Sunday, October 22, 2017

Trae Waynes

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Emmanuel Lamur Steps Up in Place of an Injured Anthony Barr

The Minnesota Vikings have played exceptional defense through six weeks of the 2017 NFL season.

This isn’t a secret. Minnesota ranks atop the league in rush yards per game allowed (3rd), total yards per game allowed (5th) and points per game allowed (5th). Moreover, many of the yards the Vikings defense has sacrificed in coverage this season have come during garbage time, suggesting that this unit could be even better than the statistics may suggest.

Simply put, Minnesota’s defense has performed at an extremely high level with both the film and statistics reinforcing this notion. One of the greatest reasons for this is the unit’s collective ability to maintain good coverage in the secondary, tackle effectively, limit yards after catch and, specifically as of late, create turnovers.

Let’s take a look at how Harrison Smith, Xavier Rhodes and Co. performed both against the Green Bay Packers during Week 6 and collectively across the season to date.

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Packers at Vikings Week 6 Recap

The Minnesota Vikings beat the Green Bay Packers in Minneapolis Sunday by a score of 23 to 10. The biggest news stemming from the game: Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers left in the first quarter due to a broken collarbone. He could miss the rest of the season.

Green Bay was not the same after losing their star quarterback. Packers backup Brett Hundley replaced Rodgers in the second quarter and struggled. The 2015 5th-round pick went 18 of 33 for 157 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. He also fumbled once and was sacked four times for a total of 20 yards. His QB rating was 39.6.

Green Bay’s rushing attack also sputtered as it squared up against Minnesota’s 6th-ranked run defense. Running backs Ty Montgomery and Aaron Jones combined for 69 yards on 23 carries (3.0 YPC) as the Packers failed to get any momentum going on offense.

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We’re back in the garage studio to rejoice in defeating the demons of Soldier Field and clear up the Vikings’ quarterback situation. Amid the injury uncertainty of Bradford and Bridgewater, and unlikely long-term starting candidate has emerged, and I explain why Case Keenum might actually have been the guy all along.

Plus, I take it a step further, searching for historical precedent and settling on a quarterback comparison that indicates Keenum is probably going to end up in the Hall of Fame.

We also take a quick look back at the shining moment of Trae Waynes’ career and play Pitbull and Blues Brothers clips.

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Episode 28

BJ Reidell (@RobertReidell), Brett Anderson (@brettAnderson87), Drew Mahowald (@DrewMahowald), Ham Neumann (@NeumSamN) and Sean Borman (@SeanBoarMan) offer an immediate reaction and thoughtful analysis regarding the Minnesota Vikings’ 20-17 victory over the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.

Check out Episode 28 after the jump and subscribe to the Vikings Territory YouTube channel to ensure that you never miss a VT Roundtable discussion, the latest installment of Bump & Run or and a variety of other #content.

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Embrace the good takes, own the bad ones

No One Knows
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For as unpredictable a sport as football, our ability to foresee future outcomes is pretty surreal. Credit the number of tools, metrics, and resources we can access, but the average, plugged-in fan is more well-informed than ever.

Less stunning, though, is the number of bad takes and opinions we contribute to the running narrative. Given the breadth of options at our disposal, we should have a better grasp on what we’re seeing and how we interpret that information. But football, for all its cut-and-dried variables, is an emotional game, and those emotions can seep into the logical nerve endings of our brains.

I’m no stranger to the phenomenon. Just the other night, I sat on the VT Roundtable and declared Jordy Nelson “washed,” only to watch him score two touchdowns on Thursday Night Football. I said Dez Bryant was less of a threat than Cole Beasley in Dallas, labeled Trae Waynes a “good” cornerback, and generally, elicited raised eyebrows from my cohosts.

It happens; we don’t always hit our mark with our opinions, and that’s okay. I think it’s important to embrace the fact that no one knows — really knows — what’s happening, or what’s going to happen every Sunday. It’s healthy to admit fault, to take a step back from the hyper-aggressive sandbox that is Twitter and say, “You know, I don’t have to be right.”

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