teams have the chance to improve their roster with the best talent that the NCAA has to offer. The Vikings have used their most recent first-round picks — top-12 selections in 2014 and 2015 — to build defensively, but may be in a position this offseason to focus on their most pressing offensive needs. After Sunday’s playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks, the Vikings will select 23rd-overall in the 2016 NFL Draft.

It was painfully obvious on Sunday that the Vikings have a number of roster holes to fill through free agency and the draft. A porous offensive line struggled to protect Teddy Bridgewater (as they have all year) and a lack of offensive weaponry prevented Minnesota from scoring an offensive touchdown. In frigid conditions, the kicking game also played a major factor in the loss. Punter Jeff Locke averaged just 34.4 yards on five attempts and failed to “spin the laces” out on Blair Walsh’s missed game-winning field goal.

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That was a less than ideal way for the Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings to end the 2015 campaign. But let’s not lose the forest through the trees, this season was a damn good year and this young football team is ahead of schedule with Mike Zimmer. We went 11-5, won a division title, and will be in the mix as legitimate Super Bowl contenders next season. Take a while to let this game marinate, but not all is lost. This team’s best football is ahead of it.

Talking Points Include
• Was It Cold Out?
• Bud Grant is My Idol
• Blair Walsh is Not the Reason We Lost
• This is Not Adrian Peterson’s Team
• Free Teddy Bridgewater
• There Are OTHER Pieces on this Offense
• Offensive Line Needs to be Overhauled
• The Defense Was the MVP Today
• Trae Waynes was Impressive
• Josh Robinson was Not
• The Seahawks Did Everything to Lose the Game, We Gave Them a Gift
• Twitter and Facebook Questions
• Why 2016 Will Be HUGEEEEE
• Podcast Offseason Programming Plan

All this and other “WAS IT COLD OUT? I HAD NO IDEA.” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint

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The Vikings' kicker is suddenly cold-blooded

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

On the heels of a Sunday night performance that saw him connect on a perfect 5-for-5 field goals, Blair Walsh has been named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week. The honor, announced on the team’s official website, marks Walsh’s fifth time winning the award and his first since the Vikings Nov. 24, 2013 game against the Green Bay Packers.

Walsh, who has been the focus of much scrutiny this season, turned in his strongest performance of the year against the Giants, contributing 19 points to the Vikings’ season-high total of 49. His scoring outburst jettisoned him into the top-five in scoring among kickers, giving him 127 points on the season. He finished the game with field goals from 32, 52, 22, 53 and 27 yards, as well as four converted extra points. On the season, he’s improved his accuracy percentage by 12 points since 2014, having connected on 32-of-37 field goals (86.5 percent) and 6-of-8 from 50-plus yards.

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