Saturday, June 24, 2017

Matt Kalil

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Five Thoughts from the Vikings' win at Carolina.

zimmer suffocates cam
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

1. Zimmer suffocates Cam.

Since Mike Zimmer became the coach of the Vikings, the team has played the Panthers twice, and in those games, Cam Newton is a combined 39 of 70 for 456 yards, with one passing touchdown and four interceptions. You can clearly see the impact Zimmer’s schemes and gameplans have on the 2015 MVP, and on Sunday, the Vikings stifled Newton in a way that few defenses can (21/35, 262 YDS, 0 TD, 3 INT). They also sacked him eight times. It was, quite simply, a magnificent performance, especially considering how prolific the Panthers’ offense usually is at home.

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Alex Boone Injured in Vikings Win
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Lost in the excitement of yesterday’s win over the Carolina Panthers is the potential loss of Alex Boone. The Minnesota Vikings’ starting left guard was injured in the second quarter and did not return to the game. His hip injury will require an MRI this afternoon and adds another offensive lineman to Eric Sugarman’s cadre of “patients.”

Boone’s status is up-in-the-air, leaving the Vikings without two starters up front. Matt Kalil underwent hip surgery of his own on Thursday, ending his season just two games into the 2016 campaign. Second-year tackle T.J. Clemmings stepped into Kalil’s role on Sunday, performing well enough to keep Sam Bradford upright against the Panthers.

Jeremiah Sirles replaced Boone midway through the second quarter and held his own against a stout Carolina front. Asked after the game if he was worried about the injury, Boone simply told Brian Murphy, “All fine, all good.”

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Minnesota Vikings - Carolina Panthers

The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings have looked more like Discovery Health this week with long-term injuries and surgeries befalling Adrian Peterson, Matt Kalil, and Sharrif Floyd. But as we’ve seen from the Teddy Bridgewater injury, Mike Zimmer is not one to let his team just sit here and cry. Next man up and we’re on to Carolina.

To help preview the upcoming game in “totally nothing going on” Charlotte is show favorite Travis “T-Bone” Hancock of WFNZ. We talked about some of the civil unrest down there and how the community needs a football game, how Cam Newton has changed from last year, what the Panthers plan to do versus the Adrian-less Vikings, and also some mad love for Sam Bradford.

All that and other “Adrian Who?” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Another week and another win for the Minnesota Vikings last Sunday as they defeated the rival Green Bay Packers 17-14 at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings did indeed get the victory, but it certainly came at a cost.

Minnesota will now be without their starting left tackle Matt Kalil and starting running back Adrian Peterson for a majority of of the games left in the 2016 season. Kalil will miss the remainder of year while Peterson has a small chance to return to the field toward the end of the season.

But injuries happen to every team, every year and they are just part of the adversity that each franchise has to deal with during the course of a season. This is no different for the Vikings, who are not going to let a few road blocks get in the way of their journey to a Super Bowl win at the end of 2016.

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Is there one?

A Prescription for the Vikings Offensive Line
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The luster of an undefeated record masks the blemishes below the surface. For the Minnesota Vikings, that blemish is the offensive line. Through two games this season, the unit is Pro Football Focus’s 31st-ranked group and has struggled in every facet of play.

With Matt Kalil likely out for the season and T.J. Clemmings moving to left tackle, the prospects aren’t any better. Such overturn — and a sudden lack of depth — means offensive coordinator Norv Turner will have to adjust Minnesota’s scheme to compensate.

Shorter drops, shotgun looks, and a quick-hitting passing game could become the norm for the Vikings, who relied so heavily on a ground-and-pound attack in 2015. Even with those changes, there’s no guarantee the line improves. Right now, there’s no knowing how they can improve.

It’s the worry of every fan, and it’s the focus of this week’s Vikings Territory “Question of the Week:”

“What do you think is wrong with the OL, and how can it be fixed?”

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