Tuesday, September 27, 2016

harrison smith

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Only two weeks into the 2016 regular season and the Minnesota Vikings are already hosting their most hated rival in the Green Bay Packers. But this game will be like no other Vikings/Packers game in the past as it will be the first to be played in Minnesota’s brand new home at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Despite not scoring a single touchdown on offense, the Vikings were able to come out of Tennessee last Sunday with their first win of the season. That absolutely cannot happen again if Minnesota has any ideas about starting the year 2-0.

The big question leading up to Sunday night’s game is who will be starting under center for the Vikings. It will be either Sam Bradford or Shaun Hill and only Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer knows the answer to that question right now.

Or does he?

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Minnesota Vikings

The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings recovered from a slow start (too much BBQ?) to dismantle the Tennessee Titans 25-16 Sunday in Nashville. The Zimmer Hellfire Defense lead the way generating two defensive touchdowns and three takeaways (really four, but whatevs.) The defensive scoring was key as the Purple generated zero touchdowns on offense, despite a better-than-expected(?) outing from elder statesman Shaun Hill. We recap the game that was and also try to not freak out about Blair Walsh.

Today’s Hot Chicken Talking Points
• The Zimmer Hellfire Defense Leads the Way
• Eric Kendricks Has a Chance to be Special
• Everson Griffen Already is Special
• Harrison Smith is Earning Every Penny
• Mike Zimmer’s Halftime Adjustments
• We Need to Talk About Blair Walsh
• Shaun Hill Was Good Shaun Hill
• Adrian Peterson Got Nothing Going
• Trae Waynes’ First Start Was ____.
• Kyle Rudolph Was… Good?
• #FreeCordarrelle?
• Loose Vikings-Titans Thoughts
• Blue Print For Winning the Rest of the Season
• Three Reubens of the Day

All that and other “2000 Ravens, Homeboy” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint

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Week 1 Opponent Preview

Stopping the run key to stopping Titans
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

An in-depth look at the Minnesota Vikings’ weekly opponents, with a focus on specific plays, schemes, and players.

There’s an eerie ‘deja vu’ feeling around Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans. The Minnesota Vikings travel to Nashville as road favorites, prepared to face a team with a mobile quarterback and power running game. They’re expected to win, however, and should start the regular season with a ‘W” in the win column.

Unless, that is, Mike Zimmer’s team repeats its opening performance from 2015; a 20-3 loss to the San Francisco 49ers that saw Carlos Hyde run for 168 yards and two touchdowns. The Vikings looked sloppy, unprepared, and overmatched at the line of scrimmage, repeatedly failing to set the edge or fill run gaps.

When the game begins on Sunday, the Vikings will once again have their hands full. The Titans boast one of the league’s best running back duos in Demarco Murray and Derrick Henry, a one-two punch that averaged 161 yards per game this preseason.

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Carlson and Coller Minnesota Vikings Purple FTW! Podcast

I sat down with Matthew Coller, the new Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings analyst here at 1500 ESPN, at the Blue Door Pub Como to talk about his new gig and how he sees the always dramatic Purple playing out in 2016. We talked about how the Teddy Bridgewater injury and Sam Bradford trade changes the outlook (and the offense?) for the Vikings, and a look forward to Week 1’s tougher-than-people-think matchup vs the Tennessee Titans.

Matthew and I also hit on his previous gig at WGR 550 in Buffalo, why he’s so hardcore into analytics (he’s got a new podcast on 1500 and first guest was fellow nerd Arif Hasan), why Percy Harvin was way more delightful in Buffalo than here, and I christen Matthew with a nickname.

All that and other “Minnesota Winters >>> Buffalo Winters” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint

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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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