Sunday, October 22, 2017

Latavius Murray

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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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The Minnesota Vikings escaped with a 20-17 win at Soldier Field against the Chicago Bears on Monday night, thanks to the late-game heroics of Harrison Smith and a strong second-half performance by Case Keenum.

Sam Bradford began the game at quarterback for the Vikings. The report from the team was that the bone bruise in his left knee was feeling much better and more comfortable, so he suited up.

Somebody was lying.

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Monday night, Jerick McKinnon became the Vikings’ running back.

Through his career, I’ve been lukewarm on McKinnon. Generally I think he has been an average runner whose shiftiness is more rumor than real and, basically, we think of him as better than he is because he shows potential.

But he won me over against the Bears. Monday night, McKinnon took the reigns as the lead of the Vikings’ timeshare and proved he’s capable of staying there. He was equally effective as a runner and receiver, showing burst through the hole and finishing runs with authority. McKinnon seemed to seek out contact at the ends of plays, picking up two or three crucial extra yards to make the following downs more manageable. Essentially, he did the things we appreciated out of Dalvin Cook before his injury.

McKinnon rushed 16 times for 95 yards and a touchdown, and also tied for the team lead with 6 receptions for 51 yards. He was a integral part of the offense in the second half, when the Vikings did most of their damage.

Latavius Murray played well, too, and he’ll still be a major factor in the backfield. But Monday, McKinnon stole the show. Remember, Murray/McKinnon was the plan before Cook unexpectedly fell to the Vikings in the draft, and if the win over the Bears is any indication, Plan A might work out just fine.

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Week 5: Vikings and Bears – Three Reasons For Optimism

By all accounts, last week was a tough one. Outside of the Vikings’ sobering loss to the Detroit Lions, we witnessed the gut-wrenching event in Las Vegas and the death of music legend Tom Petty. Like much of the country, Vikings fans are in mourning, once again attempting to move forward after a crippling turn of events.

Dalvin Cook, the team’s most electric rookie running back since Adrian Peterson, is done for the year after tearing his ACL. Cook is undoubtedly the team’s best back, and his loss has left many Vikings fans pondering if the team can even compete without him in the lineup.

For whatever reason, it seems the football gods keep creating reasons for the Vikings and their fan base to give up hope. Yet, despite the all-too-familiar news for Minnesota’s football team, there are multiple reasons why the franchise can’t, and won’t, back down.

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The Vikings add a running back as two playmakers return to practice.

The Minnesota Vikings needed a running back after rookie star Dalvin Cook suffered a torn ACL in his left knee last Sunday. Cook, who will miss the reminder of the season, left big shoes to fill. The Vikings looked to the open market to find his roster replacement.

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