Sunday, November 29, 2015

shariff floyd

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Vikings Raiders
Image courtesy of

The Vikings have won four straight games. They’ve won on the road, against division foes and, most recently, against a team with a winning record. The Vikings are 6-2 and are now not only in the playoff conversation but also in the division championship conversation. Looking ahead at the schedule. the Vikings have some difficult match ups in front of them. Just a week ago, ESPN found that the Vikings have the hardest remaining schedule in the NFL. It seems like from this point forward, every week is going to be a tough game.

This week is no different as the Vikings travel to Oakland and take on a similarly young and up-and-coming team. Featuring some intriguing player parallels between the likes of Stefon Diggs and Amari Cooper as well as Anthony Barr and Khalil Mack, the duel most people are talking about are between the two sophomore quarterbacks, Teddy Bridgewater and Derek Carr. Both quarterbacks have had impressive early campaigns in their young careers and it should be fun to watch the two go head-to-head in what is hopefully a display of the NFL’s future at the position.

We still have a couple of days yet until these pillaging teams face off. In the meantime, we’ve compiled a bunch of links to get your prepared for the game and catch you up on the latest Vikings news.

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The Vikings and Lions rematch at Ford Field

In week seven of the 2015 Season, the Vikings travel to Ford Field to take on the Detroit Lions – the two teams’ second contest in just five weeks. Their first encounter was in Minnesota, where the Vikings were dominant, defeating the Lions 26-16. However, the challenge for this team, and the true test this week, has been winning on the road. Though undefeated at home in 2015, the Vikings have not won a road game since October of 2014 where they barely squeaked out a win against the Buccaneers in overtime.

The Vikings are one game into a five game stretch that many people, fans and experts alike, feel the Vikings need to go 5-0 in order to prepare themselves for a gauntlet of difficult games starting Week 11 against the Packers.

Everson Griffen, who was a late scratch last week due to a last minute illness, is expected to start and perform well against an unimpressive Lions’ offensive line. However, Shariff Floyd, coming off a monster game against the Chiefs, is out with a knee/ankle injury. Shamar Stephen is also out leaving a big hole to fill in the middle of the defensive line. Backup Tom Johnson is expected to see a majority of the snaps filling in for Floyd and Stephen.

It was also reported yesterday that Adrian Peterson was dealing with an unknown illness, making him “questionable.” (Though it’s also been reported that Peterson is fully expected to play.)

Once again, I asked the staff here at Vikings Territory to give me their bold, out-of-the-box predictions for Week 7. Those predictions have been included below. Tell us which one is the most asinine and leave us your own predictions in the comments.


“Teddy Bridgewater throws for 300 yards and 3 touchdowns.” – Adam Warwas (Graphic by Brett Anderson)
“Diggs shines again, catching 2 touchdowns and leading the Vikings in receiving yards.” – Austin Belisle (Graphic by Brett Anderson)
“Theo Riddick ends the game with more receptions than Calvin Johnson.” -Brent LaBathe (Graphic by Brett Anderson)
“The Vikings stun Matthew Stafford with 3 interceptions, Xavier Rhodes getting at least one for his second career interception.” -Brian Hall (Graphic by Brett Anderson)
“The Vikings Defense finally pitches a shutout for the first time in over twenty two years.” -Carl Knowles (Graphic by Brett Anderson)
“Kendricks continues to impress with 3 sacks on Matthew Stafford” -Lindsey Young (Graphic by Brett Anderson)

*Super Bonus Prediction*

As if it weren’t crazy enough, the one and only Adam Warwas sent me a second, last-minute bold prediction. Are you ready for this one? Are you sitting down?

In his own words, “The Vikings sack Dan Orlovski twice. Yes, that means what you think it means.”

There you have it, folks. I don’t think it can get any crazier over here prior to this game. The purple-kool aid is obviously on tap and flowing freely right now. Again, make sure to give us your prediction(s) in the comments.


Final Score Prediction:

23-17 Vikings


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Which Defensive Player will Have the Most Standout Season for the Vikings in 2015?

Andy: Sharrif Floyd 
He won’t standout the most on the stat sheet, but I think he’s in line for a very productive junior season for the Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings. We’ve seen flashes of brilliance his first two campaigns, but I think 2015 is where he’ll consistently become that disruptive force of nature that Mike Zimmer can hang his hat on in the middle.

Brent: Harrison Smith
Smith is coming off an excellent 2014 in which he was the 2nd-ranked safety by PFF standards. His versatility is important to Zimmer’s defense, and I think they’ll get even more creative with how they use Smith in 2015. Not only does Smith move around a lot, he’s also the last line of defense over the top of the secondary. Trusting Smith to be right deep down field allows the Vikings to be aggressive with their front seven. There are plenty of arguments for Anthony Barr and Everson Griffen—hell, throw Xavier Rhodes’ name into the ring as well. At the end of the day, I think Smith’s involvement in stopping both the run and pass gives him the most opportunity to make plays and have an impact.

Photo courtesy of Jason Barum
Photo courtesy of Jason Barum

Vegas to Minneapolis to Mankato all in the matter of a few hours (Okay, maybe like six or seven). Running on an hour of sleep right now but there is no place I’d rather be.  I have to be honest with you… Standing on that field just a few feet away from all these incredible athletes was pretty surreal. Hard to be objective and analytical when you’re stuck just trying to take it all in.

Nevertheless, I did jot a few notes down (below). I’ll be back out on the field for the afternoon practice in just a few hours and will report back then. In the meantime, if you haven’t already, follow me on Twitter where I’ll be providing updates. Also, Arif’s Twitter List of training camp coverage is a great resource to be current with what’s going on. Plus, all those guys are pros. I’m just a rube who’s starstruck during his first training camp experience.

A couple of notes from the morning walk through:

  • Josh Robinson did not participate in the morning’s activities. Robinson was taken out of practice a couple of days ago as a precaution when dealing with a hamstring related injury. Defensive Coordinator George Edwards was unwilling to provide an update on the status of Robinson’s injury and deferred to Zimmer on the issue.

It’s been a couple of days since we’ve had a training camp update here on VT. I’ve scoured the internet and curated it below. I will be in Mankato Friday and Saturday at Vikings Training Camp and will have more content to share with everyone at that time. I’ll also be tweeting furiously so make sure to follow me (@brettAnderson87) if you aren’t already.

Quarterback Trio - Vikings Training Camp 2014
Photo courtesy of Chris Price


Let’s get the injury related news out of the way starting with Cordarrelle Patterson. Patterson, dealing with a foot injury, was a full participant today for the first time this training camp. The injury is not believed to be serious and Patterson’s absence comes off as precautionary. Still, it’s a good sign he’s back with the team.

Captain Munnerlyn, who is dealing with a minor hamstring injury, was activated off the PUP list but was not a participant in team drills. Like Patterson, the injury is not believed to be serious.

Unfortunately, Robert Blanton got added to the injury list today. Blanton pulled his hamstring during blitz drills. Zimmer did not share with media how long Blanton would be out but it’s bad news for Blanton who had been taking most first-team reps alongside Harrison Smith.

Andrew Sendejo, who had offseason back surgery and hasn’t participated in practice to date, could return as soon as Monday, per Zimmer.

Other injury casualties include Josh Robinson who cut practice short with hamstring tightness and AC Leonard who had a headache. Zimmer did refer to Josh Robinson’s early departure as “preventative.”


Alright, let’s cut to the chase. Everyone wants to know about how the quarterbacks are faring so far. Everything I’ve heard or read is that Teddy Bridgewater has been super impressive and slowly closing (bridging?!) the gap separating himself and Matt Cassel. During last night’s team practice, Bridgewater dazzled many fans and members of the media going 12-for-13 with his only incompletion coming from a drop at the hands of UDFA AC Leonard. Bridgewater’s performance earned him first-team reps in today’s practice.

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