Thursday, November 26, 2015

kyle rudolph

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The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings are 6-2 at the midway point of the 2015 campaign. It’s a hellagood start so let’s celebrate by handing out some hellabad fake mid-season awards!

The Categories Are….
• Best Offensive Lineman
• Best Rookie
• TJ Maxx Best Value
• Best Zimmer-ism
• Best Offensive Player
• Best Defensive Player
• Best Comparison of a Vikings Player to a Food Item
• Best Special Teams Player
• Best Injured Linebacker
• Most Underrated Viking
• Most Overrated Viking
• Best Game So Far
• Best Vikings Podcast….

We also pay tribute to the recently departed, and former love of my life, Chase Ford. #RIP #ItsAllAboutTheU

All that and other “Bradley Cooper should replace Sendejo” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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Image courtesy of

The recipe for success in the NFL is hardly consistent; coaches will adjust starting lineups, offensive packages, and personnel groupings to fit their needs on a weekly basis. Like adding more pepper to spice up a dish, for example, changing a defense’s alignment can completely alter the way that unit performs on the field. And like any good chef, the league’s best coaches know what ingredients work exceptionally well together.

The beauty of football, then, is the fact that the combinations are different for all 32 franchises. In Carolina, the Panthers run the ball on 51.89 percent of their offensive plays. The Patriots, on other hand, run the ball less than nearly every other team in the league, at just 34.76 percent. Each team takes the field on Sunday with a different approach, but each is currently undefeated. They know exactly what works, what doesn’t, and how to maximize the talent on their roster.

For Mike Zimmer, Norv Turner, and the rest of the Minnesota Vikings, their own formula is becoming clear. On offense, Teddy Bridgewater is doing just enough to win games, while Adrian Peterson continues to carry the unit with powerful running in between the tackles. On the other side of the ball, an aggressive front-seven maintains its discipline in Zimmer’s scheme to suffocate opponents. Their recipe combines a run-first offensive attack with collective speed on defense — ingredients that work well together no matter when or where the Vikings play.

Against the Chicago Bears last week, Minnesota relied on their strengths to move to 5-2 and win their third straight game. With the victory, the Vikings are 3-0 in the division and on a crash course with the Green Bay Packers for the NFC North title. The running game and consistency on defense are this team’s bread and butter, and man, does that combination taste delicious right now.

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(photo courtesy of

After already playing (and defeating) the Detroit Lions twice, Minnesota will now face another of its conference rivals: Chicago. The Bears have certainly looked to be a less-than-stable team so far this season, and the Vikings defense should be enough to handle Jay Cutler and Co.

It cannot be ignored, however, that Cutler is an unpredictable force and on any given Sunday can be playing at one extreme or the other. The Vikings have also historically struggled at Soldier Field. Since 2000, Minnesota has won just one of the 14 road games against Chicago.

There are plenty of factors to consider about Sunday’s game, so let’s see how the two teams match up offensively.

Offensive Line

Now that it’s been all but guaranteed that John Sullivan will not return to the field in 2015, the Vikings know exactly what they’re working with long term. While it’s incredibly difficult to fill Sullivan’s shoes (or cleats, in this instance), Joe Berger has done an okay job stepping in as a veteran who isn’t naturally a center. Heading into Sunday’s game, the biggest concern might be rookie T.J. Clemmings.

While Clemmings hasn’t done too terrible of a job considering he was tossed into the fire in Phil Loadholt‘s absence, the rookie got demolished against Denver in Week 4 and may face a similar situation going up against linebacker Pernell McPhee. Clemmings looked entirely overwhelmed blocking against the Broncos, and McPhee could give him trouble.

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More like the "Dead Zone"

Image courtesy of

The NFL Sunday Ticket Red Zone channel is the greatest invention since, well…American football. It takes everything we love about Sunday football — touchdowns, highlights, big plays — and condenses it into one continuous stream so that fans don’t miss any of the action.

Tom Brady threw a touchdown to Rob Gronkowski in the corner of the end zone? Red Zone shows you the play. The Browns fumbled the ball on fourth-and-one from the five? Red Zone takes you straight to the action. The Minnesota Vikings…kick another field goal? Unfortunately, Red Zone cuts to Blair Walsh, kicking yet another field goal from within an opponents’ 20 yard-line.

In most cases, you want the station to cut your team in the red zone — it’s the land of golden opportunity on the gridiron, the area of the field that puts tremendous stress on opposing defenses. But as a Vikings fan, it’s more “Dead Zone” than any of those analogies. Even with a historically successful red zone running back and efficient quarterback, these 2015 Minnesota Vikings are struggling to put points on the board from the 20-in.

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Bacon, red meat and all processed meats cause cancer now. Don’t care.

What I DO care about is a long-form podcast talking Vikings and other Minnesota sports with Tom Schreier of Cold Omaha (with Di out sick this week). I chew the (bacon) fat with Tom about the outlook of the Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings, why the Stefon Diggs-vs-Odell Beckham Jr will be a debate soon, a remembrance of the late Flip Saunders, a beat writer’s take on Torii Hunter, and why the Vikings need to BRING BROCK VEREEN ON THE ACTIVE ROSTER AND START HIM OPPOSITE OF HARRISON.

Warning: This episode is primarily Vikings based but we venture off quite a bit into Wolves and Twins.

All that and other “We started Jim Bob Cooter” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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