Quotulatiousness

March 10, 2017

Free agency 2017 – the first day

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 06:00

From the opening gun of the 2017 league year (and also the first day of official free agency), the news was flowing thick and fast … unless you were a certain former Viking first-time free agent running back. Day one of free agency saw a run on offensive tackles, with almost any free agent who’d ever taken a snap at that position being offered incredibly lucrative deals. Tackle, of course is the single weakest position on the roster of the Minnesota Vikings entering the 2017 season, with one former starter at the position decisively choosing to move on from his rookie deal (Matt Kalil signed a less lucrative contract, at least by rumour, to join the Carolina Panthers, where his elder brother Ryan is the starting centre) and others (Jake Long, Andre Smith) no longer under contract.

Minnesota reportedly attempted to sign several other highly sought tackles, but ended up signing only former Detroit Lion Riley Reiff, who will probably be the new left tackle by default (other players under contract include T.J. Clemmings, Jeremiah Sirles, Rashod Hill, and left guard Alex Boone, who could kick outside to tackle if required). Reiff, who was selected in the first round of the same draft after Matt Kalil, can play either tackle position and graded out as an average-to-below-average player for Detroit over his career … which still means he represents an upgrade over the Vikings’ 2016 offensive tackles as a group.

Other former Viking free agents moved on to other teams, including tight end Rhett Ellison, who got a very nice deal from the Giants ($18 million over four years, with $8 million guaranteed), and punter Jeff Locke accepted an offer from the Indianapolis Colts (terms not yet disclosed).

Among the other Viking free agents whose names didn’t get mentioned today, Adrian Peterson clearly didn’t seem to get the kind of buzz he and his agent may have been expecting. Other running backs were busy announcing visits to various RB-needy teams, but no teams appeared to involve Peterson in their immediate plans.

March 9, 2017

Adrian Peterson reportedly feels disrespected that the Vikings haven’t extended him an offer

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 03:00

In a move that will undoubtedly endear him even more to the Minnesota Vikings and their fans, Adrian Peterson is upset at the team for not offering him a new contact after they declined his ultra-spendy $18 million option for 2017. At the Pioneer Press, Chris Tomasson got the latest Peterson rant details from the disgruntled running back’s father, Nelson Peterson:

Peterson’s father said his son remains interested in returning to Minnesota. However, he said the Vikings “would have made him feel more appreciated’’ had they given him a contract offer rather than let just let him test the market after passing last week on his $18 million option for 2017.

Nelson Peterson said his son is very interested in the Seahawks because they are a Super Bowl contender and their offensive coordinator, Darrell Bevell, held that position with the Vikings in Peterson’s first four NFL seasons.

“You look at the connections in Seattle, so there’s definitely interest there,” Nelson Peterson said in a phone interview. “Those are some pretty good years (Peterson had under Bevell).”

Peterson had rushing seasons of 1,341, 1,760, 1,383 and 1,298 yards from 2007-10 under Bevell.

[…]

Although Peterson’s dad said his son remains open to re-signing with the Vikings, he said he was displeased they never gave him an offer after deciding not to pick up his $18 million option for 2017.

“The Vikings should have come back with a number if you truly want him back,’’ said Nelson Peterson. “I listened to (general manager Rick Spielman say last week at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis that), ‘We’ll have to see what the market is?’ If you do want him back, give him a number. Is it $9 million? Is it $8 million? That would have made him feel more appreciated. … He’s done too much for the organization to be treated like (that).”

If Peterson honestly thinks his services are going to be worth $8 or 9 million to any team in the league, I strongly suspect he’s got a lot of disappointment in his immediate future. If the Vikings do offer him a deal, it’ll be after he’s got a better idea of what his actual market value is. And after all that the team has done to stick by him during his legal and medical issues, it’s hard to believe that they’re suddenly “disrespecting” him … it’s more that the team has much bigger issues to address and only so much money available to do that.

At the Daily Norseman, Christopher Gates clearly shares my feelings on the matter:

Over the course of his career with the Minnesota Vikings, Adrian Peterson has been the highest-paid running back in the history of the league. Of all of the players that have ever played the running back position, nobody has ever had more money deposited into their bank account by their employers than Adrian Peterson has. Yes, he’s won rushing titles. Yes, he won a rushing title as recently as 2015. In the two years that rushing title was sandwiched between, he ran for a grand total of 147 yards in four games. He made $12 million in each of those seasons. Yeah, he had to pay a fine in 2014. That was nobody’s fault but his, so I don’t care. He still got $12 million from the Vikings.

To say nothing of the way this team stood by Peterson in the wake of everything that happened in 2014. This team could have done a lot of things with Peterson … and what they ultimately did is to give him a contract extension that gave him more money. Now that they’ve decided that, at this point, a 32-year old running back coming off of knee issues isn’t worth (literally) twice as much as any other running back in the National Football League, suddenly the Vikings are unappreciative?

Fuggouttahere with that. Seriously.

Look, it only takes one team to have a General Manager lose their minds and give Adrian Peterson more than he’s worth at this stage of his career. It doesn’t appear as though the Minnesota Vikings are going to allow that team to be them. There’s certainly the possibility that Rick Spielman and company told Peterson to shop around and come back with his best offer to see if the Vikings were interested in matching it. But, if that was the case, why would Peterson’s camp (specifically his father, apparently) let something like this get out there?

Perhaps the best summary of the state of play so far:

March 1, 2017

Vikings decline Adrian Peterson’s $18m option for 2017

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 04:00

Adrian Peterson will officially become an unrestricted free agent on March 9th, after the Minnesota Vikings chose not to exercise a contact option for the 2017 season. Even if Peterson had played in every game for the last couple of seasons, his salary was way out of synch with the rest of the league, as this Pro Football Talk summary suggests (published before the Peterson announcement):

Under the 2011 CBA, the non-exclusive franchise tenders are determined based not on what any one player made in 2016 or will make in 2017, but on the five-year average of the percentage that the tenders for each position consume under the total cap. For running backs, the 2017 franchise tender will equate to 7.257 percent of the overall cap. At a salary cap of $165 million, that’s a tender of $11.9 million.

NFL Network has suggested that a decision by the Vikings to cut Adrian Peterson will cause that number to drop to $8 million. It won’t. Peterson’s $18 million cap number for 2017 is relevant only to the exclusive tag, which is based on the average of the five highest cap numbers at the position the coming year.

Via Spotrac.com, the five highest running back cap numbers for 2017 belong to Peterson, Bills running back LeSean McCoy ($8.875 million), Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart ($8.25 million), Texans running back Lamar Miller ($6.5 million), and Titans running back DeMarco Murray ($6.25 million). Even with Peterson’s $18 million, the next four drag the average down to $9.5 million If Peterson is cut, Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles replaced Peterson at No. 5, with a cap number of $6.187 million. That reduces the average to $7.2 million.

The best indication that Peterson was going to be overpaid this season is that removing his contract from the franchise tender calculation drops the league number from $11.9 million to only $7.2 million. There’s no doubt that Peterson has been a great running back for the Vikings, but his contributions had been in a steady decline since he won the league rushing title in 2015.

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December 19, 2016

Adrian Peterson’s return sparks … nothing much

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 10:25

The Minnesota Vikings’ historically bad running game was supposed to get a big boost when Adrian Peterson returned to the line-up after spending most of the season on injured reserve. To be kind, that’s not what happened on Sunday. The Indianapolis Colts came in to US Bank Stadium desperately needing a win to stay relevant in the AFC playoff race, but the Vikings appeared to already be thinking about what they’ll be doing in the offseason. There were a few individual efforts that merit praise, but the team as a whole looked unco-ordinated, unsynchronized, and unmotivated. Andrew Luck is a good quarterback, but the Viking defence made him look like the league MVP — when they weren’t giving up bone-headed penalties and playing out of position. Without safety Harrison Smith in the defensive secondary, the Colts’ tight ends and receivers seemed to be open all game long.

Before the game started, the TV announcers emphasized how much trouble Indianapolis would have against the Vikings’ fearsome defensive line, especially as the Colts would be starting three rookies at centre, right guard, and right tackle. Yet once the game began, a strange thing happened: Andrew Luck remained upright and almost completely untouched until the fourth quarter when Tolzien came in for clean-up duty. No turnovers, no sacks, and almost no pressure made Luck’s day a very easy one.

Adrian Peterson, activated from injured reserve on Saturday, got the start for the Vikings but was unable to do anything behind Minnesota’s historically bad offensive line. His longest run of the day ended in a lost fumble that the Colts turned into a touchdown. It would probably have been better for Peterson and the Vikings if he’d waited until next week to make his return: Jerick McKinnon was much more effective in both the running and passing game after Peterson was benched.

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September 21, 2016

Vikings lose their starting running back and starting left tackle to injury

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 15:09

2016 is becoming more and more of a soap opera every week for the Minnesota Vikings. Before the regular season even started, we lost starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater for the season on a freak non-contact injury. In the second half of last week’s game against the Packers, running back Adrian Peterson went down with a knee injury. Today, we learned that Peterson needs surgery and up to four months recovery time, oh and get this: the team also announced that starting left tackle Matt Kalil is also being placed on injured reserve. Let’s be honest here … there’s a limit to how far this “next man up” philosophy will carry a team.

Of course, the Vikings fan base has been through this before, so they’re handling it with dignity and aplomb:

Last year’s right tackle, T.J. Clemmings, will replace Kalil and we’ll probably see the (rather successful) running back committee of Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata filling in for Peterson. Heretical personal opinion: through both of the games this year, I’ve actually been happier seeing Asiata in the backfield than Peterson: Asiata isn’t a 100-yards-per-game back, but he’s much better at blocking and receiving than Peterson and was no less effective running the ball.

Both Kalil and Peterson are very highly paid at their respective positions, and it’s possible that neither player will be with the team next year: Kalil is on the fifth and final year of his rookie contract for $11 million and Peterson will be owed $18 million next year unless he opts to renegotiate his contract. Kalil’s best year was his rookie season and Peterson had not gotten back into regular season form before his injury … in other words, the Vikings were not getting value for their investment on either of these players so far this year. Defenders were still honouring the threat of a Peterson break-out run by regularly stacking the box (which has benefitted Stefon Diggs in the passing game), but even that was likely to fade if Peterson didn’t demonstrate that he was still capable of his patented dagger runs.

But, y’know, everything’s fine in Vikingland.

This is fine

Update: On a much lighter note, here’s Ted Glover at the Daily Norseman with your weekly dose of Zim Tzu from Monday’s press conference:

If there’s one thing you can’t stand as a warrior/poet, it’s whining. You don’t tolerate it on your team, but you have to put up with it with other teams, because you have no control over their day to day activities. Now mind you, if you did, the whining would stop, immediately and forever.

Even if it is part of their DNA. Because you can manipulate DNA to suit your needs. Why?

Because you are Zim Tzu: High Septon Of Mankato, Eviscerator of Titans, Maître Fromager, and Warden Of The North.

Yet, when you cause other teams to wail and moan, along with their fan base as your team delivers the coup de grâce on national television, that’s music to your ears. It’s a song you want to keep singing all year long. You want to rub it in, and show your fans that you relish the victory as much as they do…only you can’t use the words drunken Vikings do while at the podium.

And this is where we come in, the professional* site that is The Daily Norseman. We take the profanity laden inner thoughts of Mike Zimmer** and bring them to life in a way that gives clarity to confusion, food to the starving, and water to the thirsty.***

*That word professional. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

**I have no idea what Mike Zimmer’s inner thoughts are. And I really don’t want to know what his inner thoughts are on this, if he even knows of the existence of Zim Tzu. Which I am sure he doesn’t. Because I’d hate for him to chew my ass over this…which admittedly, I’d probably deserve.

***LOLNOPE not even a little bit close.

As always, we take highlights of Mike Zimmer’s weekly Monday press conference, and break it down in ways that we can all understand.* As always, his actual quotes are first, and our 100% accurate** and literal translations*** immediately follow.

*There is nothing to understand. Unless you’re trying to learn the English language using this article. If so, I implore you to use a different source of reading material. Implore means I pretty please beg.

**And by accurate I mean 100% made up with no insight on anything whatsoever.

***And by literal translation I still mean completely, 100% made up.

September 19, 2016

Vikings beat the Green Bay Packers 17-14 to inaugurate new home stadium

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , , , — Nicholas @ 10:06

The Sunday night prime-time game between the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers came down to the last minute, with either team able to claim victory until Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes secured an interception of an Aaron Rogers pass to shut down Green Bay’s final drive and allow the Vikings to run out the clock to seal the win.

Newly acquired starting quarterback Sam Bradford quieted a lot of concerns with his performance in the game:

For a guy best known for his injury history when he arrived here 15 days ago, Sam Bradford sure earned a lot of points for not backing down from a beating in his Minnesota Vikings debut Sunday night.

“That dude is one tough (expletive),” Vikings guard Alex Boone told USA TODAY Sports after Bradford completed 22 of 31 passes for 286 yards and two touchdowns (and officially took 10 hits) in a 17-14 triumph over the rival Green Bay Packers.

“There was a couple times he got hit – I thought he was dead. He wasn’t moving, so I had to pick him up. I’m like, ‘Sam, don’t be dead.’ Next play: bullet. You’re going, ‘Jesus, this guy’s a beast!’”

The Vikings needed that production and resiliency from their new quarterback on a night they again struggled to get star running back Adrian Peterson going before he was carried to the locker room in the third quarter with a right knee injury.

Peterson had minimal swelling and could extend his leg after the game, providing optimism he avoided a season-ending ACL tear – an injury Bradford is familiar with, since two of them are responsible for 25 of the 35 starts he missed because of health in his first six NFL seasons.

Bradford, 28, did go briefly to the locker room Sunday for an X-ray after taking a helmet to his left (non-throwing) hand on the Vikings’ first touchdown drive, causing nasty swelling from his wrist to his pinkie that was captured by NBC’s cameras.

“It was nice and fat,” tight end Kyle Rudolph said of Bradford’s hand. “But he’s gutsy. Just to stand in there and take hit after hit – it speaks volume of him as a player and a person.”

Equally impressive: Bradford outplayed two-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers with all of two weeks to learn Norv Turner’s offense and about a half-dozen practices under his belt, including three last week getting most of the reps after veteran backup Shaun Hill started the opener.

Before his injury, Peterson was still struggling to find space to run, as the run blocking wasn’t opening up lanes for him and he was ending up with zero or negative yards on several attempts.

For the Packers, Aaron Rodgers didn’t have one of his better games: at one point, there were more pass interference penalty yards than offensive yards. Veteran cornerback Terence Newman was the goat on back-to-back PI penalties that moved the Packers down to the goal line, and Trae Waynes (starting for the injured Xavier Rhodes) was flagged multiple times (and as the TV commentators pointed out, usually he was in good position but being too obviously “grabby” and the officials were watching).

The accolades awarded to Stefon Diggs after his game last week will be redoubled after he put up career-high numbers last night:

After his 182-yard performance on Sunday Night Football, Stefon Diggs was quick to point out that N’Sync is just a band and not how he would describe the first time he and Sam Bradford. His game said otherwise.

In the Minnesota Vikings’ 17-14 win over the Green Bay Packers, Diggs proved to be the best wide receiver Bradford has ever had. He also showed the national TV audience that – for the first time since Randy Moss – a wide receiver is now the centerpiece of the Vikings’ offense.

“I wouldn’t say ‘in sync’ I don’t know too much about N’Sync [except] the band, but [Bradford] does everything the right way,” Diggs said. “He works hard, he comes in every day an we communicate. To get on the same page, you have to communicate. Throughout practice and games, he tells me what he sees, I tell him what I see and we try to make it work.”

Not only did he make a spectacular touchdown catch that turned out to be the game-winning score, but offensive coordinator Norv Turner called for a pass play toward Diggs on third down with 1:40 seconds remaining and the Packers out of timeouts. A pass interference call on Green Bay essentially ended the game. There is no bigger sign of confidence than that.

Diggs got open in every way possible against the Packers, finding holes in zones, turning short passes into long gains and going deep. He caught a 44-yard pass from Bradford on the team’s final drive of the first half that led to a Blair Walsh field goal.

Indicative of his mentality, Diggs’ first comment after the game was not about his nine catches on 11 targets, it was about an unsportsmanlike penalty he took in the fourth quarter.

“That won’t happen again,” he said.

September 12, 2016

Vikings beat Titans 25-16 with defensive take-aways, but no running game to speak of

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 03:00

Sunday’s game was cover-your-eyes awful in the first half (for Vikings fans — check my Twitter feed for examples), but the second half more than made up for the flaws in the opening 30 minutes. With the quarterback decision un-announced until game time, everyone including the Titans’ defensive co-ordinator was expecting the Vikings to be nothing but the Adrian Peterson show, starring Adrian Peterson. And that what the Vikings tried to do during the first half, with distressingly poor results (19 carries for only 31 yards). Whether it was issues with the run blocking or Peterson’s sudden hesitancy to attack the hole (or both), the Titans kept him firmly under control.

Tennessee opened the scoring with a first quarter field goal and made the vaunted Vikings defensive line look … ordinary.

At best.

Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota was barely ruffled by the pass rush and seemed to have plenty of time when he chose to throw the ball or to keep it and run, while the Titans’ two new running backs were moving the ball very well on the ground. When the Vikings weren’t giving up chunks of yards, they still managed to find opportunities to commit infractions to give away more yards in penalties. While the endzone was still elusive, the Titans were able to move the ball pretty much at will all through the first half.

The Fox game announcers seemed to have Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway (no. 52) on the brain because they credited him with tackles on a couple of occasions that were clearly Harrison Smith (no. 22) … if only because Chad can’t move that fast any more. (I love and respect Chad Greenway, but he’s not the player he was and I hope for his sake this is his final season in pads. If he wants to go into coaching, I’d love to see him continue as part of the Vikings organization.)

Vikings kicker Blair Walsh had an awful-then-mediocre day. The awful started with a missed field goal from 37 yards, then followed up with another terrible miss from 56 yards and a missed extra point later in the game. <sarc>Other than that, though, he did okay.</sarc> This is how bad the first half looked:

Coach Zimmer seems to have gotten through to the team, because the second half was a very different story indeed, starting from the kickoff where Cordarrelle Patterson took the ball 61 yards to set up the first successful kick for Blair Walsh, finally getting the Vikings onto the scoreboard. After a second Walsh field goal, middle linebacker Eric Kendriks picked off Mariota’s pass and ran it in for the Vikings’ first touchdown of the game (but Walsh didn’t convert). Walsh made his next attempt, moving the score to 15-10, and then a fumble was scooped up by defensive end Danielle Hunter and run in for the score. Walsh made his final field goal attempt and the game was almost out of reach for the Titans at 25-10.

Harrison Smith picked off Mariotta to seal the game, but Everson Griffin was penalized for roughing the passer (well after the ball was out), and instead the Titans were deep in Vikings territory with a first down. DeMarco Murray caught the touchdown pass, but the two-point try failed, and the Vikings covered the onside kick to snuff out the Titans’ last chance to tie the game.

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December 7, 2015

Vikings lose at home to Seahawks, 38-7 in blowout

Fortunately for me, I was unavoidably busy on Sunday afternoon and missed what sounds like the worst game Minnesota has played in the last two years. If there were any bandwagon fans left after the loss to Green Bay, they’re probably all gone now. The bad news started long before kickoff, as nose tackle Linval Joseph was listed on the injury report all week and then downgraded on Friday, so he and starting strong safety Andrew Sendejo were both out. Middle linebacker Anthony Barr and free safety Harrison Smith both started the game, but were standing on the sideline not long after the game started. Without Barr, Joseph, and Smith, the Vikings defence was a hollow shell, and Seattle took full advantage of the weakness. Usually, after a game I didn’t get to watch, I’ll read through the hundreds of Twitter posts in my Vikings list. Today, after looking at a couple of dozen of the most recent ones, I decided that I should just give the rest of them a miss:

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November 30, 2015

Vikings beat Atlanta 20-10 to move to 8-3 on the season and first place in the NFC North

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 04:00

Adrian Peterson was the engine that kept Minnesota in this game (29 carries for 158 yards and two touchdowns) … with more than a bit of help from a stout defence that didn’t give up a touchdown until the final two minutes. Atlanta committed enough mistakes to cripple their own scoring chances, including a Terence Newman interception in the Vikings end zone.

Minnesota’s defensive secondary was missing star safety Harrison Smith who injured his knee in a collision with Newman in last week’s loss to Green Bay and rookie first round cornerback Trae Waynes. Despite that, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan didn’t seem to test the deep secondary much during the majority of the game. Even more puzzling was that pattern continued after Andrew Sendejo, the Vikings’ other starting safety, left the game with an injury to be replaced by Robert Blanton (Antone Exum, Jr. got the start in Smith’s place). On the other hand, linebacker Anthony Barr was everywhere, notching tackles, a strip-sack, a forced fumble that prevented a touchdown, and a dramatic pass break-up. I imagine his Pro Football Focus rating this week will be pretty gaudy.

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November 23, 2015

Vikings struggle against Green Bay, give up NFC North lead

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 05:00

The Vikings held the NFC North lead for only one week, as Green Bay came to Minnesota and got lots of help from Minnesota to take control of the game. While Teddy Bridgewater did just about everything he could (he would have thrown for over 300 yards if Mike Wallace had caught anything thrown his way), the running game never got going and Bridgewater was under pressure for much of the game, absorbing six sacks (second most of the season after the Denver game). A critical Adrian Peterson fumble put the game out of reach in the fourth quarter. One of the deciding factors in the outcome was penalties, particularly ill-timed penalties at critical moments on the guys in purple. The Vikings entered the game as the least-penalized team in the NFL, but you’d never have guessed that watching the first half of play … yellow flags seemed to fly after every other play, uniformly against the Vikings.

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November 16, 2015

Vikings beat Raiders 30-14 in Oakland to move into first place in NFC North at 7-2

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 06:00

Unfortunately, the game wasn’t available in my area, so I had to follow the Twitter feed to keep track of the game. It was a fascinating day in the NFL, as Peyton Manning set a new NFL passing record and got benched in the same game, Detroit finally beat the Green Bay Packers for the first time in 24 years, and Adrian Peterson notches his first 200+ yard game in nearly two years (and the sixth in his career, tied for the most in NFL history).

It’s been a while since the Vikings had a five-game winning streak … since 2009, as a matter of fact. And the significance of Adrian Peterson’s 2012 numbers above? That’s his career best year when he fell just a few yards short of setting a new NFL single-season rushing record.

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October 26, 2015

Vikings get first road win of the season, beating Detroit Lions 28-19

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , , , — Nicholas @ 05:00

I nearly gave up on this game early after Detroit ran up 17 points on the Vikings, but that turned out to be the Lions’ high-water mark except for a safety given up by the Vikings late in the fourth quarter. Lions QB Matthew Stafford absorbed a career-high seven sacks, while Teddy Bridgewater was dropped for five, including a strip-sack that was recovered by the Vikings. A sixth sack was eliminated by a penalty on the Lions.

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October 19, 2015

Vikings defeat Kansas City Chiefs, 16-10

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , , , — Nicholas @ 05:00

This was very much a game of two halfs, as the Vikings moved the ball at will through the first half … through the air, if not on the ground, while in the second half the Chiefs came alive and threatened to take control of the game. Adrian Peterson had one of his worst games as a pro: at one point he’d rushed for something like one total yard on fifteen carries and he was being hit well before he got to the line of scrimmage on many of those runs. Early in the game, it appeared that the Vikings had scored a safety, as offensive holding was called in the Chiefs’ end zone, but the referee determined that the hold had started in the field of play, so it was not a safety. Teddy Bridgewater had another up-and-down performance with some nice throws, but two interceptions and only one touchdown. The offensive line did a somewhat better job against the Chiefs than they did against the Broncos, but Teddy was still not getting a clean pocket to work in as often as he should have. A bright spot for the Vikings was the play of rookie receiver Stefon Diggs, who posted the first 100 yard game for Minnesota this season. In his first two games, he’s caught 13 of 19 for 216 yards, making some observers wonder why he didn’t see the field earlier in the season.

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September 28, 2015

Vikings defeat San Diego Chargers 31-14

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 04:00

Minnesota defeated the San Diego Chargers on Sunday with a dominant running game featuring regular doses of Adrian Peterson (20 carries for 126 yards and two touchdowns) and a special appearance by fullback Zach Line, who now has two runs for two yards and two touchdowns in his NFL career, after getting his first career carry (and touchdown) last weekend against Detroit. Teddy Bridgewater didn’t have a good game statistically (only 13 of 24 for 121 yards and a pick), but was able to keep the chains moving and keep San Diego’s Philip Rivers on the sideline. The run defence showed up for a second game in a row, holding Chargers rookie running back Melvin Gordon to only 51 yards rushing.

There was a scary moment during the second quarter as cornerback Xavier Rhodes had a nasty collision with safety Andrew Sendejo and was motionless on the field for a bit. When he got up with help from the training staff, he was replaced by rookie Trae Waynes for the rest of the game. Rhodes is being evaluated for a concussion and may not be available for next week’s game until after he passes the mandatory concussion protocol. Sendejo also left the game later in the second half and was replaced by Robert Blanton.

The play that put the game out of reach was a 91-yard interception returned for a touchdown by linebacker Chad Greenway. I’m not saying that Greenway is a slow runner, but it might as well have been announced as “Chad … Greenway … could … go … all … the … way!” Pretty much the entire Vikings defence escorted him into the end zone. It was also accompanied by a penalty against the Vikings bench as an assistant coach collided with a game official and one or the other of them also took down head coach Mike Zimmer.

September 21, 2015

Detroit Lions visit Minnesota in search of first win, go home empty-handed

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 05:00

After the terrible performance the Vikings put on in San Francisco last Monday, all the fans were hoping to see the Vikings beat the Lions in their home opener at TCF Bank Stadium. The Lions had their own bad start last week as well, allowing 30 unanswered points after building up a three-score lead. We’re one week into the season and both teams are looking at this game as a must-win.

I watched the game on Fox, but overlaid with Winnipeg commercials … normally this isn’t really worth mentioning, but thanks to that I wasn’t abused by the DraftKings or FanDuel commercials that everyone on my Vikings Twitter list was complaining endlessly about.

The Vikings got the ball to start the game and put on a really nice long drive, capped off with a Teddy Bridgewater to Kyle Rudolph touchdown pass. Bridgewater ended the game with a stat line of 14 of 18 completions for 153 yards and a 120.6 passer rating (he also scored a rushing touchdown). Adrian Peterson got more carries for more yards in the first drive than he did in the entire first game (he also developed a fumbling problem, unfortunately). He carried the ball 29 times for 132 yards and caught two passes for 58 yards.

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