Friday, November 27, 2015

chad greenway

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Adam: Chad Greenway’s 91-yard interception return
It isn’t like other plays didn’t spring to mind, especially Stefon Diggs’ recent awesomeness in Detroit, but I have to go with Chad Greenway’s 91-yard interception return for a touchdown, which sparked a victory against San Diego. Not only was I happy to see Greenway get one more Grade-A highlight reel addition before his career in Minnesota ends, but I loved the team effort and excitement that helped him get there. It wasn’t as flashy as a number of other plays we’ve seen this year, but so far it is certainly my favorite.

Carl: Stefon Diggs’ TD reception in Detroit
The rookie receiver dazzled again on Sunday against the Lions with his lightning-quick breaks and sharp route running. The Vikings wideouts have only caught two touchdowns through six games, making Diggs’ scoring effort all the more appealing. Diggs completely froze 13-year veteran cornerback Rashean Mathis on a strikingly handsome double move and topped it off by laying out over the goal line to secure a ridiculous 36-yard diving reception.

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The 2015 Minnesota Vikings have plenty of question marks when it comes to predicting just how competitive they will be when it comes to earning a ticket to the playoffs. Currently sitting at 3-2, and in second place in the NFC North, the Vikings are spending the next two weeks on the road hoping to topple a pair of divisional foes.

With any luck, they’ll answer some of those questions we all have on their way to a 5-2 record.

Despite the woes of the Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears, however, games played within the NFC North are never easy and our enemies cannot be underestimated.

We’ve gathered all the best links from around the internet this week so that you browse every last nugget of information and opinion before Sunday’s kickoff. Go there, read it all, and tell ’em who sent ya…

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(photo by Lindsey Young)

On Tuesday afternoon, Chad Greenway proudly introduced his seventh “Chad’s Locker,” this time at Hutchinson Health. The locker included kid-friendly electronics and games, providing an outlet for countless patients and families who come through the hospital on a weekly basis. Greenway said the following as an introduction to the latest locker installment:

“This is an honor. Clearly this is something that Hutchinson was ready for. There’s definitely a need, and we’re so excited to be here […]. The reason we love our locker so much is because we can put it in a place like this where a lot of times the family doesn’t necessarily want to be but has to be, and it’s our biggest chance to reach out and positively affect as many people as we cankids, families, moms and dads. The goodies that are inside of there can go a long way to help any little bit that we can. Sometimes it’s just enough to throw on some cartoons on the iPad or do something like that to pass the time. It’s an honor for us to bring it here, and we’re certainly excited about that.” 

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At this point last year, the Minnesota Vikings were 2-2, having just beat the Atlanta Falcons behind an eye-opening performance from rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. In his first NFL start, Bridgewater completed 19 passes for 317 yards and even scored a touchdown with his legs. The elation in Minnesota would quickly end, though, as the franchise’s newfound quarterback missed the next game and watched as his team fell to the Green Bay Packers.

Suffering from the humiliation at Lambeau Field, the Vikings continued their losing streak against the Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills to fall to 2-5. Bridgewater struggled, the running game sputtered without Adrian Peterson, and the defense was a sieve at best against the run. Their 2-2 start, kicked off by a drubbing of the St. Louis Rams, wasn’t enough to keep pace with the NFC’s playoff contenders.

This year, the Vikings find themselves in a familiar, yet much different position. Though they enter the Week 5 bye at 2-2, this is a team that’s deeper, more talented, and playing at a higher level than their 2014 counterparts through four games. The record doesn’t necessarily reflect this, and an ugly Week 1 loss to the 49ers swayed expectations early, but three strong performances against the Lions, Chargers, and Broncos put the Vikings in excellent position to compete for an NFC playoff spot this season.

The Vikings won’t return to the field until Week 6, when they host the Kansas City Chiefs at TCF Bank Stadium in a crucial inter-conference matchup. Until then, head coach Mike Zimmer will have much to assess in his time off, including a few ugly trends in his team’s two losses. After the jump, we’ll dive into the game film from the Vikings’ Week 4 loss to the Denver Broncos and try to figure out what went wrong. As the famous saying goes, “The eye in the sky never lies…”

Trader Rick stikes again

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According to a report from the NFL Network’s Rand Getlin, the Minnesota Vikings have traded Gerald Hodges Jr. to the San Francisco 49ers. Shortly after Getlin broke the news, Adam Schefter shared details of the trade, which includes a 2016 sixth-round pick and center Nick Easton from the 49ers in exchange for Hodges.

The trade comes just days after the Vikings’ Week 4 loss to the Denver Broncos, a game in which Hodges did not start at middle linebacker. The 2013 fourth-round draft pick out of Penn State had started the first three weeks for the Vikings and recorded 19 tackles through four games, but saw less playing time as Mike Zimmer’s defense became more Nickel-heavy.

Hodges played just 26 snaps against the Broncos, while Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks played the majority of the Vikings’ defensive snaps at linebacker. Throughout the season, the rookie second-round pick has replaced Hodges in the team’s Nickel defense and performed well enough to warrant the trade. General manager Rick Spielman, who spoke to the media after the announcement, expressed his comfort with the team’s linebacker depth moving forward.

“It’s because of how we feel about (second-round pick Eric) Kendricks. We felt we had a lot of depth at that position. We feel strongly about Audie Cole and what he can bring and how well he’s been playing, but the development of Kendricks and Edmond Robinson continues to come along and we still have (Brandon) Watts on our practice squad at that position,” Spielman said.

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