Wednesday, October 7, 2015

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The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings savored a tasty curb stomping of the San Diego Super Chargers 31-14 Sunday afternoon at The Bank. The Purple sealed the win in the second half with a solid running game and dominant defense that completely shut down Philip Rivers and the Bolts. We recap the action in our usual “Not too high/not too low” fashion!

Other “Manti Te’o isn’t real” Talkers Include
• Adrian is Adrian
• Vikings Fans Want The D
• Trae Waynes First Action
• Teddy Bridgewater Concerns
• Wide Receiver Rotation
• The Mandatory Offensive Line Talking Point
• Chad Greenway Lifetime Achievement Pick-6
• Kyle Rudolph: The Master of Getting 4 on 3rd & 6
• Everson > Jared in His Prime?
• Vikings fans had a right to boo because…
• Blair Walsh didn’t miss!
• We woulda won by fitty if Ragnar had been there…
• Visit our new sponsor Stars Draft for Daily Fantasy Sports!
• Bookmark us on Amazon & show some love!

All that and other “Start Over” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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In this weekly series of articles, I’ll be breaking down what went RIGHT or what went WRONG each game for the Minnesota Vikings. This week, thanks to a turnaround victory over the Detroit Lions, I’ll be focusing on the positives and what the Vikings can build on moving forward this season.

In the NFL, game plans can and do change on a weekly basis. Against a team like the San Francisco 49ers, stopping the run has to be a defense’s number one priority — though that’s not always the result. When playing the Detroit Lions, for example, teams put a premium on shutting down Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate, and Matthew Stafford’s other receiving weapons.

On the offensive side of the ball,  finding a balance between running and passing is ideal. Depending on the defense or specific one-on-one matchups, that can change. Take the New England Patriots in Week 2 — Tom Brady threw the ball 59 times against the Buffalo Bills and shredded Rex Ryan’s defense. Meanwhile, the Washington Redskins rushed the ball 37 times against the St. Louis Rams, riding the legs of Alfred Morris and Matt Jones to a victory.

A look at the Vikings’ first three offensive plays from both games illustrates this variation perfectly:

  • (9:19) (Shotgun) T.Bridgewater pass incomplete short right to J.Wright.
  • (9:13) (Shotgun) T.Bridgewater pass incomplete deep left to C.Johnson (T.Brock).
  • (9:07) (Shotgun) T.Bridgewater pass incomplete deep left to J.Wright [A.Lynch].

The Vikings started their first offensive drive on San Francisco’s 26-yard line after a blocked field goal and Andrew Sendejo return, but couldn’t capitalize on the premium field position. Offensive coordinator Norv Turner scripted running plays, but Teddy Bridgewater checked into passes based on the defense’s alignment and coverage. After missing Jarius Wright in the flat and misfiring on two deep balls, Bridgewater and the offense watched Blair Walsh push a 44-yard field goal — giving the ball right back to the 49ers.

Against the Lions, Turner’s first few offensive calls — downhill, inside zone runs — illustrated his plan to feed Adrian Peterson early and often:

  • (14:55) A.Peterson up the middle to MIN 25 for no gain (E.Ansah).
  • (14:26) A.Peterson left tackle to MIN 36 for 11 yards (G.Quin, E.Ansah).
  • (13:57) A.Peterson up the middle to MIN 38 for 2 yards (J.Jones).

In the first quarter alone, Peterson had 13 carries and surpassed his game total of 10 rushes from the previous week. The offensive line established itself against the Lions from the start and Peterson set the tone on the team’s first drive. He looked more patient, more decisive, putting together 11-yard and 25-yard runs as the Vikings marched down the field for their first touchdown.

Special players make special plays, as evidenced by Adrian Peterson’s ability to turn the corner and outrun edge defenders, but their success wouldn’t be possible without the development of effective game plans. From an offense’s first scripted plays to a defense’s blitzes and pre-determined coverages (Xavier Rhodes shadowing Calvin Johnson,) the Vikings’ preparation is key to a victory each week. After the jump, I’ll take a look at some of that preparation (and a few individual performances) that highlight how the Vikings defeated the Detroit Lions in Week 2

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The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings bothered the win column score keeper Sunday with an impressive 26-16 outlasting of the Detroit Lions Sunday afternoon at The Bank. Adrian “RB1” Peterson made his TCF Bank Stadium debut in a refreshing fashion, helping carry the Purple to a much needed win. We discuss the game and try not to gloat too much about Justin Trattou….

Other “I TOLD YOU ABOUT TRATTOU” Talkers Include
• The Defense Was A Zimmer Defense
• Offensive Line Was Going Downhill (In a Good Way)
• Adrian Looked Like “Adrian”
• Teddy Looked Like “Teddy”
• Captain Was Less Crappy Today
• The Return Game Had a Day
• Blair Walsh…
• Brian Robison #ThrowbackSunday
• Xavier Rhodes is Ready to Become #Elite
• Getting Embarassing Monday Night Was Good
• Fill-in-the-Blank: The Vikings win was ________.
• Visit our new sponsor Stars Draft for Daily Fantasy Sports! (And no annoying commercials…)
Bookmark us on Amazon & show some love!

All that and other “Captain Sendejo” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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A Sunday where Calvin Johnson catches just two passes seems odd, right? Kind of like a game where the Vikings fail to score an offensive touchdown or rush for more than 100 yards, no? But this is the NFL, where missed opportunities are forgotten and memories are just a thing of the past.

The Vikings’ embarrassing loss to the 49ers? Mike Zimmer’s team is moving on. Calvin Johnson’s quiet, 4-target start? An anomaly, according to his Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi:

“So, certainly he’s going to certainly get his touches this year, and I think that was an anomaly that we had this first game.”

Johnson’s lack of touches began in 2014, when he played a shortened season because of injury (13 games) and was targeted just 128 times. That total, the second-lowest of his career, came just one season after Johnson caught 82 passes for 1,492 yards and scored 12 touchdowns. Though not physically diminished, Johnson’s decline can be attributed to the presence of Detroit’s other pass catchers, most notably Golden Tate.

Last season, Tate caught 99 passes for 1,331 yards, scoring five touchdowns and quickly earning the trust of Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. In Sunday’s game against the Chargers, Tate was targeted eight times, hauling in four catches for a pedestrian 24 yards. He’s a weapon in the slot, outside, and even in the return game, and Stafford relies on Tate once teams focus their attention on Johnson.

Fortunately for Mike Zimmer, the Vikings may not need to devote extra players to Johnson this Sunday. Why? Enter Xavier Rhodes.

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Zimmer’s got his “on to Detroit” shoes on as the Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings (0-1) open the home season at The Bank Sunday vs the Detroit Lions (0-1). It’s as close as you can get to a must win in a Week 2 game as the Purple try to bounce back from their non-appearance last Monday in San Francisco and the Lions lick their wounds from blowing a 21-3 2nd quarter lead in San Diego.

The winner will have their season back on track. The loser’s fan base will be ready to light cars on fire. They could also tie, but whatevs.

For the Lions perspective, we got Michael Grey (@TheMichaelGrey) of 107.3 WBBL Grand Rapids in the house to talk about the mehness of Matt Stafford, how rumors of Megatron’s demise are greatly exaggerated, and how Detroit could build a winning team if they simply RAN THE DAMN BALL. (Sound familiar?) He also has a Stone Cold Hot Take that will make some Vikings fans vomit if it comes to fruition.

Vikings wise, we have our man Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) of Vikings Journal/Daily Norseman back in the hizzy to rap about how the Vikings rebound from that cratering by the Bay and how we match up against a formidable Lions squad Week 2.

All that and other “Pray For Teddy” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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