Wednesday, December 7, 2016

matt asiata

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What Went Wrong: Week 10

Third and a Long One Yard
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Down a point to the Pittsburgh Steelers with nine seconds remaining, Ezekiel Elliott burst through the line of scrimmage and carried the Dallas Cowboys to an improbable win. His 32-yard touchdown sealed the game for Dallas, launching himself and the Cowboys into the NFL’s rarified air.

Last season, the Minnesota Vikings experienced similar joy — albeit, in a losing game — from Adrian Peterson. Down 10 to the Denver Broncos, facing a fourth-and-one in the fourth quarter, Teddy Bridgewater handed the ball to Peterson. Minnesota’s All-Pro running back exploded through a crease and jaunted to the end zone for a 48-yard touchdown, pulling the Vikings within three.

Fast forward to the present day, and such short-yardage situations aren’t a gimmie for the current Vikings offense. Gone are the days of a push by the offensive line and decisive running between the tackles. Sure, the Vikings try to play “power football,” but the results have been alarmingly disappointing.

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Minnesota Vikings-Chicago Bears - Blue Door Pub

The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings turned in their 2nd sleepwalking performance of the season Monday Night in Chicago. A failure on both the offensive and defensive lines allowed the Bears to slowly grind the Purple into a slaughtered stuffed animal pulp. Head coach Mike Zimmer has to figure out a way to jump start a lethargic offense (maybe send Norv out to pasture?) and a suddenly not as dominant defense.

Sam Ekstrom (Locked On Vikings) joined me LIVE at Blue Door Pub University to wrap up and put a bow on the Monday Night Madness and help us put The Nightmare On Halloween behind us.

All that and more “The Vikes Went as the Browns for Halloween” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint

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Four thoughts on the Vikings loss to the Bears, because it didn't deserve five.

play calling
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

1. I have rarely seen such poor play calling from an NFL team.

I’m usually the last to criticize NFL coaching. There’s so much going on that the average observer is unaware of (especially from watching a TV broadcast), it’s hard to say what they should be doing. We all have our ideas for what would make the offense work better, but without a full knowledge of why they’re calling it the way they are—and what the coaches are seeing that’s preventing them from doing the seemingly obvious—it’s hard to really say we know better than the guys running things.

And indeed, it seems I’m one of the last holdouts in Norv Turner criticism, but I’ve finally gotten there. The “Fire Norv” calls first came well before the 2016 season, but the Vikings fan base has grown increasingly agitated with Turner’s unimaginative play calling. It’s almost as if we were sold a bill of goods; here was this man who was spoken of as an offensive savant, someone who—while not ideally cast as a head coach—was perfectly suited to design the scheme and call the plays. There were promises of exotic sets and deep passes. Instead, what we’ve largely gotten—save for a few bright spots here and there—has been a rigid scheme that does not adapt to its personnel and an almost religious commitment to running on first down. The national media seem to still be buying the old narrative; even ESPN designed a graphic Monday night touting the “unpredictability” of a Norv Turner offense, and Jon Gruden rhapsodized the man’s offensive mind, while Vikings fans were left shaking their heads.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Well everyone, it happened. The Minnesota Vikings finally lost a game in 2016.

But this is good. Now they can focus on more important goals this season than trying to go undefeated. Like getting to a Super Bowl perhaps?

The Vikings will be looking to rebound this week against the Chicago Bears. Minnesota is 2-13 in their last 15 games played in Chicago, but this year’s Bears are about as scary as a stuffed animal found at the Vikings’ practice facility.

Before Minnesota takes the field on Monday night, there are a few things they must make sure they do in order to pick up their sixth win of the 2016 season.

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The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings were humbled Sunday for their first loss of the season, but the fanbase still believes head coach Mike Zimmer can Make the Vikings Great Again. To help me explain how is 1500 ESPN’s Gruesome Twosome Derek Wetmore and Phil Mackey. They joined me at Blue Door Pub University to talk some Vikes and eat some burgers (except Phil who’s doing the Whole 30 thing.)

What can be done about the offensive line (if anything)? Pete Carroll’s comments were taken EXTREMELY out of context, right? Plus a couple of random Brett Favre takes, media critiques, and a little role playing for a Sam Bradford press conference. #Chorizo

All that and more “Halloween is a Dumb Holiday But Join Us Monday at Blue Door, Details Below” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint

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