Monday, October 23, 2017

Stefon Diggs

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Trust the process
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Success — or failure — isn’t what it always seems in the NFL. Take the Cleveland Browns and the San Francisco 49ers, for example. Both remain winless, but a simple 0-6 record doesn’t reflect the full story behind each team’s mediocrity.

On the surface, it’d be easy to say they’re similar franchises; teams whose young, inexperienced head coaches are working to mesh with their respective front offices’ long-term vision. Everyone in the building, from the starting quarterback to the defensive coordinator, knows that turnarounds aren’t instantaneous.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Vikings Week 6 Injury Report

In Sunday’s divisional showdown against the NFC North rival Green Bay Packers (4-1), the Minnesota Vikings (3-2) will be without their starting quarterback and top receiver. Sam Bradford, who has missed four of the past five games, is day-to-day with a knee injury, while Stefon Diggs is nursing a hamstring injury.

Bradford reached a point of being unable to protect himself Monday night against the Chicago Bears, but he did not suffer a new injury in his knee, according to team trainer Eric Sugarman. After missing practice this week, he was officially ruled out by head coach Mike Zimmer Friday.

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image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings are three-point underdogs heading into Sunday’s Week 6 matchup with the Green Bay Packers, according to MyBookie. Minnesota is +130 underdogs to win the game outright, while Green Bay is -150 favorites.

Minnesota is coming off an ugly win on Monday night against the Chicago Bears. It cost the Vikings significantly, however, as both quarterback Sam Bradford and wide receiver Stefon Diggs aggravated injuries that will keep them out of Sunday’s game.

Green Bay stole a last-second win from the Dallas Cowboys thanks to the late-game heroics of Aaron Rodgers. With the win, the Packers boast a 4-1 record and share the NFC North lead with Detroit. Minnesota, at 3-2, trails by one game.

The Vikings will roll with Case Keenum at quarterback, who has produced mixed results in his three and a half games since taking over for Bradford. Keenum’s season has been a roller coaster that includes a clunker (at Pittsburgh), a phenomenal performance (vs. Tampa Bay), a so-so game (vs. Detroit) and a solid half of football against the Bears last week.

Keenum has kept the Vikings offense steady, thus not affecting the over/under number set by MyBookie. As of now, that number is 45 after the announcement today of the status of both Bradford and Diggs.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Week 5: Vikings and Bears – Three Reasons For Optimism

By all accounts, last week was a tough one. Outside of the Vikings’ sobering loss to the Detroit Lions, we witnessed the gut-wrenching event in Las Vegas and the death of music legend Tom Petty. Like much of the country, Vikings fans are in mourning, once again attempting to move forward after a crippling turn of events.

Dalvin Cook, the team’s most electric rookie running back since Adrian Peterson, is done for the year after tearing his ACL. Cook is undoubtedly the team’s best back, and his loss has left many Vikings fans pondering if the team can even compete without him in the lineup.

For whatever reason, it seems the football gods keep creating reasons for the Vikings and their fan base to give up hope. Yet, despite the all-too-familiar news for Minnesota’s football team, there are multiple reasons why the franchise can’t, and won’t, back down.

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image courtesy of Vikings.com

According to My Bookie, the Minnesota Vikings are 3.5-point favorites for Monday night’s matchup with the Chicago Bears. If you prefer straight-up gambling, Minnesota is -190 favorites against Chicago (+160).

Minnesota is one of the toughest teams to predict through four games, as mentioned in last week’s Odds and Ends. The Vikings have put together two brilliant performances at home against mediocre NFC South opponents and two clunkers, one on the road against an AFC Championship team from a year ago and another at home against a division rival.

Chicago enters Monday night with one impressive win, coming a couple of weeks ago at home against Pittsburgh. Otherwise, the 1-3 Bears have performed at the level most rebuilding teams would perform.

Both teams appear to be starting different quarterbacks than they did in their previous games. Sam Bradford is “expected” to make his first start since Week 1 Monday night, according to ESPN. Additionally, the Bears announced that rookie Mitch Trubisky will make his first career start.

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