Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Joe Thomas

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image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings are 10-point favorites for their Week 8 matchup with the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, according to MyBookie. Straight up, Minnesota is a -460 favorite while Cleveland is a +335 underdog.

Sunday’s showdown from London will feature two teams heading in opposite directions. The Vikings are winners of three straight and currently own the No. 2 seed in the NFC, just one game behind the Philadelphia Eagles. Minnesota’s defense ranks in the top five in the NFL in several categories, as it has the past few years under Mike Zimmer. Offensively, the Vikings have adequately survived despite injuries to their starting quarterback, running back and wide receiver.

Cleveland enters Sunday with an 0-7 record, joining the San Francisco 49ers as the only winless teams in the NFL this season. The Browns have cycled through three quarterbacks this season — rookie DeShone Kizer, Cody Kessler and Kevin Hogan. The team announced this week that Kizer will get the start in London against arguably Cleveland’s toughest defensive test of the season. Additionally, the Browns will be without All-Pro left tackle Joe Thomas for the first time since 2006.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Recap of Monday’s press conference with Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer.

After a victory over the Baltimore Ravens Sunday, the Vikings are in sole possession of first place in the NFC North. This Sunday, they take on a team that’s 1-22 the last two seasons. Although the matchup screams blowout, they must take care of business in order to enter next week’s bye week with momentum and, perhaps more importantly, a happy coach.

Special Teams

Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer opened the presser by saying, “I thought it was a good team win [Sunday]. Baltimore special teams are very, very good. They’re good year-in and year-out… I thought we played outstanding on special teams. We changed the field position quite a few times. Punted the ball, kicked the ball well, covered, and had some good returns. So that was a big part of [the win Sunday].”

Offensive Line Performance

The performance of the Vikings offensive line is a large reason why the team is averaging 4.3 yards per carry this season after averaging just 3.2 YPC last season. “Our guys can get to the second level because we’re athletic…it’s allowing us to get some better runs,” said Zimmer. The unit is also paving the way for a more potent passing attack.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Vikings Week 6 Injury Report

In Sunday’s divisional showdown against the NFC North rival Green Bay Packers (4-1), the Minnesota Vikings (3-2) will be without their starting quarterback and top receiver. Sam Bradford, who has missed four of the past five games, is day-to-day with a knee injury, while Stefon Diggs is nursing a hamstring injury.

Bradford reached a point of being unable to protect himself Monday night against the Chicago Bears, but he did not suffer a new injury in his knee, according to team trainer Eric Sugarman. After missing practice this week, he was officially ruled out by head coach Mike Zimmer Friday.

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Feat. Jordan Reid (Viking Age) & Myles Gorham (Vikings Digital Diaries) — Episode 45

BJ Reidell and Drew Mahowald welcome aboard guest stars Jordan Reid (The Viking Age) and Myles Gorham (Vikings Digital Diaries) to discuss the Minnesota Vikings’ most expendable assets, defensive tackle prospects, linebacker prospects and plenty more on Episode 45 of About the Labor.

PRIMARY TALKING POINTS

  • Vikings Analysis: Determining expendable assets with value on the open market
  • Vikings Analysis: Is exploring a trade a good idea?
  • Vikings Hypothetical: How much would you trade to acquire Dallas Cowboys’ Tyron Smith?
  • Draft: Larry Ogunjobi and 2017 defensive tackle prospects the Vikings may be reviewing
  • Draft: Sharrif Floyd’s status determines what round the Vikings look defensive tackle during
  • Draft: Deion Jones and the new wave of linebackers in the NFL
  • Draft: Duke Riley and 2017 linebacker prospects the Vikings may be reviewing
  • Draft: Determining Eric Kendricks’ role impacts what type of linebacker the Vikings target
  • Draft: Sleeper picks in the 2017 draft class
  • Skol Spin: Jordan Reid steps into the Skol Spin hot seat

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The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings were humbled Sunday for their first loss of the season, but the fanbase still believes head coach Mike Zimmer can Make the Vikings Great Again. To help me explain how is 1500 ESPN’s Gruesome Twosome Derek Wetmore and Phil Mackey. They joined me at Blue Door Pub University to talk some Vikes and eat some burgers (except Phil who’s doing the Whole 30 thing.)

What can be done about the offensive line (if anything)? Pete Carroll’s comments were taken EXTREMELY out of context, right? Plus a couple of random Brett Favre takes, media critiques, and a little role playing for a Sam Bradford press conference. #Chorizo

All that and more “Halloween is a Dumb Holiday But Join Us Monday at Blue Door, Details Below” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

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