Friday, January 19, 2018

Captain Munnerlyn

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Minnesota Vikings 24, Carolina Panthers 31

Game Recap

The Vikings came up short in their attempt to win nine games in a row Sunday. The last game of a three-game road trip resulted in Minnesota’s third loss of the season, and prevented the 10-3 Vikings from clinching the playoffs and capturing the NFC North division crown.

Offensively the Vikings failed to establish the rushing attack early. Jerick McKinnon led the team with 46 yards on seven carries (6.6 YPC) and Latavius Murray managed only 14 yards on nine carries (1.6 YPC). Quarterback Case Keenum added 40 yards on five rushes.

The Vikings had some success through the air but were doomed with turnovers at inopportune times. Keenum finished the day 27 of 44 (61%) passing for 280 with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Vikings receiver Adam Thielen led Minnesota with six catches for 105 yards and a touchdown, but he also had two key drops in the end zone before the half. Instead of taking the lead at halftime the Vikings settled for a Kai Forbath field goal.

Stefon Diggs had six catches for 64 yards but had a ball bounce off his hands late in the game which resulted in a Carolina interception.

Tight end Kyle Rudolph had three catches for 42 yards with a touchdown but he also had issues catching the ball. Two dropped passes in the first half would have resulted in big plays for the offense. The Vikings top three pass catchers all had crucial drops throughout the game.

The Vikings defense was hurt by big plays, specifically two long runs. Carolina’s first touchdown was a 60-yard blast by Jonathan Stewart to the right of the center on third-and-one. Later in the game Cam Newton sealed the win with a 62-yard scamper up the middle of the field.

Defensive linemen Linval Joseph and Everson Griffen each collected a sack but Zimmer’s top-2 defensive unit couldn’t bounce back after giving up the long runs. Carolina rode 216 rushing yards en route to their fifth victory in six games.

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Minnesota Vikings
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Week 14: Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers

The Vikings (10-2) will travel to Charlotte, North Carolina this weekend to take on Panthers (8-4) at Bank of America Stadium. The game is Sunday at noon (CST).

The showdown will be a battle between two top-10 defenses.

Earlier in the week, we looked at how the teams stacked up by numbers. Now, let’s focus on the individual matchups that will be crucial in determining the game’s outcome.

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    Antone Exum Continues to Impress

    Image courtesy of Vikings.com

    Antone Exum has brought quite a bit of attention on himself during Minnesota Vikings training camp this year.

    The former sixth-round pick out of Virginia Tech grabbed headlines earlier this week for his role in a fight with wide receiver Laquon Treadwell. Treadwell, potentially as a result, has not been in pads for each of the past two practices leading to plenty of negative comments about Exum.

    But the bout with Treadwell isn’t the only reason Exum should be in the news. He has made a fluid transition from zone safety to nickel cornerback this offseason and has produced a somewhat unexpectedly strong training camp performance.

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    Vikings Training Camp
    Image courtesy of Vikings.com

    The Minnesota Vikings first preseason game is only eight days away!

    Vikings at Buffalo Bills. Thursday, August 10th @ 6pm CT

    The Vikings have had six days of full team practices in Mankato. The good news is the team has avoided major injury, plus two playmakers on defense have been locked up long-term. The bad news is there have been minor, but potentially nagging injuries to report.

    Let’s recap the team news that has come out of training camp since our last Loose Ends take.

    Image courtesy of Vikings.com
    Image courtesy of Vikings.com

    Vikings Training Camp Preview

    In just 11 days, the Minnesota Vikings open training camp on the Minnesota State, Mankato campus. Rookie practices begin on Monday, July 24th and full team practices start Thursday, July 27th.

    As usual, this time of year has brought optimism to the Vikings and their fans. But this year, things seem different. There’s good reason to be excited, as the offseason resulted in refreshing roster replacements, an influx of young talent, and a promising outlook on lovable quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

    To recap the offseason moves, Minnesota added free agents Latavius Murray, Riley Reiff, Datone Jones, Michael Floyd, and Mike Remmers.