Sunday, April 19, 2015
Tags Posts tagged with "Reggie Bush"

Reggie Bush

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NFC North by Matt Engstrom
NFC North by Matt Engstrom

The Vikings aren’t the only team making big decisions this offseason.

While our favorite team might be the most dramatic when it comes to their offseason circumstances, our enemies are busy making moves of their own. Here is a look at what they are up to this week:

GREEN BAY PACKERS

Our biggest foe of all is looking to overhaul their linebacker group in 2015 and that process begins by cutting loose some veteran players. The Packers first cut Brad Jones and then came Wednesday’s announcement that they were parting ways with A.J. Hawk, as well.

Jones and Hawk opened 2014 as Green Bay’s starting inside linebackers and now it appears they will both be elsewhere this coming season. Hawk has been with the Packers for all nine years on his NFL career, but at age 31 he has no intentions of retiring.

“I’m ready for some new opportunities,” he said, according to ESPN. “I feel good. Hopefully I get a chance somewhere else.”

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Some aren’t giving the Vikings a chance in 2014.  Some think they immediately make the jump back into contention.  Regardless of how you think they will do, the fact of the matter is that their first order of business has to be winning football games in the NFC North.  Here is our weekly look (after taking a week off) around the net at our greatest foes.

GREEN BAY PACKERS

There is no doubt that the Packers want to retain their ultra-productive wide receiver Jordy Nelson.  Nelson is 29 years old, entering a contract year, set to make only $2.55 million in 2014, and is clearly a favorite target for Aaron Rodgers on a weekly basis.  The running theory seems to be that Green Bay would like to extend Nelson this season, instead of waiting until next offseason, as they also have to get deals done with others such as Randall Cobb.  Nelson is likely the first domino that needs to fall before Ted Thompson can start working on the rest of his list of pending free agents for 2015.  Vikings fans (and defensive backs), of course, wouldn’t mind seeing Nelson’s extension hit a snag or ten between now and next March.

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Welcome to my first installment of what I am hoping to be a regular feature here at Vikings Territory.  Essentially, “The Other Guys” is an effort to take a look at the other teams in the NFC North and see what is happening with them.  After all, they are enemy number one, and our success can often directly correlate with their failure.

DETROIT LIONS

It sounds like the acquisition of Golden Tate had more to do with his talents as a wide out than what he can offer on special teams.  Only Dexter McCluster saw more punt returns last season than Tate did, but he has already conceded that the position still belongs to incumbent Jeremy Ross.  Additionally, Reggie Bush likes to think he has “graduated” from his return duty days and doesn’t plan on picking that habit back up anytime soon.  The news about Ross and his stronghold on the return man gig in Detroit is perhaps the first position battle in the league to sort itself out this offseason.

The Lions have won their last two opening games by scoring 27 points each against the Rams and Buccaneers over the past two seasons. I don’t think the Vikings offense is ready for a shoot-out in the Motor City, so let’s hope the defense and special teams can keep us in the game.

 The Lions lost their final eight games of the season last year to end a disappointing 4-12 campaign after making the playoffs in 2011. You can bet Jim Schwartz will have his team fired up and ready for a fresh start on Sunday.

 Detroit has averaged 26 points in 4 preseason games and could be on the brink to a fast start in 2013. Detroit has scored 11 touchdowns and converted 72 first downs compared to 8 touchdowns and 65 first downs for the Vikings over the last 4 weeks.

 The good news for the Vikings is Mathew Stafford only connected on 49% of his passes in preseason. So, if the Vikings’ defense can set the tone early and disrupt the connection between Stafford and Calvin Johnson, they might have a chance to grind out a win.

 In week four last year at Detroit, the Vikings sacked Stafford 5 times and the special teams returned a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns to steal a 20-13 victory. Can the Vikings dial up a similar game plan again this week?

The Lions added another weapon this off-season in RB Reggie Bush. Stafford might look to dump the ball off to Bush a lot to help relieve some of the pressure from our front four. It is no secret the Vikings’ corners will need to do a great job covering Calvin Johnson, but I think the linebackers and safeties will also need to do a good job containing Bush and TE Brandon Pettigrew if the Vikings want to leave Detroit with a win.

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