Friday, December 2, 2016

cordarrelle patterson

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Adam Warwas presents five bold predictions for today’s Vikings versus Titans game.

How’d you sleep? Yeah, me neither.

The much anticipated start of the 2016 Minnesota Vikings season is just hours away, with the first stop being Tennessee, and I think we here at Vikings Territory have hit about every storyline from about every angle… sometimes at an admittedly excessive rate. What can I say? The whole gang of contributors here loves their Minnesota Vikings.

Now it is time for our collective offseason analysis, our breakdowns of a paper roster, to take to the actual turf in pursuit of greatness. The Teddy Bridgewater disaster will doubtless have a rippling impact throughout the season, voiding some of our offseason projections, but that won’t stop us from trying to shake the magic eight ball in search of hope and optimism.

Here are five bold predictions, largely based on my own stated opinions from this offseason, for what could unfold on the field today.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Earlier this week, the Vikings released their first (albeit unofficial) depth chart and we also learned that the Vikings are now the second oldest team in the NFL. The depth chart doesn’t really account for rotating players that could very easily be considered a starter (i.e. Danielle Hunter), and it could change before Sunday, but I wanted to count my “Five Oldest Vikings” article from yesterday by identifying the five youngest starters on this team.

Rick Spielman kind of took a year off from his “youth movement” of recent years, it seems, opting to value experience over youth in an attempt to make a serious run at the Super Bowl. That may not be the case next year, when the Vikings average age could decrease considerably, but there is no denying he has assembled a solid young core of players.

Please note, the players listed below are the team’s five youngest starters, and the “starters” label has been pulled directly from the first-teamers listed on the depth chart earlier this week.

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Vikings Territory Question of the Week

Preseason Proving Ground
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The first week of preseason football gave the Minnesota Vikings plenty to digest, like Teddy Bridgewater’s growth and the positive performance of the team’s rookie class. It also cast a light on certain negatives, like the struggles of the offensive and defensive lines in the trenches.

Tonight’s matchup isn’t just a test for the entire team; it’s a chance for those who underwhelmed to turn their play around and make their way onto the final 53-man roster. It’s also a chance for incumbent starters to secure their jobs, reserves to win the competition, and no-namers to make a splash.

Before the Seahawks tilt, the Vikings Territory team is taking a look at the roster and trying to determine who has the most to prove for the Vikings with three weeks left until Week 1. Is it Andre Smith, Cordarrelle Patterson, or maybe, a surprise name? Follow the jump and see what the gang thinks!

Heading into Week 2 of the preseason, who has the most to prove for the Vikings?

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Vikings' Depth Chart Begins to Take Shape
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Training Camp for the Minnesota Vikings hasn’t been all that exciting this year. Save for a few one-handed catches from Stefon Diggs and some specular deep shots from Teddy Bridgewater, much remains the same in Mankato. Roster turnover isn’t an issue for the team, free agent acquisitions are performing as advertised, and trust in the organization is at an all-time high.

There’s plenty to be certain about in Minnesota; the strength of the defense, Adrian Peterson’s rushing ability, and Blair Walsh’s renewed confidence. Uncertainty, in a sense, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The Vikings have so much young talent that difficult depth chart decisions won’t make or break the team’s season.

In Minnesota, the front office isn’t asking, “Who’s our quarterback;” they’re debating the hierarchy of a loaded roster. And no matter the final decision, the result will be a 53-man roster with more potential than any Vikings team since 2009.

This morning during walkthroughs, head coach Mike Zimmer gave the media a sneak preview of the team’s ‘Cincinnati’ depth chart. It’s the first unofficial roster of the 2016 preseason and reveals exactly where the Vikings stand after two weeks in Mankato.

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Day 7 Walk-Thru
Image courtesy of Chris Price

Hello again live-blogging community! I’m jumping back into the mix or the first time since free agency, and I’m looking forward to another exciting day of Minnesota Vikings football.

Adam Patrick’s been rocking these posts for the past week, but he’s getting much-deserved rest today. Follow along as we bring you all of the latest updates from Mankato, including reports from our very own Brent LaBathe and Andy Carlson.

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