Sunday, February 14, 2016

zach line

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The 2015 season has officially concluded with the Denver Broncos defeating the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 last Sunday. For the next six months, the world will sadly be without any NFL football games taking place.

But that does not mean there will be nothing to talk about during the time before the 2016 regular season begins. Free agency, the NFL Draft, and training camps will all give people plenty to discuss and hold themselves over until real football is played and everyone’s hot takes are proven to be wrong.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

At 8-3, the Minnesota Vikings are the surprise team in the NFC and a legitimate threat to claim the NFC North division title. With the league’s second-best scoring defense and Mike Zimmer’s steady hand leading the ship, Minnesota has — at the very least — a 90 percent probability to reach the postseason.

When the Vikings lost to the San Francisco 49ers to open the season, a playoff berth appeared unlikely. The defense couldn’t stop the run, Adrian Peterson ran like a 30-year-old running back, and the offensive line looked lost without John Sullivan and Phil Loadholt. Mike Zimmer’s team lacked an identity early on, but they’ve slowly established themselves as one of the NFL’s most physical, technically sound teams on both sides of the ball.

As I’ve written these “What Went Right” pieces, I’ve noticed a consistent pattern. When the Vikings win, it’s because of the defense and the legs of Adrian Peterson. Specifically, the defense plays with discipline, filling run gaps correctly, tackling in space, and preventing big plays down the field. On offense, Minnesota wins when they unleash Peterson, who has at least 19 carries in every Vikings victory this season. Any less, and they’ve gone on to lose.

While the defense created turnovers against Atlanta in Week 12, it was Peterson who powered Minnesota to victory. This Sunday, when the Vikings host the Seattle Seahawks, he’ll need to do the same against an aggressive, stout run defense that hasn’t allowed a 100-yard rusher all season.

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Vikings Raiders
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

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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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

So much has changed since November 4, 2007. The Metrodome is gone, soon to be replaced by the Vikings’ new home, U.S. Bank Stadium. LaDainian Tomlinson, the league’s leading rusher that year, has since retired and joined the crew at NFL Network. And the Vikings finally have a legitimate starting quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater.

One thing, however, remains the same. Despite a number of obstacles — a terrifying knee injury, last season’s year-long suspension, and a bitter contract dispute — Adrian Peterson will line up in the Vikings’ backfield when Minnesota hosts the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.

Why is November 4, 2007 so important? It was Adrian Peterson’s explosive introduction to the NFL, a 30-carry, 296-yard performance that set the league’s all-time record for rushing yards in a single game. The rookie and seventh-overall selection out of Oklahoma had already put together a 224-yard outing against the Chicago Bears in Week 5, but took his game to another level against the Chargers.

“It was a like from the beginning of the game, he was on a different level. He was running at a different speed,” Tomlinson told Chris Tomasson in a recent interview. “He was playing at a different level than what our defense was playing then.

As the Vikings prepare for the Chargers this week, all eyes are on Adrian Peterson, who will try to elevate his game a second time and break a still-standing record from eight years ago.

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The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings bothered the win column score keeper Sunday with an impressive 26-16 outlasting of the Detroit Lions Sunday afternoon at The Bank. Adrian “RB1” Peterson made his TCF Bank Stadium debut in a refreshing fashion, helping carry the Purple to a much needed win. We discuss the game and try not to gloat too much about Justin Trattou….

Other “I TOLD YOU ABOUT TRATTOU” Talkers Include
• The Defense Was A Zimmer Defense
• Offensive Line Was Going Downhill (In a Good Way)
• Adrian Looked Like “Adrian”
• Teddy Looked Like “Teddy”
• Captain Was Less Crappy Today
• The Return Game Had a Day
• Blair Walsh…
• Brian Robison #ThrowbackSunday
• Xavier Rhodes is Ready to Become #Elite
• Getting Embarassing Monday Night Was Good
• Fill-in-the-Blank: The Vikings win was ________.
• Visit our new sponsor Stars Draft for Daily Fantasy Sports! (And no annoying commercials…)
Bookmark us on Amazon & show some love!

All that and other “Captain Sendejo” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast!

An Andy Carlson Joint.

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