Thursday, December 14, 2017

everson griffen

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Vikings are 6-2 and sitting atop the NFC North. Riding a four-game winning streak, the team holds a two-game lead over Detroit and Green Bay in the division. The Vikings are well-positioned heading into the second half of the season.

All is well, right? Not so fast. This is the Vikings we’re talking about.

The final eight games include matchups against multiple teams fighting for the playoffs. With the Vikings facing perhaps their most difficult portion of the schedule, here are the second half storylines the Vikings Territory team is interested in watching — beginning Sunday.

image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings are 1.5-point favorites for Sunday’s Week 10 matchup on the road against the Washington Redskins, according to MyBookieThe straight-up money line is even.

Minnesota enters this game on a four-game winning streak behind a strong defense and savvy leadership from quarterback Case Keenum. Head coach Mike Zimmer’s defense has allowed fewer than 20 points in all but one game this season (Week 2 loss at Pittsburgh) while the Vikings offense has registered at least 20 points in all but two games this season (Week 2 loss at Pittsburgh and Week 4 loss vs. Detroit).

Washington brings an interesting resume to the table through eight games in 2017. All four of the Redskins’ losses are to teams with winning record (Philadelphia 2x, Kansas City and Dallas). Meanwhile, the Redskins boast a couple of impressive wins on the road — particularly at the 6-2 Los Angeles Rams and at Seattle.

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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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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

The Vikings vet is in the zone — a quick look at whether the Minnesota Vikings’ schedule will allow him to make a run at the NFL’s single-season record for sacks.

Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen is in good company. He is now tied with two team legends — Jared Allen and Jim Marshall — for most consecutive games with a sack. Griffen has at least one sack in all eight games this season, which is tied for the franchise record. The last time a Viking accomplished the feat, he finished a sack short of the NFL record.

That got me thinking… is Griffen capable of breaking Michael Strahan’s single-season sack record?

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