Thursday, October 19, 2017

kyle rudolph

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Packers at Vikings Week 6 Recap

The Minnesota Vikings beat the Green Bay Packers in Minneapolis Sunday by a score of 23 to 10. The biggest news stemming from the game: Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers left in the first quarter due to a broken collarbone. He could miss the rest of the season.

Green Bay was not the same after losing their star quarterback. Packers backup Brett Hundley replaced Rodgers in the second quarter and struggled. The 2015 5th-round pick went 18 of 33 for 157 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. He also fumbled once and was sacked four times for a total of 20 yards. His QB rating was 39.6.

Green Bay’s rushing attack also sputtered as it squared up against Minnesota’s 6th-ranked run defense. Running backs Ty Montgomery and Aaron Jones combined for 69 yards on 23 carries (3.0 YPC) as the Packers failed to get any momentum going on offense.

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Why did the Minnesota Vikings start quarterback Sam Bradford against the Chicago Bears?

The question, which is a fair one, will be asked by many football fans after watching Bradford struggle to stay upright during the first half. He limped noticeably at times and appeared to be more concerned with protecting himself than quarterbacking.

Bradford was not himself. He finished 5 of 11 for 36 yards. He was sacked four times for 35 yards. Bradford was replaced by backup quarterback Case Keenum on the Vikings last possession of the first half.

The Vikings lead the Bears 10-2 at the time of this post.

UPDATE: Keenum was 10 of 11 for 71 yards and a touchdown to tight end Kyle Rudolph. He had a QB rating of 126.5 when this article was posted.

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Week 1: Vikings/Saints Preview

The Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints will open their 2017 regular seasons with a bang on Monday Night Football. The primetime match up is a classic top-offense versus top-defense showdown, with a little Adrian Peterson sprinkled in.

It’s a familiar story; a well-known player that spent many years with his original team signs with a new one, and then returns to where he began his career. But this homecoming is different. Peterson was the face of the Vikings franchise for a decade. Not only that, he may be one of the top-five Vikings of all time. The reception Peterson receives from the home crowd will be noteworthy.

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Wow, what a fun day! Lots of action. With roster cuts already in progress, here’s a last-minute Vikings 53-man roster projection, which includes Friday’s trade for cornerback Tramaine Brock:

Quarterback
  • Sam Bradford
  • Case Keenum
  • Teddy Bridgewater (PUP)

The Vikings rolled with two quarterbacks last year and I don’t see that changing this year. Taylor Heinicke is practice squad eligible and I don’t see teams lining up to snag him off waivers. Plus, there’s always Mitch Leidner.

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Bucky Hodges on the Rise

Historically, the Minnesota Vikings have lacked a one-two punch at tight end. The last time the Vikings had two tight ends catch more than 30 passes in a season was in 2013, when Kyle Rudolph missed eight games due to injury. That season, Rudolph had 30 catches and John Carlson had 32. Before that, the last occurrence was in 2002, when Jimmy Kleinsasser had 37 receptions and Byron Chamberlain had 34.

Fast forward to 2016. Starting tight end Rudolph enjoyed a breakout season, catching 83 passes for 840 yards and seven touchdowns. But Rhett Ellison, the team’s number two tight end, caught only nine passes.

This offseason, after Ellison signed with the New York Giants, the Vikings attempted to add another weapon to their tight end arsenal. Free agent Jared Cook, known for his downfield pass-catching skills, came to Minnesota for a visit, but he ultimately joined the Oakland Raiders.

Enter rookie Bucky Hodges. The raw-but-talented receiver that plays tight end may be just the player the Vikings have been searching for. Realistically, it’s too early to predict a 30-plus catch season for Hodges in 2017, but if he can make strides developing his technique, the sky is the limit for the 22 year-old.

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