Saturday, November 18, 2017

Dalvin Cook

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At 7-2, the Vikings are among the NFC's elite, and major credit should go to Rick Spielman.

Spielman
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Sunday’s game felt especially meaningful for the Vikings; coming off a bye, with the first half of the season in the rearview mirror, Minnesota had a successful squad that hadn’t yet been greatly tested. It looked like an improved and well-rounded team, but there was no way to know if the success was due mostly to their own competence or their relatively soft, home-heavy schedule to that point.

The Redskins game looked to be a good test of this — a solid team, on the road, in a difficult environment. Many, including me, saw this as a stage for a possible letdown. A loss to Washington would have put a dent in the notion that the Vikings are legitimate NFC contenders, and probably bring on a tidal wave of concerns about another second half collapse. It was an important game, for morale as much as the standings.

With their 38-30 win at Washington, the Vikings answered a lot of questions, and solidified themselves as one of the elite teams in the NFC. And this is in large part because of the way their roster is constructed; deep, balanced, and talented. Rick Spielman has had an up and down tenure as the Vikings’ general manager, and opinions on him range widely. I’ve always been of the belief his personnel decisions have been more positive than negative, but no matter your personal feelings, it’s hard to argue that the 2017 Vikings aren’t his finest work yet.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

TEDDY OR CASE: Who should start?

It’s the hottest debate surrounding the Vikings right now.

The points are clear on both sides of aisle.

One side argues, “Keenum is just as good as Teddy ever was,” “He’s basically 5-2 and has won four games in a row,” “Case gets the job done so roll with him,” and “the Vikings have chemistry so don’t mess with it.”

The other side argues, “Teddy has a higher ceiling and can win us a Super Bowl,” “Bridgewater was an average starter in 2015 but has better pieces around him now,” and “You need to make a decision on him for next year, so start him now and see what you have.”

It’s a very interesting debate. Both sides make valid points. Plus, it seems like everyone has an opinion.

Whatever your opinion may be, Keenum and Bridgewater are similar quarterbacks. They both make smart decisions, take care of the ball, extend plays with their feet, and make plays through the air. Even their Pro Football Focus grades are similar.

So, what really sets them apart?

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BJ Reidell (@RobertReidell), Brett Anderson (@brettAnderson87), Drew Mahowald (@DrewMahowald), Sam Neumann (@NeumSamN) and Sean Borman (@SeanBoarMan) pause at the halfway point to discuss and praise the 6-2 Minnesota Vikings. They give out midseason awards, update their preseason predictions, and predictably venture into long discussions about Teddy Bridgewater.

Check out the midseason review above and subscribe to the Vikings Territory YouTube channel to ensure that you never miss a VT Roundtable discussion, the latest installment of Bump & Run or and a variety of other #content.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

A look at the stat book reveals how the Minnesota Vikings offense has stacked up after eight games.

At the end of the 2016 season, the Vikings offense ranked 28th in the NFL. Despite the hardship the unit endured during what turned out to be a nightmare season, the team’s front office vowed to improve the group during the offseason.

Fast forward eight games into 2017. Sporting a new offensive coordinator, a different scheme, new personnel, and a revamped offensive line, the Vikings offense has been just that — a noticeable improvement through the first half of the season.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

We’re halfway through the NFL season, which means one thing — let the mock drafts begin.

The Minnesota Vikings are 6-2. They’ve won four consecutive games and their franchise quarterback could return to the active roster any day now. All is well in Vikings Territory (see what I did there?). With the team enjoying a bye week, there’s not a whole lot going on. Even so, it’s way too early to start talking about the 2018 NFL Draft… right?

No, apparently it’s not. But this a good one.

Pro Football Focus published it’s first mock draft of the season. PFF’s Steve Palazzolo reported the projected pick and broke down the Vikings selection. Please note the draft order reflects Vegas Super Bowl odds and not some crazy person’s guesstimate.

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