Thursday, November 26, 2015

teddy bridgewater

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Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful. It also falls on a #ThrowBackThursday, so it’s good synergy to revisit one of my favorite podcast interviews, my chat with KFAN personality and Radio Voice of the Minnesota Vikings Paul Allen (@PAontheMic). The podcast has afforded me many opportunities to chat with some great guests and serve an audience of passionate Vikings football fans and for that I have a tremendous amount to be thankful for.

So sit back and enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with friends and family, watch some football, take a food coma nap, and if you have some time listen to PA and I talk some Vikings football from April (three weeks before the draft). It’s funny to see where our hot takes when both right and wrong.

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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Sunday sucked but there’s not time to dwell in the NFL as the 7-3 Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings are still in prime position to make a playoff push and make some noise in the postseason. Ted Glover (@PurpleBuckeye) and Eric Thompson (@eric_j_thompson) of The Daily Norseman stop by to briefly reminisce about the 30-13 Sunday curbstomping, look ahead towards the pivotal matchup with the Atlanta Falcons, and chat about how to go Feastmode at Thanksgiving.

All that and other “It’s the Damn Squirrel’s Fault” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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Each year, Thanksgiving provides us the opportunity to come together and reflect on what we’re most thankful for. Personally, I’m grateful for my family, my friends, and my health, among many other wonderful things. But this is Vikings Territory, and we’re here to talk Minnesota Vikings football. Forget the turkey, the stuffing, the cranberry sauce, and the green bean casserole, no matter how delicious they may be — we’re focusing on our favorite players in purple and gold.

This season, the Vikings are 7-3 thanks in large part to the collective efforts of the 53-man roster. Players like Brandon Watts and Scott Crichton have stepped up in the face of injury, while household names like Adrian Peterson and Harrison Smith continue to serve as the mainstays on offense and defense. And while we’re thankful for them all, a few rise to the top of the list.

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Last week, it was Vikings cornerback Terence Newman that won the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Week award and the even more heralded (by me) Vikings Territory Player of the Game award. His two interception performance against Oakland launched him into the decisive victory on our poll, even though Adrian Peterson turned in an impressive 200-plus yard game.

This week the overall team performance was far less impressive in the 30-13 loss to Green Bay at home. Individual performances predictably are far less exciting as a result.

Regardless, even during the sour times, we push on and anoint a player every week. Here are the 2015 winners through nine games of Vikings football:

WEEK ONE: Anthony Barr

WEEK TWO: Adrian Peterson

WEEK THREE: Harrison Smith

WEEK FOUR: Linval Joseph

WEEK SIX: Stefon Diggs

WEEK SEVEN: Stefon Diggs

WEEK EIGHT: Stefon Diggs

WEEK NINE: Linval Joseph

WEEK TEN: Terence Newman

Now, onto this week’s nominations:

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The lights at TCF Bank Stadium were too bright for the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, and as it has so many times this season, the glare of the spotlight blinded Mike Zimmer’s young team to one unfortunate truth — they’re not ready to dethrone the Green Bay Packers in the NFC North.

Sure, the Vikings seemed to be the favorites heading into yesterday’s 30-13 loss, but talk is just unnecessary noise.  “They’re riding a five-game winning streak, holding teams to less than 17 points per game, winning by running the football,” we said. All true, but meaningless once the first whistle blows and the game begins.

It was clear from the start that the Vikings are an improved team, but better than the Packers? Not yet. They shot themselves in the foot with untimely penalties, costly miscues in pass protection, and missed opportunities in the game’s most crucial moments. In a game they needed to win, the Vikings folded under the pressure.

Don’t look at this game as a repeat of their Week 1 performance, though. This wasn’t an unprepared team, or even an outmatched team. It was a team that let the emotions of the moment take over and throw off the chemistry that’s made this such a surprisingly successful season. Captain Munnerlyn, a new addition to Quote of the Week,  reflected on that point after the game:

“I think some guys are too excited and some guys have never been in these situations before. The only way to be in that situation is to take this stance, I’m glad they got the experience. You have to treat it like a normal game. We did a lot of uncharacteristic things trying to get up for this game when you just have to treat it like a normal game and let the game come to you.  I don’t feel like we did that today.”

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