MEETING AP IN MANKATO

MEETING AP IN MANKATO
THE BEST RUNNING BACK IN THE NFL

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

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Disappointing Home Opener


 

The home opener was finally here and I made the trip to TCF Bank Stadium to see my 150th home game of Vikings football on Sunday.

This is the 3rd game of the year and what I have found out is two things amongst many starting with parking. The first 2 preseason games we took the light rail to TCF Stadium. I have found that parking by the old Metrodome in a lot right across from the Spaghetti Factory you can pay 4.00 to park. I then caught the green line light rail for 7.00 for my wife and myself making a total of 11.00. The train drops you off right behind the stadium. The only issue I found is after the game the thousands of fans that try to get on all at one. You need much patience.

Sunday’s home opener we tried parking on campus at a place called the East River Road Garage for 10.00, cash only. The walk is a lengthy one but ten dollars is not bad. The trouble after the game is sitting in traffic.

My advice is take the light rail and avoid the traffic jams just remember it is a waiting period in which to catch the next available light rail.

We got to the stadium and it was wall to wall purple outside the stadium making for a beautiful sight. The next thing I like to check out is prices of different drinks or foods. I am not a beer drinker but had to see what the charge is and 8.75 is what I found. The other surprise was the price of cotton candy which was a whopping 9.00 for a bag.

The excitement was building as game time approached. I witnessed in pregame 4 military parachuters coming over head and landing on TCF Bank Stadium field. The last of the four was holding a rather large United States flag. It was an incredible sight to see these 4 come in so accurately.

The Vikings offense was introduced to the fans in which I was curious to see how loud the stadium would get. I will admit I did not think it was that loud after being spoiled for years in the dome having my ears blasted out at times.

The player that drew the loudest cheer was Cordarrelle Patterson who seems to be picking up steam as a new fan favorite.

Patriots kickoff with all eyes on Patterson in hopes of the electrifying kickoff return. We watch the ball go out of the end zone making the first of so many disappointments.

The Vikings drive down the field and made it look so easy as the drive ends in a touchdown. I actually thought the crowd was louder for the touchdown than the player name announcements. I am so pumped seeing the Vikings go up 7-0 against the powerful New England Patriots.

I loved the play calling on that drive. It seemed like the Patriots were so focused on Cordarelle Patterson they forgot about the other receivers.

The Vikes stop the Patriots giving the ball back to the Vikings offense. The crowd was really getting into the game. 

The game changed real quickly when Vikings quarterback, Matt Cassel threw the first of his 4 interceptions and we saw the Patriot defender take the ball all the way to the one. The crowd just went silent and it seemed to take the crowd out for the rest of the game.

The Vikings had such a good chance to make it a one score game right before half but then the unthinkable. A blocked Blair Walsh field goal attempt and fans sat and watched the Patriots take it to the house 9 seconds before half.  The crowd was stunned and upset.

The Vikes get the ball back and take a knee really getting the crowd mad so much that they booed the team off the field at halftime.

The second half saw fans filing out quickly early in the fourth quarter and we heard repeated chants of Teddy, Teddy, Teddy!!!!!!

The offense just had too many turnovers leaving the Patriots with good field position. The team gave up 30 but I will go on the ledge by saying they didn’t play necessarily that bad.

If you look at the stats Brady numbers aren’t monstrous finishing with 149 yards passing nor were the Patriots team totals which totaled 292. A good team takes advantage of what a team gives them and that is exactly what New England did. A team that wins big you would think the stats would correlate but not Sunday.

My 2 biggest disappointing players of the game: Matt Cassel just looked so lost making some terrible decisions. I also thought left tackle; Matt Kalil really struggled as well today.

I was disappointed with the last of use of Cordarrelle Patterson not giving him the ball enough. I would love to see him line up in the back field and try it. I am not sure why but feel the team has nothing to lose. He is fast, talented and wants to score. Please give him the ball.

I also came into the game looking for a ferocious pass rush on Brady but that never materialized either.

I look at the NFC North the first 2 weeks and know if Minnesota can get back on track in week 3 they will be right in it for the long haul. It is a long season and know Coach Zimmer will make sure there are not 2 weeks in a row like this.

I am disappointed but know it is only week 2. I also know the weather was beautiful Sunday so much that my wife and I got sunburned.

Thanks for reading

Todd Walkingstick

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Vikes win and why



The Vikes-Patriots game is less than 24 hours away. I have done nothing but read people’s thoughts on Adrian Peterson. I will say it rips my heart reading so much. I will be attending the game and I believe the Vikings will win. I am not here to pile on the thoughts either way rather I want to talk about why the Vikings will win.


First and foremost it is a home game and the first one of the new season in a new outdoor stadium. If this can’t get the team fired up looking into the stands and seeing all the faithful purple along with hearing them should get their motors running at high speed.


The coaching staff led by of course Mike Zimmer has shown the Vikings they can win with any player they put on the field. It is a team sport that consists of 53 men fighting for the ultimate goal, the Lombardi Trophy.


The playmakers on offense the team gives me many reasons to feel good about winning. We have a veteran quarterback in Matt Cassel. The weapons offered up to Cassel are NFL quality receivers led by veteran, Greg Jennings. The speed of Cordarrelle Patterson now will have NFL teams on alert. The Vikings have former MVP of the Pro Bowl, healthy Kyle Rudolph who will give secondary fits with his size. I look for Jarius Wright to be the surprise and do some damage.


The running backs led by Matt Asiata showed last season towards the end he has what it takes to be in the NFL. He has come through the tough ranks of being an undrafted rookie. His patience and hard work has paid off thus far.


2014 draft choice, Jerrick McKinnon will be the jitter bug and will be the X factor teams will need to watch out for.


The offensive line I believe will play the game of their lives knowing the team is counting on them to open holes for Asiata and keep Cassel upright,


The defense will come to play in this CBS Nationally televised game. A chance to shut down future hall of famer, Tom Brady will be all the motivation they need.


I look for the D-Line to be big vs the Patriots offensive line. I love the rotation keeping the legs fresh.


I am so excited to see Patriots coach, Bill Belicheck in person. I am even more excited and confident to see the Vikings win 35-13 and go to 2-0.


Thanks for reading


Todd Walkingstick


 

Patriots game info and predictions

~~The New England Patriots (0-1) come to TCF Bank Stadium on Sunday September 14th to play the Minnesota Vikings.

 Game time: noon
Channel: CBS
Broadcast Team: Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts with Jenny Dell on the sidelines.

 Las Vegas has New England favored by 3.
The last time New England lost in week 1 was back in 2003 and that year they won the Super Bowl.
Tom Brady and Bill Belicheck are indeed Hall of Fame worthy but for at least this Sunday they will leave Minnesota 0-2

 New England has the distinction to say they will have played Minnesota in 4 different stadiums as they have played in Memorial, the Old Met, the Metrodome and now TCF. I can’t think of a better team to open up with than the New England Patriots. It would have been nice to see the Packers in week 1 so it is still nice to get a power house to come to town.

 A Minnesota win would be the first time since 2009 that the team will have opened up the season 2-0.

 New England does lead the series 7-4 with the Vikings being 2-2 at home. I am all in for the fact after Sunday the team will be 3-2 at home. The last time the Patriots played in Minnesota was Week 8 in 2006 and that game saw the Patriots come out with a 31-7 win. The last time these team met was in New England in Week 8 in 2010 with the Patriots winning that one 28-18.
The last Minnesota win outdoors at home was back on 11/15/81 when the Vikings beat the Saints 20-10.
VIKINGS PLAYER NOTES:

 Vikings quarterback, Matt Cassel was drafted in the 7th round in 2005 by the New England Patriots. He was the backup to Tom Brady before moving onto Kansas City Chiefs. Matt has never faced the New England Patriots.

 Harrison Smith’s 81 yard interception for a touchdown now ties him for 1st place in Vikings history having 3 returns for touchdowns.
The Vikings defense allowing only 6 points was the 2nd best effort on opening day, with the best being only giving up 3 to Atlanta back on 9/09/07.

 THOUGHTS ON THE PATRIOTS
The Patriots without a doubt are going to come to Minnesota looking to take some frustration out after their rare week 1 loss.
Bill Belicheck and Tom Brady are quite the duo and know how to win.  Rob Gronkowskii will look to have a big day vs the Vikes secondary.
Vikings coach, Mike Zimmer knows how to beat the Patriots as he proved it last year in week 5. Zimmer lead Bengals defense gave up only 6 points to the Patriots. The Bengals also had the distinction of being the team to end Tom Brady’s 52 games in a row throwing a touchdown.
I feel the home crowd at TCF and Zimmer’s ability to produce defensive gems will be the key to success.
Miami Dolphins showed last week with the consistent defensive line pressure that Brady can’t produce the way he is used to. The Vikings now have a defensive line that showed last week they know how to pressure the quarterback. The ability to rotate d-line will really help in making Brady’s day miserable.
I look for the Vikings offense to explode. I f Miami can score 33 and I don’t feel they have the weapons like the Vikes have, just how much will the Vikings score?

 I also look for Kyle Rudolph to have a fantasy lover’s day. He will get in the end zone once again.
Cassel does not need to go for 300 just give it to AP and a few handoffs to Cordarrelle Patterson and with the receivers stable the Vikings now have Cassel can keep the drives going.

 I look for a big day out of Blair Walsh both on kickoffs and field goals. The weather will be interesting to see if and how it affects Walsh. I feel he is not going to miss a beat.
The Vikes win going 2-0 with the score 35-13.

 This will be weird having to look for a weather forecast for a Vikings game.

 Thanks for reading
Purplestick