Friday, February 24, 2017

minnesota vikings

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Sam Bradford's Brilliant Vikings Debut Stands Alone

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Yes, the Minnesota Vikings missed the 2016 postseason. And yes, it was an excruciatingly painful season to endure. But, as we have already noted during previous Top-5 lists, there were a number of standout efforts throughout the season.

The Vikings may have finished with an 8-8 record, but that didn’t stop them from racking up a bevy of outstanding single-game performances. In fact, one could argue that ranking only five individual efforts (plus an honorable mention) does not actually do justice to the number of outstanding games that Minnesota’s 53-man roster produced.

Given that the 2016 season saw four Vikings (initially) named to the Pro Bowl (Harrison Smith, Xavier Rhodes, Everson Griffen, Cordarrelle Patterson), included breakout seasons from Adam Thielen and Danielle Hunter (if his six-sack rookie year wasn’t enough, that is) and played host to Sam Bradford’s record-breaking season, it should come as little surprise that Minnesota’s rollercoaster campaign included an impressive list of individual game performances.

Also, be sure to check out our previous rankings, and keep an eye out for the remaining articles in our series highlighting the most thrilling Vikings moments from the 2016 season:

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About the Labor: A Minnesota Vikings Podcast — Episode 37

Logo designed by Steve Danielson

BJ Reidell and Drew Mahowald review the Minnesota Vikings’ outstanding defensive season, sift through specific areas in need of improvement, evaluate the year-long performance of the unit’s greatest contributors and speculate both on if the defense will be better next year and how to assure improvement in 2017.

PRIMARY TALKING POINTS

  • Gaudy statistical rankings
  • Spectacular defensive line and pass-rush
  • Regression of linebacker Anthony Barr
  • Mike Zimmer’s ability to develop an outstanding defensive secondary
  • Specific areas in need of improvement
  • Speculation regarding impending free agents and potential hole-fillers

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Minnesota Vikings

The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings are at home watching the playoffs like the rest of us, but we’re still here (freezing our butts off) pontificating about how the Purple can reload for 2017. We open the show with a few loose thoughts: Why the Sam Bradford trade was the right move, the REAL reason the Vikings running game was so anemic this year, and why you should keep a close eye on what happens with assistant general manager George Paton.

Later in the show, Andrea Hangst (Sports on Earth, The Comeback) swings by to expand on Adrian Peterson’s future, the upcoming quarterback issue the Vikings may face, her thoughts on free agent targets Andrew Whitworth & Kevin Zeitler, and what Mike Zimmer needs to work on to become an upper echelon NFL head coach.

All that and more “We Shouldn’t Have Fired Jeff Davidson I Guess” chatter on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint

SWAG! Order The GREATEST T-SHIRT OF ALL-TIME

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About the Labor: A Minnesota Vikings Podcast — Episode 36

Logo designed by Steve Danielson

BJ Reidell and Drew Mahowald begrudgingly begin the Minnesota Vikings offseason with a thorough review of the team’s offense.

PRIMARY TALKING POINTS

  • Sam Bradford’s first season in Minnesota
  • Why it’s difficult to debate quarterbacks at this point
  • Future of Adrian Peterson and Jerick McKinnon
  • Breakout season for the wide receiver and tight end positions
  • Telling it like it is with the offense line

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Cordarrelle Patterson, Marcus Sherels "Return" to Top of Special Teams Rankings

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Keeping the positive energy going with our third installment in a series recapping the greatest moments of the Minnesota Vikings’ tumultuous 2016 season. 

The Minnesota Vikings may have struggled to convert extra point attempts at a high rate and Blair Walsh certainly earned his release amid the 2016 season, but just about every other special teams group was exceptional. Walsh’ replacement Kai Forbath, however, has absolutely no clue how it feels to miss a field goal as a member of the Vikings, having converted all 15 of his attempts in Minnesota.

Cordarrelle Patterson and Marcus Sherels continued their reign as the best at their respective return positions and combine to form the most lethal return specialist combination in professional football — and no, this is not debatable because it’s as close to fact as a subjective statement can be.

Even punter Jeff Locke, who I have literally been saying screaming should be released by the Vikings since 2014, produced both his best and most consistent season as a professional.

While there were moments the team would take a mulligan on — Adam Thielen’s fumble on a punt return against Dallas, in particular — each of the aforementioned elements plus Patterson’s flat-out dominant efforts as a gunner, Mike Priefer’s unit was about as good as it gets in the NFL.

Many teams don’t produce five highlight-reel special teams plays over the duration of an entire season, but the Vikings could put together a nice collection with just their snaps against the Arizona Cardinals. Without further ado, here are our Vikings Top-5 Special Teams Plays in 2016.

Be sure to check out our previous rankings as well, and keep an eye out for the remaining articles in our series highlighting the most thrilling Vikings moments from the 2016 season:

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