MEETING AP IN MANKATO

MEETING AP IN MANKATO
THE BEST RUNNING BACK IN THE NFL

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Vikes fall short to the Lions - TruluvSports. com

Vikes fall short to the Lions - TruluvSports. com

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

9 weeks down with so many storylines


The 2014 season was going to be the year I truly felt would be something special. The team hires defensive minded coach, Mike Zimmer and add offensive coordinator guru, Norv Turner which I thought was a great start.

Training Camp went by with no major injuries and preseason sees the team goes undefeated so my hopes are really getting revved up.

It seemed in a short matter of time the Adrian Peterson saga go down along with season ending injuries to Matt Cassel and Brandon Fusco and lose Kyle Rudolph for an extended period of time. You have got to be kidding me?

The first 5 weeks the team sees 4 of the top quarterbacks in the league with: Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Aaron Rodgers. I thought if we could go 2-3 in the first 5 after last season 2-3 would be a huge success.

It did happen and without Adrian Peterson and Matt Cassel. The team is 2-3 and came home for a big home game vs Detroit. A chance to get to .500, a home game which is a division opponent makes it even bigger. The team is beat up badly by the Lions. A loss where the home fans repeatedly booed. I was discouraged but as always get back on the horse and look forward to the next week.

Enough with the schedule as we swing to players who have stepped up. I start with the guys replacing AP and that is rookie, Jerick McKinnon and veteran Matt Asiata.  These 2 have become a two headed monster with McKinnon ringing up the yardage and Asiata scoring the touchdowns.

The defense each week is showing promise slowly but surely. In the offseason the Vikes let Jared Allen leave by way of free agency and instead resigned Everson Griffen to an extension. The signing has paid off big with Griffen already close to double digit sacks for the year.

The defensive after week 9 is number one on the NFL with 30 sacks. It is not just one guy it is a collective group effort spreading the sacks amongst them.

The hero thus far is one I did not seeing happen and that is Anthony Barr. I will painfully admit when he was drafted I did not understand why he went so high. I have no problem admitting I was wrong because this beast is playing towards defensive rookie of the year and if he continues has a shot at a Pro Bowl honor.

Cordarelle Patterson’s play confuses me the most the first 9 weeks. His week one rushing for over 100 yards and his kick returns gave me so much hope he will have a huge year. The time since has found him being questioned by the coaches his ability to get open and his efforts have been questioned.

The Vikings future is now with Teddy Bridgewater and what we are seeing is a young 21 year old developing into the hope for the future. Yes, there are needs to improve for him but also plenty to be excited about.

I love the job Coach Zimmer has done. A game lost in the literal final seconds and now win two in a row is showing me this team does not want a repeat of last season.

The home games thus far have been very nice weather wise as we sit in the sun side and so far 4 home games we have had sun. I do miss the dome for the noise factor. The majority of the games just are not loud. I do look forward to the Packers coming November 23rd which I believe will be the best test if the stadium can get ear blowing loud.

Thanks for reading thus far and I hope you enjoy the rest of them. I look forward to serving you with thoughts on the Purple.

Thanks

Todd Walkingstick

Sunday, November 2, 2014

No quit Vikes win agian



On Sunday the Vikings (3-5) hosted the Washington Redskins (3-5) with so much on the line. The two teams are coming off wins on the road and now with a win Sunday will at least keep the playoff hopes alive.


The way Sunday morning started out with a Redskins team bus getting in an accident as one team bus rear ended the other on the way to the stadium. I add thankfully no one was seriously hurt.


The other big pregame event was the protest being conducted outside the TCF Bank Stadium. My wife and I were walking to the stadium and saw two helicopters straight overhead. We walked down as my curiosity got the best of me and wanted to see the protest. It seemed to be packed. I know I read after the game that there were over 3000 protestors.


It was quite a morning with 2 big events and the kickoff has not even happened yet. Sunday was NFL alumni weekend which as on display in the pregame.


Former Gopher and Vikings player, Tyrone Carter blew the Gjllarhorn to signal the Vikings were coming. The National Anthem was sung by Esera Tuaolo who played for the Vikes from 1992-1996. I have heard him before and can assure you it is beautiful to listen to. The honorary captain for the coin toss was Carl Eller.


I really thought the crowd with player introduction and even much of the first half was very quiet. I do miss the dome for the ear blowing noise at times.


I really liked the first play of the game play call even though it was not successful. I love the deep ball and for a split second I thought Greg Jennings may have a chance.


I had another deep ball down in front of me where I saw Cordarrelle Patterson running free in what I thought was a for sure touchdown. It seemed Patterson quit on the route. I did hear after the game the sun was a factor. I would have liked to see a better effort.


I get frustrated with special teams this year because it seems like 90 percent of punt returns the Vikes are called for blocking from behind. Once again Sunday I see it again. The other frustration comes with 3rd down for the Redskins and 5.5 yards for a first down. I see a Vikings defensive player encroach and there goes a free 5 yards.


I feel at 3-5 the Vikes are on the slimmer side of making the playoffs but perhaps the play that saved the day was Captain Munnerlyn intercepting an RGIII pass with less than a minute left in the half. The Vikes end up scoring a TD before half sending the team off the field in front of some happy fans and now are back in the game being down 10-7.


I am starting to feel when the Vikes get the ball late in the game and put it in Teddy Bridgewater’s hand the team has a chance and on Sunday Teddy did his thing calmly leading the team to the go ahead touchdown. I loved the call going for two putting the game at 29-26.


The Redskins get the ball back and it is time to hold your breath. I saw RGIII drop back on 3rd and 20 I get up yelling,” Get him, Get him and I thought the defense did but all of a sudden there RGIII goes running for 16. You have got to be kidding, I thought to myself. It sets up 4th down with the game on the line. The entire stadium is standing and I see RGIII get loose again and see a receiver open. It is so loud in the stadium and what do we see next, we see the incompletion. Game over and fans are going bonkers. The fans filing out were chanting, TEDDY, TEDDY,TEDDY


Thanks for reading


Todd Walkingstick


 


 


 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Look out Vikings rookie records here comes Teddy


The Vikes find themselves at 2-4 and by no means are they out of anything. It has been a couple of tough weeks so let’s look at one of the bright spots and that is Teddy Bridgewater.

Teddy is fast moving up or passing former rookie Vikings quarterbacks’ records already and he is literally in his first couple of weeks. Sunday’s game will be his first start on the road.

Earliest start in season by a rookie

1) Fran Tarkenton- Week 2 at Dallas on 9/24/61

2) Teddy Bridgewater Week 4 home vs Atlanta on 9/28/14

3) Christian Ponder Week 7 home vs Green Bay on 10/23/11

Passing yards in game by rookie first season

1) Christian Ponder vs Denver on 12/4/11- 381 yards

2) Teddy Bridgewater home vs Atlanta on 9/28/14- 317 yards

3) Fran Tarkenton home vs San Francisco on 11/26/61- 277 yards

Passing Attempts in game by Vikings rookie

1) Christian Ponder home vs Denver on 12/4/11- 47

2) Teddy Bridgewater home vs Detroit on 10/12/11- 37

3) Tommy Kramer at Oakland on 12/11/77- 34

Pass completions in game rookie season

1) Christian Ponder home vs Denver on 12/4/11- 29

2) Teddy Bridgewater home vs Detroit on 10/12/14- 23

3)Fran Tarkenton home vs Los Angeles on 12/3/61-21

2014 Draft Class passer Rating

1) Teddy Bridgewater- 111.2

2) Blake Bortles-110.0

3) Derek Carr 108.2

4) Jim Garoppolo 99

Bridgewater set a Vikings rookie passer rating in his first start in the NFL with a 98.9

If the Vikings can figure out a pass protection and I feel comfortable they will Bridgewater will smash every Vikings rookie record there ever was.

Go Teddy and Go Vikings.

Thanks for reading

Todd Walkingstick

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Let the Teddy era begin


The Vikings came to New Orleans Sunday with not many media people giving the Vikes a chance. I know I look up Vegas odds this week and saw the Saints were favored by 9.5.

The Vikes get to play New Orleans in the Saints first home game of the year after starting 0-2 losing both games on the road. My heart says this Saints team is going to want to crush the Vikes and show America they are not a 0 win team.

I was running errands and listening to KFAN Vikings pregame show and I just happened to catch the game prediction segment. Mark Rosen and Dan Bariero were both asked to make their prediction and both guys had the Vikes losing by 13 and 14 respectively.

I went to New Orleans for the 2010 NFC Championship game and can assure you that stadium is louder than you could ever image. The place is huge and those Saints fans can make some ear blowing noise.

I was nervous admittedly worried about a potential blowout with so much stacked against the Vikings. The first 2 drives I thought to myself oh no guys please stop someone. The Saints made it look so easy. Saints quarterback, Drew Brees was feasting on the defense not missing a pass.

I actually thought maybe the game changer at the time was when Vikings player, Everson Griffen blocked the Saints extra point attempt. I being down 13-0 instead of 14-0 maybe the break we needed.

I really liked the effort by Vikes quarterback, Matt Cassel’s effort to guide the offense down the field and get some much needed points for the Vikings making it 13-3. The effort Cassel made to run the ball to get closer to the goal line resulted in Cassel getting injured and not returning to the game.  A touchdown obviously would have been sweeter but at least it points in a hostile environment.

It was just last week home vs New England fans were chanting Teddy, Teddy, Teddy through most of the 2nd half and then Sunday Cassel goes down and fans get their wish.

It seemed to me the team just played more inspired ball. Yes, there were mistakes made in the secondary, the offensive line struggled badly and not much of a running game. In saying that I still feel the overall team effort was much better,

You hold a powerful Saints team that had gone an NFL record of 24 straight games in a row at home scoring at least 21 and this young Vikings group with 7 new starters breaks the streak could be a confidence builder.

Yes, the Vikes have a 2 game losing streak giving up 30 last week and now 20 Sunday may seems to be a lot but I feel this team is showing progress.  Last Sunday the defense played with such a short field with all the turnovers by the offense and then Sunday other than the first 2 drives the team put the hammer down on the Saints.

The play of Harrison Smith at safety is just awesome to watch. The hustle he exhibits each weeks and the toughness he shows when tackling never gets old.

It was great to see 2014 first round pick, Anthony Barr get his first NFL sack. I know Chad Greenway couldn’t finish the game but a player I thought showed well for himself was 2nd year player, Gerald Hodges (#50).

The play that broke the Vikings back may be a play talked about all week. Yes, I refer to Saints quarterback, Brees being sacked by Captain Munnerlyn which the refs felt that was roughing the quarterback. I don’t know if I can agree with that. I also feel Brees should have been flagged for retaliation. I have to go one step farther and recall the 2010 NFC Championship game when the Saints literally assaulted Brett Favre to the point of nasty bruises. I am only a fan and sometimes need to get things off my chest.

It was a back breaking call that killed any momentum the Vikes were building on. It is the game of football that I love and calls like that make it sometimes make you want to yell at the TV and hope the refs can hear you.

The play of Teddy Bridgewater I could not be more pleased with. I know his drives he led did not result in any touchdowns but the poise he showed was simply amazing.

I am very concerned with the left side of the offensive line with Charlie Johnson and Matt Kalil getting beat. The athleticism of Bridgewater will be a huge asset if the blocking does not shape up over there.

Saints defensive coordinator, Rob Ryan I felt threw the kitchen sink at Bridgewater with multiple blitzes yet Teddy just did not seem to be in panic mode.

I do think the next time Teddy does play he should tape his shoes up because I can remember 2 times specifically he lost his shoes.

We saw the future on Sunday with Teddy. I know we lost but I am leaving this game optimistic. I do wish the team would involve Cordarrelle Patterson more.

I never like to see the Vikings lose but if they do I try and find positives moving forward to the next game.

I am concerned with the injury to Vikings tight end, Kyle Rudolph because I feel he is potentially a major part of the offense.

I know after the game the Vikes announced Cassel has broken bones in his foot as well so the Teddy future started today and will continue.

The snaps Teddy will get in practice this week will be huge as he now gets the majority. A 21 year old kid will be guiding the offense. How remarkable is that?

I have a lot of Packer friends so it is nice to say that the Vikes are tied with the Packers (1-2)

I am so looking forward to the Atlanta game at home next Sunday. I look for a big win and the Vikes being 2-2 after the game,

Thanks for reading

Todd Walkingstick

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Vikes-Saints- facts and thoughts on the game


The Minnesota Vikings (1-1) travel to play the New Orleans Saints (0-2) at noon on Sunday September 21.

I read an article whose headline had this: New Orleans Saints, the best worst team in the NFL. It is hard to believe the powerful Saints are 0-2. A fact about teams that start 0-2 shows only 12.5 percent of those teams make the playoffs.

Game info:

Channel: Fox

Broadcast team: Chris Myers and Ronde Barber with Jennifer Hale handling the sideline duties.

Las Vegas: Saints favored by 9.5

VIKINGS-SAINTS SERIES

Minnesota is 20-10 all-time vs the Saints and are 8-7 in New Orleans. The Vikings have lost the last 3 in New Orleans having not won there since 2008.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS TEAM AND PLAYER FUN FACTS

Minnesota has now scored a touchdown in 53 straight games which ranks 3rd all-time in team history.

Vikings First rounder, Anthony Barr leads the teams in tackles with 22. He has 18 solo and 4 assists. What a great way to start his career.

Harrison Smith vs the Patriots had 13 tackles which is career high. If he can stay healthy we have a pro-bowl caliber safety for a long time.

The Vikings have 8 new starters sine last season. The only ones to remain starters in 2014 are Harrison Smith, Brian Robison and Chad Greenway. What a turnover but look forward to it being successful.

Matt Asiata who started Sunday vs the Patriots recorded his first touchdown reception in his career. He also had a career high in reception with 5 and yardage with 48.

The Vikings have the 4th most home wins since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger

1) Pittsburgh Steelers 245-95-1

2) Denver Broncos 237-102-4

3) Miami Dolphins 228-112-1

4) Minnesota Vikings 227-114-1

MINNESOTA VIKINGS ROSTER FUN FACTS

The Oldest Vikings on the roster is Cullen Loeffler (33) and the youngest is Teddy Bridgewater (21).

The colleges that are represented by the most Vikings have 4 and they are from Notre Dame and USC.

The college conference with the most Vikings is the Pac 12 with 10 Vikings from that conference.

The largest Vikings player is Phil Loadholt (6’8” and 343 pounds) and the smallest Vikings is Marcus Sherels (5’8” and 175 pounds).

There are 10 former first round picks on the roster and 9 former Pro Bowlers

The Vikings staff has 4 former NFL Players (Jeff Davidson, Jerry Gray, George Stewart and Hank Fraley).

THOUGHTS ON THE SAINTS GAME

The Saints are 0-2 coming home for their first home game of 2014. If we don’t think they are going to want to show America they are not a 0 win team we better think again.

Drew Brees is in mind a top 5 quarterback in the NFL and has dangerous weapons at receiver. The one that concerns me the most is tight end/wide receiver, Jimmy Graham.

The Saints running back, Mark Ingram is out 4 weeks due to a hand injury.

The Saints have scored 58 points and given up 63 so I like this stat. I know Minnesota offense is better than it showed vs the Patriots.

The Vikes defense played decent last Sunday and will definitely be challenged by Brees and company. The ally I love in this case is having defense genius, Mike Zimmer on our side.

The noise will be a factor for sure. The offensive line is key in protecting Cassel. I was at the 2009 NFC Championship came and can assure you it is deafening in there.

I just wonder how much pressure Cassel puts on himself knowing one more bad performance and a young 21 year old man may be waiting in the wings. I look for Cassel and the offensive line to play much better. I have no facts to base this on just a gut feeling these guys will show us they are contenders.

Green Bay plays at Detroit on Sunday so I kook for at the end of Sunday to see Minnesota and Detroit 2-1 while Green Bay and Chicago go to 1-2.

Vikes win in a shocker 24-23

Thanks for reading

Todd Walkingstick

Monday, September 15, 2014

The day after


It has been over 24 hours since the end of the home opener and has given me eve more time to think about just what went wrong.

Sunday night I got home and got info that Viking’s special team coach, Mike Priefer has been reinstated.

This info triggered my mind making me think just how much trouble special teams had on Sunday vs the Patriots.

The blocked field goal really took a chunk of life out of the team right before half. I said earlier a chance to go down 7 at half 17-10 but instead the Vikes go down 24-3 at half.

The other huge concern was the organization of special teams. I can recall two times for sure the Patriots made it seem as though they would attempt to go for it on 4th and within seconds ran the punt team on.

I know everyone has a different view whether to go to a game or sit home in the comfort of your own house. I love going because of all the action I can watch at once. I can scan for different aspects of the game I want to see. I might want to see how the coaches react on sidelines or how players react on the sidelines as well. The TV screen limits what you can see. I do not know what was shown on TV but I can assure you that it seemed helter skelter trying to get the correct guys on the field within seconds. I thought for sure the Vikes would be penalized for too many men on the field. It was an extreme brilliant move by the Patriots.

I am not blaming the fill in coach who was taking Priefer’s place while the suspension was going. I just don’t recall player’s looking that confused whether to be on the field or not. It was pointed out that one of the special team plays only 9 Vikings players were on the field.

I know Matt Cassel looked terrible at times but I also feel at times the receivers didn’t help him either. I can recall 2 balls Vikes tight end, Kyle Rudolph missed. I know Cassel missed a wide open Rudolph for 6 down the seam.

It was on a positive note that it was nice to be at the game and see Greg Jennings catch his 500th pass in the NFL.

I also wanted to point out a couple things about the stadium. It is indeed a beautiful place and I love being there but must say we have a major problem getting wi-fi. We struggle each of the 3 games thus far to be able to check twitter. These are not the end of the world not to be able to do but it is nice to see what media football guys are tweeting.

The other thing I noticed is when they are showing someone talk on the big screen such as a player or coach that the words we here are way behind the lips moving.

I do love when leaving the stadium we are heading down the stadium steps the hundreds of purple clad people leaving. It is the most wonderful sight.

I hope you all get a chance to check out TCF Bank Stadium because it is an amazing sight to take in.

This week of talk about Peterson and all people’s opinions will be nonstop. I feel terrible with so many emotions. I just look forward to seeing the Purple send the Saints to a 0-3 record.

Thanks for reading

Purplestick