Monday, May 30, 2016

cordarrelle patterson

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Although the Minnesota Vikings field a top-five defense and a number of different playmakers on offense, just one player was selected to the 2016 Pro Bowl — running back Adrian Peterson. His selection, the first since 2013, was an obvious choice, as Peterson leads the league with 1,314 rushing yards and has often been the cog in Vikings victories this season.

This marks Peterson’s seventh Pro Bowl appearance and ties him with Ron Yary for fourth-most all-time in franchise history. While Peterson was the easiest choice among voting fans, players, and coaches, others could definitely be considered snubs, including center Joe Berger, nose tackle Linval Joseph, free safety Harrison Smith, and linebacker Anthony Barr. According to Pro Football Focus’s recent mock Pro Bowl roster, those four made the list, with Cordarrelle Patterson (leads the league with 31.1 yards/return) joining them as one of two kick returners.

Berger is the analytics website’s second-highest ranked center,  while Smith misses the Pro Bowl for the second straight year despite playing at an All-Pro level. Like Joseph and Barr, Smith has missed significant time with injuries, which may have hurt his case for the January 31 showcase. Barr is Pro Football Focus’s top-ranked outside linebacker, with 21 total pressures, a batted pass, and 35 defensive stops. While any of these players may be added at a later date — due to injuries or declined invites — they’re more-than-deserving at this point of the season.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

I’d really be drinking the Purple Kool-Aid if I said the Vikings were a complete football team. Rick Spielman’s built a competitive and deep roster, but there are holes and deficiencies at a few key positions, including wide receiver, offensive line, and in the secondary. It’s easy to look at the Vikings and think, “Hey, they could make some noise in the playoffs,” but truthfully, they’re a year away.

And that’s okay. Every team’s goal each year is to win the Super Bowl, even if that’s not always a realistic aspiration. Sometimes, unforeseen obstacles like injuries and coaching changes can throw those plans off track. While the Vikings have shown they’re an improved bunch, there are still issues keeping them from moving into the league’s upper-echelon of contenders.

The coaching, across the board, is some of the best in the NFL. The defense, with elite speed at every level, should be aggressive for years to come. And Teddy Bridgewater, despite the criticism, has the chance to become the franchise’s first great quarterback in nearly a decade.

But that won’t happen unless the Vikings make some offseason improvements. To help me find out where Spielman and Zimmer should focus their attention, I asked the VT team to answer this week’s question:

Looking ahead, what position do the Vikings most need to improve this offseason?

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

I love this in-season weekly segment. It provides the readers of Vikings Territory a chance to weigh in on a weekly basis and cast a vote for their favorite individual performance for each game. Even after a loss, even a lopsided loss, it can provide an opportunity to focus on something positive if even for just a quick minute.

This heralded (by me) award is a fun way to review the season as it progresses, and even long after it has concluded, to remember which players brought their A-Game on a consistent basis. In fact, here is where we stand as of today with Anthony Barr topping the charts last week:

WEEK ONE: Anthony Barr

WEEK TWO: Adrian Peterson

WEEK THREE: Harrison Smith

WEEK FOUR: Linval Joseph

WEEK SIX: Stefon Diggs

WEEK SEVEN: Stefon Diggs

WEEK EIGHT: Stefon Diggs

WEEK NINE: Linval Joseph

WEEK TEN: Terence Newman

WEEK ELEVEN: Teddy Bridgewater

WEEK TWELVE: Anthony Barr

I’m going to be honest… for the first time ever, I considered not doing this post at all because there were is so little material to work with following the 38-7 home loss at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks. But, no, I won’t have it. I’ve come up with a first (and hopefully last) solution to the conundrum, however, and you’ll see what that is by viewing the nominations.

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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
• WTH ARE THE WIDE RECEIVERS?!
• 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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