Thursday, December 14, 2017

luke kuechly

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Minnesota Vikings 24, Carolina Panthers 31

Game Recap

The Vikings came up short in their attempt to win nine games in a row Sunday. The last game of a three-game road trip resulted in Minnesota’s third loss of the season, and prevented the 10-3 Vikings from clinching the playoffs and capturing the NFC North division crown.

Offensively the Vikings failed to establish the rushing attack early. Jerick McKinnon led the team with 46 yards on seven carries (6.6 YPC) and Latavius Murray managed only 14 yards on nine carries (1.6 YPC). Quarterback Case Keenum added 40 yards on five rushes.

The Vikings had some success through the air but were doomed with turnovers at inopportune times. Keenum finished the day 27 of 44 (61%) passing for 280 with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Vikings receiver Adam Thielen led Minnesota with six catches for 105 yards and a touchdown, but he also had two key drops in the end zone before the half. Instead of taking the lead at halftime the Vikings settled for a Kai Forbath field goal.

Stefon Diggs had six catches for 64 yards but had a ball bounce off his hands late in the game which resulted in a Carolina interception.

Tight end Kyle Rudolph had three catches for 42 yards with a touchdown but he also had issues catching the ball. Two dropped passes in the first half would have resulted in big plays for the offense. The Vikings top three pass catchers all had crucial drops throughout the game.

The Vikings defense was hurt by big plays, specifically two long runs. Carolina’s first touchdown was a 60-yard blast by Jonathan Stewart to the right of the center on third-and-one. Later in the game Cam Newton sealed the win with a 62-yard scamper up the middle of the field.

Defensive linemen Linval Joseph and Everson Griffen each collected a sack but Zimmer’s top-2 defensive unit couldn’t bounce back after giving up the long runs. Carolina rode 216 rushing yards en route to their fifth victory in six games.

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Minnesota Vikings
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Week 14: Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers

The Vikings (10-2) will travel to Charlotte, North Carolina this weekend to take on Panthers (8-4) at Bank of America Stadium. The game is Sunday at noon (CST).

The showdown will be a battle between two top-10 defenses.

Earlier in the week, we looked at how the teams stacked up by numbers. Now, let’s focus on the individual matchups that will be crucial in determining the game’s outcome.

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Brent: Luke Kuechly, MLB, Carolina Panthers
There is something to be said about adding a top WR to the roster in hopes of helping Teddy Bridgewater and I would have a hard time arguing against that logic. However, adding Kuechly would be tremendous for this defense. Simply the best at his position, Kuechly is excellent against the pass and the run and would serve as a the leader of the defense. Filling a big hole on the Vikings defense, his consistency would allow Zimmer to be super creative and flexible with his other defensive studs and would give the Vikings two of the top young linebackers in the league.

Austin: Luke Kuechly, MLB, Carolina Panthers
The Minnesota Vikings have one gaping hole on the defensive side of the ball – middle linebacker. With Patrick Willis retired and Navarro Bowman returning from a gruesome knee injury, Kuechly begins 2015 as the league’s best middle linebacker. Since entering the NFL in 2012, Kuechly has racked up 473 tackles and is a constant presence around the football. He possesses a rare combination of speed and aggressiveness, and consistently uses his football IQ to diagnose plays in the backfield. He’d step in immediately and contribute on Mike Zimmer’s unit.

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Day fourteen of our Community Mock Draft saw the Dallas Cowboys select Stanford guard David DeCastro by a fairly overwhelming majority.

Up next is the “Dream Team” from Philadelphia.

Make your selection:

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Day Eleven of our Community Mock is updated with the results from our last poll.  We awarded nose tackle Dontari Poe to the Chiefs and now it is the Seattle Seahawks that are on the clock.

The Seahawks recently signed quarterback Matt Flynn to compete with Tarvaris Jackson in the starting lineup, but there are plenty of other needs to fill and that will start with this selection.

View the Community Mock by clicking here.

Cast your vote below.

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