Thursday, December 14, 2017

Mackensie Alexander

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Minnesota Vikings 14, Atlanta Falcons 9

The Vikings did what they set out to do Sunday. Not only did Minnesota win the third-down battle, the defense made the Falcons offense one-dimensional, the secondary shut down Julio Jones and the Purple came away with their eighth straight victory at Atlanta.

Quarterback Case Keenum started slowly but again finished the game strong, completing all 13 pass attempts of the second half, including his last 15 passes of the game. Keenum went 25 of 30 (83.3%) for 227 yards with two touchdowns. He had a QBR of 57.3 and a passer rating of 120.4.

The Vikings offensive line gave up two sacks but paved the way for another positive showing by Minnesota’s offense.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Week 13: Minnesota Vikings at Atlanta Falcons

The Vikings take on the Falcons this Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. The game is at noon (CST). The Vikings are 4-1 on the road this season, while the Falcons are 3-2 at home.

Both teams are hot, as the Vikings have won seven straight games and the Falcons have won four of the past five.

The Vikings, still blazing after a Thanksgiving win over the Detroit Lions, have the opportunity to add fuel to their playoff positioning while burning Atlanta’s in the process.

Last week, Atlanta’s offense finally ignited. The Falcons exploded for 516 total yards in their win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Julio Jones, the Dirty Birds’ leading pass catcher, scorched the Buccaneers secondary for over 250 receiving yards. The Falcons offense caught fire on third down, going 11 of 14 and improving its league-leading third-down conversion percentage.

In Sunday’s showdown, both teams face a heat check. Looking to douse Atlanta’s flame is an even hotter Minnesota squad.

The Vikings counter with a defense that is best in the NFL at smothering opposing offenses on third-down (28.5%). Through 11 games, the top-5 unit has at times been suffocating. This week, it will be tasked with perhaps its most difficult assignment of the season: extinguishing a prolific NFL offense in its home stadium.

The Vikings defense versus the Falcons offense; it’s a great matchup on paper. Let’s take a look at how the numbers stack up, five storylines to follow, matchup history, the injury reports for both teams, game implications, and a Borman Breakdown complete with a score prediction.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer just blew up Twitter.

In Tuesday’s press conference, Zimmer explained what he loves about quarterback Case Keenum, how he plays football and his willingness to takes risks.

“The thing I like the most about Case [Keenum] is he’s got big balls. He’s not afraid. He’s going to pull the trigger and he’s going to play like that, so, you know, that’s a good thing.”

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Episode 132

Graphic designed by Brett Anderson

BJ Reidell and Drew Mahowald discuss the Minnesota Vikings naming Case Keenum the starting quarterback against the Los Angeles Rams and Rick Spielman’s gripe with Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen and Fox Sports before finishing off with a coverage chart update and some Twitter takes.

Episode 132 is proudly sponsored by SoCom Creative.

PRIMARY TALKING POINTS

  1. Into: The Agenda (0:00)
  2. Sponsor Note: SoCom Creative (1:15)
  3. Case Closed: Rapid Reaction to Case Keenum Being Named the Starter (1:54)
  4. 3rd-Leg Greg: Rick Spielman Rattled About by Greg Olsen in the Booth this Weekend (13:58)
  5. Coverage Chart: Mackensie Alexander and Andrew Sendejo Shine (22:20)
  6. Twitter Takes: Taylor Heinicke’s Ghost Continues to Haunt BJ (30:00)
  7. Sign-Out: Subscribe and Review on iTunes and/or Stitcher! (47:15)

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

A look at the stat book reveals how the Vikings defense has stacked up after eight games.

In 2013 the Minnesota Vikings defense ranked 31st in the NFL. They gave up 397.6 yards per game. They also allowed 30.0 points per game.

That all changed in 2014 when the team acquired one of the best defensive-minded coaches in the NFL, head coach Mike Zimmer. Under Zimmer, the Vikings defense has gone from bottom of the barrel to a perennial top-5 squad.

Through Week 9, here are the notable team and individual defensive statistics.

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