Thursday, December 14, 2017

emmanuel lamur

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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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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

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

In 2013 the Minnesota Vikings defense ranked 31st in the NFL. They gave up 397.6 yards per game. They also allowed 30.0 points per game.

That all changed in 2014 when the team acquired one of the best defensive-minded coaches in the NFL, head coach Mike Zimmer. Under Zimmer, the Vikings defense has gone from bottom of the barrel to a perennial top-5 squad.

Through Week 9, here are the notable team and individual defensive statistics.

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Road to 100 — Episode 95

Graphic designed by Brett Anderson

BJ Reidell and Drew Mahowald take an in-depth look at the Seattle Seahawks’ second- and third-string playmakers ahead of the Minnesota Vikings’ matchup with Blair Walsh and Co. this Friday.

Recorded LIVE on Mixlr on August 15th.

Episode 95 is sponsored by BlackStack Brewing and The Twin Cities Directory.

PRIMARY TALKING POINTS

  1. Into: The Agenda (0:00)
  2. Sponsor Note: BlackStack Brewing & The Twin Cities Directory (1:52)
  3. Injury Update: Trae Waynes and Alex Boone Miss Practice (3:11)
  4. Seahawks Primer: QB Trevone Boykin to DE Frank Clark to S Tedric Thompson (6:40)
  5. Brock ‘N Roll: Vikings Reportedly Interested in Former 49ers CB Tramaine Brock (46:21)
  6. Why We Suck: More Magary Magic (50:13)
  7. Drew’s Final Take: Always Hit 16 Against a Face (56:30)
  8. Sign-Out: Predicting the Final Score of a Preseason Football Game (57:35)

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Welcome to the latest installment of the Vikings Territory Training Camp Primer series focusing on Eric Kendricks, Anthony Barr and the linebackers.

Since he arrived in Minnesota, head coach Mike Zimmer has transformed the Vikings defense from laughingstock to nationally regarded as one of the best in the NFL.

Much of this is due to the talent he has acquired at linebacker.

With the ninth overall pick in the 2014 draft, Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman selected athletic freak Anthony Barr out of UCLA. In just three seasons, Barr has already been selected to two Pro Bowls.

A year later, the Vikings used a second round pick on Barr’s former UCLA teammate, Eric Kendricks. While Kendricks doesn’t have a Pro Bowl appearance to his name, he played on par or better than several Pro Bowl selections in 2016.

Chad Greenway‘s retirement after an illustrious career in purple and gold leaves behind a hole at the starting weak linebacker spot. The battle for that starting gig will likely headline the linebackers during the last Vikings training camp in Mankato.

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.

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