Friday, February 12, 2016

blair walsh

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

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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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

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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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Before the season began, Blair Walsh was Public Enemy No. 1 in Minnesota. He struggled through the team’s five preseason games, connecting on less than 50 percent of his attempts (5/11) while battling a nasty case of the “yips.” Field goals that usually sailed straight veered to the right, and routine PATs found their way outside of the uprights.

And when the Vikings opened 2015 in San Francisco, Walsh continued to let fans, and the team, down. He missed his first attempt of the year, and in a crucial road game against the Denver Broncos three weeks later, pushed a kick that was the difference between a loss and potential overtime victory.

Just three months after signing one of the most lucrative contract extensions among NFL kickers, the pressure was on Walsh to deliver. Since his last miss, Walsh has been perfect, making 13 consecutive field goals to offset the offense’s red zone struggles and lack of scoring.

In just eight games, Walsh has gone from a liability to cornerstone of this football team, a player Mike Zimmer can rely on in crucial situations. As Jeff Locke told the Star Tribune’s Jason Gonzalez two weeks ago, “no one ever really questioned Blair,” and their faith in their kicker is paying off:

“Those are moments you dream about as a kid and what you work for every single week,” Walsh said. “To be put in those situations where the game’s come down to the wire and they depend on you.”

Walsh’s 36-yard field goal as time expired sealed a 23-20 victory for the Vikings yesterday and helped Minnesota move to 5-2 on the season. Thanks to his suddenly automatic leg, Mike Zimmer and the Vikings are well on their way to the playoffs, and his consistency will be crucial in late-game situations against some of the league’s better teams moving forward.

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The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings held off the Kansas City Chiefs 16-10 Sunday afternoon at The Bank in a game that more resembled a rugby match if said match had bad officiating, sloppy play, and was nearly unwatchable. But other than that, the game was great! A win is a win in the NFL and we dive into the reasons for the elevation to 3-2 and why we damn near lost it all.

Other “Bye, Charles Johnson” Talkers Include
• We Tried to Lose. The Chiefs Wouldn’t Let Us.
• Teddy Bridgewater Was Uneven
• Oh Hai, Stefon Diggs
• Adrian. Yuck.
• The Zimmer Hellfire Defense Will Be the Best in the NFL
• Sharrif Floyd is Elite & Under-Appreciated
• Eric Kendricks First Start
• #FreePruitt
• Blair Walsh Didn’t Mess Up. Cool. Way to do your job.
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All that and other “A Win is a Win is a Win” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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Despite a valiant effort by the Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings Defense and Teddy “Dave” Bridgewater, the Purple came up short Sunday afternoon in Denver 23-20. The Zimmer Hellfire Defense forced Peyton “Chicken Parm” Manning into two interceptions and his 2nd lowest QB rating of the season, but it wasn’t enough in Mile High as a sluggish start, a faulty offensive line, and a lame kicker denied the Vikings a much sought after road win and leave them at 2-2 heading into the bye week. We discuss the gold and fool’s gold from the game that was.

Other “No Moral Victories” Talkers Include
• My theory on why there were so many Vikings fans in Denver
• That Zimmer Hellfire Defense Leads the Way
• The Offensive Line Did Not
• Anthony Barr is Becoming a Force
• Harrison Smith is the Best Safety in the NFL
• Teddy Ballgame
• Mike Wallace BEASTED Today
• Adam Thielen & Stefon Diggs Deserve to Eat
• Robert Blanton is Still Blanton
• Blair Walsh Needs a Fire Lit Under Him
• Schedule After the Bye: 5-3 or 6-2 isn’t crazy
• Bye Week Podcast Schedule
• Visit our new sponsor Stars Draft for Daily Fantasy Sports!
Bookmark us on Amazon & show some love!

All that and other “We’re On To The Bye Week” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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