Monday, February 8, 2016

harrison smith

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Although the Minnesota Vikings field a top-five defense and a number of different playmakers on offense, just one player was selected to the 2016 Pro Bowl — running back Adrian Peterson. His selection, the first since 2013, was an obvious choice, as Peterson leads the league with 1,314 rushing yards and has often been the cog in Vikings victories this season.

This marks Peterson’s seventh Pro Bowl appearance and ties him with Ron Yary for fourth-most all-time in franchise history. While Peterson was the easiest choice among voting fans, players, and coaches, others could definitely be considered snubs, including center Joe Berger, nose tackle Linval Joseph, free safety Harrison Smith, and linebacker Anthony Barr. According to Pro Football Focus’s recent mock Pro Bowl roster, those four made the list, with Cordarrelle Patterson (leads the league with 31.1 yards/return) joining them as one of two kick returners.

Berger is the analytics website’s second-highest ranked center,  while Smith misses the Pro Bowl for the second straight year despite playing at an All-Pro level. Like Joseph and Barr, Smith has missed significant time with injuries, which may have hurt his case for the January 31 showcase. Barr is Pro Football Focus’s top-ranked outside linebacker, with 21 total pressures, a batted pass, and 35 defensive stops. While any of these players may be added at a later date — due to injuries or declined invites — they’re more-than-deserving at this point of the season.

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Teddy Dave Bridgewater silenced a lot of critics Sunday with his four passing touchdown, zero interception and one rushing score performance at The Bank lifting the Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings over the Chicago Bears 38-17 in a crucial game for the final playoff push. We recap the game that was and explain why it might have happened…..

Control Our Own Destiny Talking Points Include
• Teddy Bridgewater Quieted The Haters
• Teddy Ballgame
• Props to Norv Turner for Calling a Solid Game
• Freed McKinnon
• The Offense is Better Without Adrian Peterson
• Welcome Back Stefon Diggs!
• Take a Bow, Brian Robison
• The Defense Played Well Without Key Starters
• The Vikings Kickoff Coverage Game Needs Work.
• Mike Zimmer Coaching Nuggets
• Random Thoughts
• Giants Coming Up
• We Control Own Desitny: 2 Wins Get the North

All this and other “I’m not smart enough to figure out playoff scenarios” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

For the second straight week, the Minnesota Vikings will be without three of their top defenders. Linval Joseph, who was limited in practice on Thursday and Friday, is missing his third straight game since injuring his foot against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 12. Barr (hand/groin) and Smith (knee/hamstring) returned to the field against the Seattle Seahawks two weeks ago, but haven’t seen the field since leaving that game early in the first quarter.

Both Barr and Smith were ruled out on Friday, opening the door for two of the Vikings’ promising rookies — Edmond Robinson and Anthony Harris. Robinson played well in place of Barr against the Arizona Cardinals and Harris flashed his range in the secondary, breaking up a would-be touchdown to Cardinals wide receiver Michael Floyd.

A look at the rest of the team’s inactives:

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BONUS Bears-Vikings coverage this week with a special chat with show favorite Julie DiCaro (@JulieDiCaro) of 670 The Score in Chicago.

We talked about how Jay Cutler suddenly is being re-embraced by the Chicago faithful, how Vikings and Bears fans can be eerily similar, why 30-year old running back Matt Forte and 30-year old running back Adrian Peterson are extremely different, predictions for Sunday’s game, and what it’s like for Julie to be married to a diehard Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings fan.

All that and other “Clark Griswold was a Vikings fan” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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Star Wars is a thing. And the Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings and the Chicago Bears are set to clash at TCF Bank Stadium Sunday like the Rebel Alliance and the Dark Side and the Romulans and the…. I’ve never seen Star Wars…. But Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) has! We talk about The Force as well as the Purple People Eaters as he makes his weekly stop.

We also chatted about which Vikings will make the Pro Bowl (not that the Pro Bowl matters), ask if Rick Spielman is underrated, why Linval Joseph being back is monsterous for our playoff chances, and Arif casts Vikings players as Star Wars characters. Because that’s original.

All that and other “I’ve only seen the Family Guy Star Wars….” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

Read all of Arif’s stuff at The Daily Norseman and Vikings Journal as well as listen to his podcast Norse Code.

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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