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Minnesota Vikings News Roundup: Taking Stock of the Wreckage

As soon as the playoffs hit, most NFL teams began assessing why their season failed. Only one franchise gets the benefit assessing their team from atop Mount Champion. The mountain still doesn’t have a purple & gold flag at its peak, and Minnesota is surely asking itself how it can change this reality. Part of the process, then, involves assessing the wreckage of Minnesota’s most recent season. Our Minnesota Vikings news roundup begins with a particularly concerning area – the trenches – before moving onto more cheerful topics.

Disaster in the Trenches

We all knew that the pass rush was bad. What I didn’t realize was that it was the worst in the NFL. Here is what PFF had to say: “The only player on the team with more than 25 pressures was Ifeadi Odenigbo (42), and their team pressure rate of 21.6% ranked dead last over the course of the regular season.” When he was on Notes from the North, Blitzology Brian made a good point when he said that nine of Minnesota’s 22 sacks came from the blitz. The Vikings simply couldn’t generate pressure throughout the season, so the coaches had to try and manufacture it. Overall, this is discouraging, but here is a glass half-full approach: Cameron Dantzler had an excellent rookie year and Jeff Gladney had several excellent games. They did this without help from their front four.

The o-line did better, but that doesn’t really inspire too much confidence. PFF puts Minnesota’s o-line at 26th in the NFL. As Josh Frey recently suggested over at Purple PTSD, “In terms of pressure rate, Garrett Bradbury ranked 34th out of 36 among centers, Ezra Cleveland was 37th out of 40 among right guards, and Dakota Dozier was 36th out of 39 among left guards.” My one-word analysis: yikes.

Notable Interviews and Press Conferences

Rick Spielman spoke to the media this week. The majority of the discussion focused on George Paton’s departure. It’s clear that Paton has tons of supporters from within Minnesota’s organization. His work ethic and commitment are unparalleled.

Otherwise, perhaps the most notable interview came from Justin Jefferson on the Pat McAfee Show. Jefferson began the interview by noting how long and difficult the NFL season is. Just over three minutes into the interview, Jefferson was asked about his mid-game profanity directed toward Kirk Cousins. Jefferson reiterated that it was merely mid-game frustration, and by no means reflects how their relationship is. Go listen to the full interview.

Diggs’ Success

A few weeks ago, Tyler Dunne made some waves within Vikings Land with his two-part series on Mike Zimmer (it’s worth the read!). Recently, he published an article about Stefon Diggs. It’s excellent.

Buffalo’s receiver coach was complementary of Diggs’ competitive toughness: “He’s your alpha, but he’s your damn dog. He’s tough as shit. He’s mean as shit. I’m a military guy and I’d want him in my foxhole. I’d want to be back-to-back with him.” Dunne echoes this sentiment: “Diggs went from forcing his way out of Minnesota one fake cough, one cryptic tweet at a time to being the veteran who morphs a team that hadn’t won a playoff game since 1995 into a band of fighters that truly believes it can kick any team’s ass.”

Read the full article. Some fans may still be bitter about the way things ended, but let’s not forget the magic that was the Minnesota Miracle. The three-year anniversary took place this week. Hopefully the Saints can find some sort of similarly heartbreaking way to lose.

Conclusion

This has been your Minnesota Vikings news roundup, friends. On behalf of all of us over here at TVG, we’d like to extend our sincere thanks to everyone who puts eyeballs onto the virtual page. It means a ton to us. Be sure to take a look around the site, and certainly feel free to make yourself at home. You are appreciated. Skol.

This article originally appeared on one of our partner sites: VikingsGazette.com. Check out The Vikings Gazette and follow them on Twitter and on Facebook for more exclusive Minnesota Vikings content and analysis!

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K. Joudry

I started cheering for the Vikings in high school because of Kevin and Pat Williams. I've stuck with them since then. I live in Canada with my wife and two dogs.

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