Sunday, November 29, 2015

Mike Zimmer

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Black Friday shopping sucks. You should curl up with a nice podcast instead and join Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) and me as we chat about the 7-3 Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings as we prepare to make Atlanta howl on Sunday. The Purple have a prime opportunity to get back up after the Packer debacle and solidify themselves as a playoff team by going into the Georgia Dome and taking care of business against the 6-4 Falcons. Fake crowd noise be damned.

All that and other “Roasted Dirty Birds” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

Read all of Arif’s stuff at The Daily Norseman and Vikings Journal as well as listen to his podcast Norse Code.

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Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful. It also falls on a #ThrowBackThursday, so it’s good synergy to revisit one of my favorite podcast interviews, my chat with KFAN personality and Radio Voice of the Minnesota Vikings Paul Allen (@PAontheMic). The podcast has afforded me many opportunities to chat with some great guests and serve an audience of passionate Vikings football fans and for that I have a tremendous amount to be thankful for.

So sit back and enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with friends and family, watch some football, take a food coma nap, and if you have some time listen to PA and I talk some Vikings football from April (three weeks before the draft). It’s funny to see where our hot takes when both right and wrong.

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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Sunday sucked but there’s not time to dwell in the NFL as the 7-3 Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings are still in prime position to make a playoff push and make some noise in the postseason. Ted Glover (@PurpleBuckeye) and Eric Thompson (@eric_j_thompson) of The Daily Norseman stop by to briefly reminisce about the 30-13 Sunday curbstomping, look ahead towards the pivotal matchup with the Atlanta Falcons, and chat about how to go Feastmode at Thanksgiving.

All that and other “It’s the Damn Squirrel’s Fault” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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(photo courtesy of

At (just barely) 21 years old, defensive end Danielle Hunter is the youngest player in the NFL. A common word to describe him coming into the league was “raw.” And while that may have been true, Hunter is rapidly overcoming that label and demonstrating that he can play a big role in the Vikings defense. The Daily Norseman‘s Andrew Renschen said it well Sunday:

Minnesota drafted Hunter No. 88 overall in the 2015 NFL Draft. The LSU alum had fairly limited football experience (two years high school + three years college), but general manager Rick Spielman and head coach Mike Zimmer felt strongly on his character and maturity level when they brought him in.

“[Hunter’s] a physical specimen,” Spielman said after drafting him. “He plays extremely hard […] he’s raw. He’s a project. We’ll have to work with him […] but we feel that he has tremendous upside to grow as a football player.”

Upside is right. While it may not have been written into the blueprints to give Hunter so much playing time this season, the defensive end has gotten more than a few snaps under his belt and is showing exactly the potential Spielman spoke of.

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Image courtesy of

The lights at TCF Bank Stadium were too bright for the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, and as it has so many times this season, the glare of the spotlight blinded Mike Zimmer’s young team to one unfortunate truth — they’re not ready to dethrone the Green Bay Packers in the NFC North.

Sure, the Vikings seemed to be the favorites heading into yesterday’s 30-13 loss, but talk is just unnecessary noise.  “They’re riding a five-game winning streak, holding teams to less than 17 points per game, winning by running the football,” we said. All true, but meaningless once the first whistle blows and the game begins.

It was clear from the start that the Vikings are an improved team, but better than the Packers? Not yet. They shot themselves in the foot with untimely penalties, costly miscues in pass protection, and missed opportunities in the game’s most crucial moments. In a game they needed to win, the Vikings folded under the pressure.

Don’t look at this game as a repeat of their Week 1 performance, though. This wasn’t an unprepared team, or even an outmatched team. It was a team that let the emotions of the moment take over and throw off the chemistry that’s made this such a surprisingly successful season. Captain Munnerlyn, a new addition to Quote of the Week,  reflected on that point after the game:

“I think some guys are too excited and some guys have never been in these situations before. The only way to be in that situation is to take this stance, I’m glad they got the experience. You have to treat it like a normal game. We did a lot of uncharacteristic things trying to get up for this game when you just have to treat it like a normal game and let the game come to you.  I don’t feel like we did that today.”

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