Monday, December 18, 2017

Ryan Quigley

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Minnesota Vikings 24, Carolina Panthers 31

Game Recap

The Vikings came up short in their attempt to win nine games in a row Sunday. The last game of a three-game road trip resulted in Minnesota’s third loss of the season, and prevented the 10-3 Vikings from clinching the playoffs and capturing the NFC North division crown.

Offensively the Vikings failed to establish the rushing attack early. Jerick McKinnon led the team with 46 yards on seven carries (6.6 YPC) and Latavius Murray managed only 14 yards on nine carries (1.6 YPC). Quarterback Case Keenum added 40 yards on five rushes.

The Vikings had some success through the air but were doomed with turnovers at inopportune times. Keenum finished the day 27 of 44 (61%) passing for 280 with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Vikings receiver Adam Thielen led Minnesota with six catches for 105 yards and a touchdown, but he also had two key drops in the end zone before the half. Instead of taking the lead at halftime the Vikings settled for a Kai Forbath field goal.

Stefon Diggs had six catches for 64 yards but had a ball bounce off his hands late in the game which resulted in a Carolina interception.

Tight end Kyle Rudolph had three catches for 42 yards with a touchdown but he also had issues catching the ball. Two dropped passes in the first half would have resulted in big plays for the offense. The Vikings top three pass catchers all had crucial drops throughout the game.

The Vikings defense was hurt by big plays, specifically two long runs. Carolina’s first touchdown was a 60-yard blast by Jonathan Stewart to the right of the center on third-and-one. Later in the game Cam Newton sealed the win with a 62-yard scamper up the middle of the field.

Defensive linemen Linval Joseph and Everson Griffen each collected a sack but Zimmer’s top-2 defensive unit couldn’t bounce back after giving up the long runs. Carolina rode 216 rushing yards en route to their fifth victory in six games.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Minnesota Vikings 14, Atlanta Falcons 9

The Vikings did what they set out to do Sunday. Not only did Minnesota win the third-down battle, the defense made the Falcons offense one-dimensional, the secondary shut down Julio Jones and the Purple came away with their eighth straight victory at Atlanta.

Quarterback Case Keenum started slowly but again finished the game strong, completing all 13 pass attempts of the second half, including his last 15 passes of the game. Keenum went 25 of 30 (83.3%) for 227 yards with two touchdowns. He had a QBR of 57.3 and a passer rating of 120.4.

The Vikings offensive line gave up two sacks but paved the way for another positive showing by Minnesota’s offense.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Wow, what a fun day! Lots of action. With roster cuts already in progress, here’s a last-minute Vikings 53-man roster projection, which includes Friday’s trade for cornerback Tramaine Brock:

Quarterback
  • Sam Bradford
  • Case Keenum
  • Teddy Bridgewater (PUP)

The Vikings rolled with two quarterbacks last year and I don’t see that changing this year. Taylor Heinicke is practice squad eligible and I don’t see teams lining up to snag him off waivers. Plus, there’s always Mitch Leidner.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Minnesota Vikings vs. Miami Dolphins

The (2-1) Vikings close out the preseason at U.S. Bank Stadium Thursday night against the (1-2) Miami Dolphins. The game is scheduled for 7pm CST.

The Vikings will open the regular season at home on Monday, September 11th against the New Orleans Saints.

Despite earning an exciting 32-31 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in their last preseason game on Sunday, the Vikings’ starting units were unimpressive in the win. Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer was not happy with the performance of his team.

Uncharacteristic mental mistakes plagued the first team defense as they allowed the 49ers to move the ball at will. The offense had a number of mistakes as well. Number one wide receiver Stefon Diggs had an off night, dropping two well-thrown passes from quarterback Sam Bradford. The offensive line starters struggled as well. Their performance led to three Bradford sacks.

The offensive starters have scored three points this preseason. While that may or may not be a reason to panic, the Vikings still have one more game to play before the regular season begins.

Image courtesy of Vikings.com
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Vikings Training Camp Preview

In just 11 days, the Minnesota Vikings open training camp on the Minnesota State, Mankato campus. Rookie practices begin on Monday, July 24th and full team practices start Thursday, July 27th.

As usual, this time of year has brought optimism to the Vikings and their fans. But this year, things seem different. There’s good reason to be excited, as the offseason resulted in refreshing roster replacements, an influx of young talent, and a promising outlook on lovable quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

To recap the offseason moves, Minnesota added free agents Latavius Murray, Riley Reiff, Datone Jones, Michael Floyd, and Mike Remmers.

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