Viking News – Vikings Shop NFL http://vikingsshopnfl.com/ Tue, 22 Nov 2022 20:05:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://vikingsshopnfl.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-2.png Viking News – Vikings Shop NFL http://vikingsshopnfl.com/ 32 32 Viking girls will have more camaraderie this season https://vikingsshopnfl.com/viking-girls-will-have-more-camaraderie-this-season/ Tue, 22 Nov 2022 18:47:29 +0000 https://vikingsshopnfl.com/viking-girls-will-have-more-camaraderie-this-season/ The 2022-23 Evergreen Women’s Basketball Team. Max Head of Household | AIM Media Midwest The Evergreen women’s basketball program is looking to come together as a team to be more successful in 2022-23. “We’re looking forward to the season and will work hard to be simple, strong and solid,” said head coach Brittaney Cymbolin. “We […]]]>

The 2022-23 Evergreen Women’s Basketball Team.

Max Head of Household | AIM Media Midwest

The Evergreen women’s basketball program is looking to come together as a team to be more successful in 2022-23.

“We’re looking forward to the season and will work hard to be simple, strong and solid,” said head coach Brittaney Cymbolin. “We know our league will be tough so we need to focus on staying positive, working as a unit and being relentless on both sides of the pitch.”

A key returning piece for the Vikings this season is Macy Chamberlin, a second-team All-Northwest Ohio Athletic League and honorable mention All-District 7 last season. Chamberlin averaged 10.1 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.

Addison Ricker (Honourable District 7), Lucy Serna (Honourable All-NWOAL), Brooke Sintobin and Hannah Wilson also return. Ricker averaged 7.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, while Serna averaged 6.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game during the 2021-22 season.

Evergreen will also add newcomers Kennedy Emmitt, Brookelyn Gleckler, Katie Huffman and Ella Burgermeister.

“Our strengths will be our ability to execute, teamwork and camaraderie between all teams,” Cymbolin explained.

The most notable loss for the Vikings is that of Rebekah Bowser. She averaged 17.6 points per game as a senior. Bowser was also first-team All-NWOAL and District 7, second-team All-Northwest District, and honorable mention All-Ohio.

They also lose Jocelyn Schuster, Jessica Riggs, Lydia Valentine and Sydney Woodring. “Our weakness will be depth,” Cymbolin said.

Last season, the Vikings went 3-4 in the NWOAL. They will be looking to get over .500 this year.

“As always, the NWOAL is generally a fairly balanced league,” Cymbolin noted. “I predict Bryan will be the team to beat with their size and Coach Grosjean’s development of his youth program several years ago which has now placed his team in an excellent position for continued success.”

The 2022-23 Evergreen Women’s Basketball Team.

Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.

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Kirk Cousins ​​explains Vikings’ ‘best bad option’ game and new driving routine https://vikingsshopnfl.com/kirk-cousins-explains-vikings-best-bad-option-game-and-new-driving-routine/ Thu, 17 Nov 2022 01:07:40 +0000 https://vikingsshopnfl.com/kirk-cousins-explains-vikings-best-bad-option-game-and-new-driving-routine/ “I was really struggling in late August/early September to really get to a place where I could spit the games out with full ownership. Because [Nick’s] been in a few systems where he had to learn quickly, especially this year with so little time between trade and week 1, he said, “I’m just going to […]]]>

“I was really struggling in late August/early September to really get to a place where I could spit the games out with full ownership. Because [Nick’s] been in a few systems where he had to learn quickly, especially this year with so little time between trade and week 1, he said, “I’m just going to save the tricky games on my phone and instead of listening to music or radio on my commute time to and from work, I’ll just listen to game calls,” Cousins ​​said. “So I started doing that and it makes my commute a bit more boring, but I find [that] when I go home, I feel better with the game plan and my mastery of the game plan. … These are the kind of little things that can happen in the quarter room that can make a significant difference in your season and in your process.

Cousins ​​added that the verbiage he uses in caucus varies each week and he believes there are positives and negatives on both sides of the verbiage of a play call.

“You can be as simple as having a code word that tells everyone what to do in one word that we certainly carry – every team does that,” Cousins ​​said. “And then you have games that can get into situations where, we have a game for this look, we have a game for this look, and we could alert on a third option and you’re really trying to communicate all of that in the huddle , and it can get longer. So it just depends on the week, the situation, and there are times when you have to be very efficient and there are times when you have to be a little bit longer and longer. “

Whatever the call of the game, Cousins ​​said he is always looking to learn from every throw he throws.

“[When] you go back and look critically all the time: ‘Hey, what was the best decision here? Was it to check? Was it to throw in the cover? “Cousins ​​said. “You try to learn from each and understand ways to avoid the negative outcome and drive out that positive outcome. But often it comes down to one game and one player and feeling good about your option.”

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Bills’ take on the Vikings should have been called off https://vikingsshopnfl.com/bills-take-on-the-vikings-should-have-been-called-off/ Mon, 14 Nov 2022 06:44:00 +0000 https://vikingsshopnfl.com/bills-take-on-the-vikings-should-have-been-called-off/ ORCHARD PARK, NY (AP) — The Vikings beat the Bills in overtime. Without a refereeing error, they might have won in regulation time. The NFL’s senior vice president of umpiring has acknowledged there was a breakdown in the instant replay process after a tiebreak late in Minnesota’s 33-30 win over Buffalo on Sunday. Gabe Davis’ […]]]>

ORCHARD PARK, NY (AP) — The Vikings beat the Bills in overtime. Without a refereeing error, they might have won in regulation time.

The NFL’s senior vice president of umpiring has acknowledged there was a breakdown in the instant replay process after a tiebreak late in Minnesota’s 33-30 win over Buffalo on Sunday.

Gabe Davis’ 20-yard reception along the sideline with 24 seconds left in regulation should have been reviewed before the Bills threw another play, Walt Anderson told a pool reporter after the game . The catch happened on Buffalo’s five-play, 69-yard run that ended with Tyler Bass hitting a 29-yard field goal to force overtime with 2 seconds left.

“Even if it happens quickly and Buffalo rushes to the line of scrimmage for the next play, if the replay official can’t confirm it was a hold on such a long completed pass, we should stop play. to make sure it was a catch. “, said Anderson.

On replays, it appeared Davis failed to secure the ball when he fell out of bounds.

“It would have been reversed to an incomplete pass because he didn’t maintain control of the ball after he touched down and the ball touched the ground out of bounds,” Anderson said.

Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell said the catch happened in front of him on the sideline. He was unable to challenge the decision as it happened in the last 2 minutes and said he did not get an explanation from the officials.

“I didn’t think it was a snag,” O’Connell said. “In this mode, it must be something they have to look at from above, or maybe from New York. We didn’t get specifics on that. I asked.

Anderson said league officials will review video and audio from the game to determine why there was no replay.

“I’m going to have to ask the official to replay exactly what he didn’t feel like he saw to stop the game,” Anderson said.

O’Connell said there may have been another officiating error in overtime that could have affected the result. He wondered if the Bills had 12 defensemen on the field when Minnesota running back Dalvin Cook was tackled for a 3-yard loss on the Bills 2 first base.

The Vikings threw what turned out to be the game-winning field goal three plays later, but a touchdown in the first overtime campaign would have ended the game without giving the Bills offense a chance to respond.

Anderson credited the replay officials with getting the call right on two key plays in the final minute of regulation.

He said replays showed Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins’ shoulder was down before he extended the ball over the goal line on fourth and the goal from the half-yard line with 49 seconds left.

On the next play, Bills quarterback Josh Allen missed the snap, which was recovered by Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks for a touchdown.

Anderson said the replays made it clear Allen lost the ball and the officials correctly stuck with the infield call – a Vikings touchdown – after various camera angles were unable to confirm who performed the recovery.

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AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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Justin Jefferson and Sleep Number surprise military family with new bed https://vikingsshopnfl.com/justin-jefferson-and-sleep-number-surprise-military-family-with-new-bed/ Thu, 10 Nov 2022 22:53:19 +0000 https://vikingsshopnfl.com/justin-jefferson-and-sleep-number-surprise-military-family-with-new-bed/ “Sleep Number is a purpose-driven company and we are focused on improving the health and well-being of society through better quality sleep. And no one needs quality sleep anymore. than our military,” Elepano said. “We’ve worked with Blue Star Families for nine years and have donated hundreds of beds to deserving service members across the […]]]>

“Sleep Number is a purpose-driven company and we are focused on improving the health and well-being of society through better quality sleep. And no one needs quality sleep anymore. than our military,” Elepano said. “We’ve worked with Blue Star Families for nine years and have donated hundreds of beds to deserving service members across the country because, again, they need sleep as much and more than anyone. And when they’re transitioning , they really need their health and well-being, their emotional, physical and mental stability, and sleep will help them achieve this, so we are honored to do so.”

Thompson and Nordine met in 2013 while both serving with the Minnesota Army National Guard. Nordine is currently a staff sergeant, while Thompson completed his service in 2017 as an E-4 specialist.

Both Thompson and Nordine have military backgrounds. They each have grandparents who served, and Thompson’s father, Ryan, served four years in the Air Force.

When Thompson and Nordine found out they were going to visit the museum, they immediately knew who they were taking.

Nordine said it was special to have the chance to share the experience with her father, Kyle.

“My dad and I always grew up going to sporting events, it was always our thing together,” Nordine said. “I share my time with three older brothers… [so] It’s a once in a lifetime experience.”

After Jefferson introduced the bed to the family, he got another surprise. Jefferson took the family on a personal tour of the Vikings practice facility at the Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center.

Thompson said it was nice to see their sacrifices recognized in this way.

“It’s worth spending time away from family,” he said.

Since 2011, the NFL has implemented the Salute to Service campaign to honor active military and veterans during the month of November. This year, the Vikings will face the Dallas Cowboys in their Salute to Service home game on Nov. 20 at US Bank Stadium.

“I think it’s something really cool to see. I love the Salute to Service campaign. I think it’s really important to really show what’s important and give back the support,” Nordine said. “I think it was 2016 that we were able to come and be standard bearers on the pitch and it was a really fun experience.”

Jefferson added that it was extremely difficult to be able to make this sacrifice to serve, and he wanted to give back to these families.

“I can’t imagine what they’re going through, through the times when they have to go away for months [and] just going to war and not knowing if they’re going to come back to their family or not,” Jefferson said. “It’s really a hard life to live, that’s why every chance I get , I would like to give back for them.”

Jefferson enjoyed his partnership with Sleep Number which began last season.

“The whole time I was with them, we did surprises like this and just gave back to people across the country,” Jefferson said. “He’s a great partner. [You’ve] must always be [getting] quality sleep, get the best sleep of your life.”

Elepano added that Jefferson takes his sleep seriously in order to help lead the Vikings offense on game days.

“He’s amazing. One of the things we really like about him is that he takes his sleep seriously, that’s why we wanted to partner with him, and obviously you see the effects in his game.” , said Elepano. “He’s a great guy, a wonderful prospect for Minnesota State, and I can’t wait to see what he does next.”

As for Thompson and Nordine, they will relish the day a dream came true.

“We are continually watching the Vikings and hope they continue to do well, and we really appreciate Justin’s time. It’s been a really cool experience that we’ve been able to have.”

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Rookie CB Akayleb Evans learning under veterans; O’Connell provides updates on Dantzler and Tomlinson https://vikingsshopnfl.com/rookie-cb-akayleb-evans-learning-under-veterans-oconnell-provides-updates-on-dantzler-and-tomlinson/ Tue, 08 Nov 2022 02:58:42 +0000 https://vikingsshopnfl.com/rookie-cb-akayleb-evans-learning-under-veterans-oconnell-provides-updates-on-dantzler-and-tomlinson/ EAGAN, Minn.— When Vikings cornerback Akayleb Evans was in college at the University of Tulsa and later at the University of Missouri, he got some solid advice from his coach: Learn from the veterans. “My college coach, I had him through the five years of college when I was in Tulsa and Mizzou. He taught […]]]>

EAGAN, Minn.— When Vikings cornerback Akayleb Evans was in college at the University of Tulsa and later at the University of Missouri, he got some solid advice from his coach: Learn from the veterans.

“My college coach, I had him through the five years of college when I was in Tulsa and Mizzou. He taught me a lot, he was like, ‘When you get to the league, you want to be under the wing of a veteran, whoever is on the team,” Evans told Twin Cities reporters on Monday. “So when I got here, it was a perfect situation with [Patrick Peterson] be my corner veteran; to be able to learn from him has been great.”

Evans — the 118th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft — turned to 12th-year veteran Peterson, who joined the Vikings a season prior. Evans said he was able to ask Peterson questions on and off the field, including at Peterson’s house.

“It really started on the court. I would ask him about the press technique, the game, just his history in the league, knowing what he was able to do,” Evans said. “I’ve been to his house a few times and he’s broken down a movie; what to look for, if it’s splits, where the ball is, where the receivers are relative to others. He told me helped a lot in that aspect, so I’m looking forward to continuing with him.”

These study sessions paid off for Evans, especially during Sunday Victory 20-17 in Washington.

Evans replaced cornerback Cameron Dantzler, Sr., after Dantzler injured his ankle in the second quarter and was ruled out for the remainder of the game.

Evans quickly made an impact, recording four tackles, including two for a loss, a pass defended and a special teams tackle.

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Vikings tight end Johnny Mundt thrilled to be Fox analyst Mark Schlereth’s ‘favorite player’ https://vikingsshopnfl.com/vikings-tight-end-johnny-mundt-thrilled-to-be-fox-analyst-mark-schlereths-favorite-player/ Sat, 05 Nov 2022 03:12:52 +0000 https://vikingsshopnfl.com/vikings-tight-end-johnny-mundt-thrilled-to-be-fox-analyst-mark-schlereths-favorite-player/ The Johnny Mundt lovefest could well continue Sunday on Fox. During last Sunday’s game between the Vikings and Arizona Cardinals at US Bank Stadium, Fox analyst Mark Schlereth called Mundt, a Minnesota tight end, his “best friend” and his “favorite player”. Whenever Mundt made a good boulder, he didn’t hesitate to call him “my guy”. […]]]>

The Johnny Mundt lovefest could well continue Sunday on Fox.

During last Sunday’s game between the Vikings and Arizona Cardinals at US Bank Stadium, Fox analyst Mark Schlereth called Mundt, a Minnesota tight end, his “best friend” and his “favorite player”. Whenever Mundt made a good boulder, he didn’t hesitate to call him “my guy”.

Well, Schlereth will be back in the booth for Minnesota‘s game on Sunday in Washington with play-by-play announcer Chris Myers. And Mundt alerted his family members in Modesto, California.

“I told them he was going to do it again, and they’re excited,” Mundt said.

Now, it wouldn’t matter if quarterback Kirk Cousins, receiver Justin Jefferson or running back Dalvin Cook received that kind of treatment on a TV show, but Mundt has been a reserve tight end throughout. of her career. He caught 10 assists in his first five seasons with the Los Angeles Rams, but at least eclipsed his previous career tally in his first season with the Vikings with 12 in seven games.

Schlereth loves Mundt so much because he’s doing “dirty work” for the 6-1 Vikings. Schlereth, a tough NFL guard with Washington and Denver from 1989-2000, saw himself as that type of player.

“I just appreciate the guys doing the job he does,” Schlereth said. “He had some really good blocks on the edge that generated great runs. You can be my guy if you’re a player who doesn’t get a lot of love but does great things. Justin Jefferson is always going to get a lot of love, and he’s a great player and he deserves it. But if I can find one of those types of full-backs or backup tight ends that does justice, that excites me.

Schlereth got very excited when Mundt made big blocks in Minnesota’s 34-26 win over Arizona. But when Mundt scored his first career touchdown in the second quarter on a yard pass from Cousins, the analyst nearly lost it.

“Every once in a while a guy becomes my best friend,” Schlereth said on air. “He becomes my favorite player.”

Schlereth loved how Mundt blocked a defensive end, was patient, then slipped into the end zone and went wide open for Cousins. Offensive coordinator Wes Phillips also liked the play, although he joked that Mundt’s point “left something to be desired”.

Mundt said the Fox clip of the score was shown in the tight ends meeting room before the game against the Commanders. He said tight ends coach Brian Angelichio was “really thrilled” to hear such praise from Scherleth.

Mundt thought it was “pretty cool” himself.

“It’s an honor to receive this kind of praise from a player like him who has done so much in the league,” Mundt said of Schlereth, who won one Super Bowl with Washington and two with Denver. “A lot of friends and family members were very excited about it back home. … The Johnny Mundt train welcomes everyone and anyone.”

Myers, a longtime broadcaster, said Schlereth “is often more excited about players blocking than scoring”, and it was an added treat when Mundt scored. The only downside of the game for Mundt was that he didn’t save the ball from his first touchdown after the smash.

“It’s lost in the mix, but I have the memory,” said Mundt, who had just one catch against the Cardinals.

Since that game, the Vikings have placed Irv Smith Jr., who was their former senior tight end, on injured reserve with an ankle injury and acquired TJ Hockenson from Detroit to replace Smith. But Mundt is expected to continue playing a similar role for the Vikings by slotting into plays to block and catch passes in a timely manner.

And Schlereth will no doubt be ready on Sunday to single out Mundt again.

“I just appreciate guys who are willing to sacrifice themselves and guys who are willing to do the dirty work that don’t usually get recognized on a show,” Schlereth said.

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Pat McAfee loves Vikings, you should too https://vikingsshopnfl.com/pat-mcafee-loves-vikings-you-should-too/ Wed, 02 Nov 2022 03:03:26 +0000 https://vikingsshopnfl.com/pat-mcafee-loves-vikings-you-should-too/ Pat Mcafee and Lee Corso on the ESPN College GameDay stage outside Ayres Hall on the University of Tennessee campus in Knoxville, Tennessee on Saturday, September 24, 2022. The flagship pre-game football show ESPN college returned for the tenth time to Knoxville as the No. 12 Vols hosted the No. 22 Gators. Kns Espn College […]]]>

Pat Mcafee and Lee Corso on the ESPN College GameDay stage outside Ayres Hall on the University of Tennessee campus in Knoxville, Tennessee on Saturday, September 24, 2022. The flagship pre-game football show ESPN college returned for the tenth time to Knoxville as the No. 12 Vols hosted the No. 22 Gators. Kns Espn College Gameday

Former Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee has become a media titan, and his sound bites often garner national attention. On a recent show, he discussed the Minnesota Vikings’ hot start, and it’s hard not to forget his emotions.

There’s no denying that the Minnesota Vikings weren’t supposed to start that strong, at least if you believed the big national media personalities. The roster remained largely unchanged from where Mike Zimmer and Rick Spielman left it a year ago, but that’s exactly what Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Kevin O’Connell wanted to inherit. There was a lot of talent on this team, but people in the wrong places to lead it.

Fast forward to where we are now and the Vikings are winning close games. They come from behind. They overcome obstacles. This Vikings contingent has leadership and determination, two key factors that were lacking a season ago.

On his Tuesday show, McAfee said, “I’m a big fan of the Minnesota Vikings,” McAfee said. “I fucking love them. I love all of them. I enjoy the way their games are going. I love watching them play. I like how their defense buzzes. I love everything about this Vikings team. They are electrifying on TV and they are very f****** good.

I think it’s fair to suggest that while the wins have been close, this team should be taken seriously. It may not be the Philadelphia Eagles, but McAfee suggests otherwise.

“I don’t think the [NFL] the fanbase as a whole is ready for Vikings to be Vikings. The Vikings are really ****** good and now that we look at Week 9…the Vikings seem like a team. An NFC cart. Just like the Eagles seem to be.

It’s fair to want the Vikings to show up against the Buffalo Bills in two weeks, and they’ll be tested at home against the Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots, but the reality is Kevin O’s team ‘Connell has handled the business so far. .

You’d be hard-pressed to suggest that it’s crazy that Minnesota lost to Buffalo on the road. A clearer indicator of their true ability may be the result against Dallas and New England, given that both games are at US Bank Stadium. These are the types of games that good teams win, and this team is good at looking for opportunities to prove it.

Of the nationally respected members of the media, McAfee is perhaps the loudest. If he wants to shout Viking talent from the rooftops, by all means let him.

How many holes does Hockenson fill?

Ted Schwerzler is a Twin Cities blogger who focuses on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He is active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and sports enthusiast, covering our pro teams with passion always seemed like a natural outlet.

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Vikings vs Cardinals Live Updates Score, Results, Highlights, for Sunday’s NFL Game https://vikingsshopnfl.com/vikings-vs-cardinals-live-updates-score-results-highlights-for-sundays-nfl-game/ Sun, 30 Oct 2022 16:03:53 +0000 https://vikingsshopnfl.com/vikings-vs-cardinals-live-updates-score-results-highlights-for-sundays-nfl-game/ The Minnesota Vikings have had a week off and are no doubt ready to return to the field. They will look to defend their home turf on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals at 1 p.m. ET. The Vikings have a defense that’s only giving up 19.67 points per game, so Arizona’s offense will have its […]]]>

The Minnesota Vikings have had a week off and are no doubt ready to return to the field. They will look to defend their home turf on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals at 1 p.m. ET. The Vikings have a defense that’s only giving up 19.67 points per game, so Arizona’s offense will have its work cut out for it.

Minnesota beat the Miami Dolphins 24-16 two weeks ago. Minnesota’s RB Dalvin Cook filled the stat sheet, scoring a rushing touchdown. That touchdown – a 53-yard run in the fourth quarter – was one of the highlights of the game.

Meanwhile, Arizona pulled off a solid win over the New Orleans Saints last Thursday, winning 42-34. Arizona can attribute much of its success to RB Eno Benjamin, who scored a rushing touchdown. Benjamin hadn’t helped his team much against the Seattle Seahawks two weeks ago, so it was a good turnaround for him.

The Vikings are the favorites in this one, with an expected margin of victory of 3.5 points. Those who were lucky with them ATS two weeks ago may want to refrain from placing bets this time around as the team is yet to string together ATS win streaks.

It could have gone either way during Minnesota or the Cardinals’ winning streak when the two teams met in September of last year, but it was Arizona that won 34-33. Maybe Minnesota will have better luck at home than on the road? Watch the game and check back on CBS Sports for all the details.

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Despite going 5-1, stats show Vikings are average https://vikingsshopnfl.com/despite-going-5-1-stats-show-vikings-are-average/ Thu, 27 Oct 2022 15:22:55 +0000 https://vikingsshopnfl.com/despite-going-5-1-stats-show-vikings-are-average/ With a 5-1 record, the Minnesota Vikings established themselves as legitimate contenders in their first year under Kevin O’Connell. After spending the past two years edging their way just to .500, Vikings fans are elated, dreaming of playoff victories and even playoff home court advantage. Based on their record, the Vikings are suitors. According to […]]]>

With a 5-1 record, the Minnesota Vikings established themselves as legitimate contenders in their first year under Kevin O’Connell. After spending the past two years edging their way just to .500, Vikings fans are elated, dreaming of playoff victories and even playoff home court advantage.

Based on their record, the Vikings are suitors. According to the numbers, they are a slightly above average football team. The Athletic’s Ben Baldwin included an NFL tier roster coming out of Week 7 and the Vikings aren’t in the elite at anything.

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A position defines the Vikings, Packers, Gophers and it’s not the quarterback https://vikingsshopnfl.com/a-position-defines-the-vikings-packers-gophers-and-its-not-the-quarterback/ Sun, 23 Oct 2022 21:45:00 +0000 https://vikingsshopnfl.com/a-position-defines-the-vikings-packers-gophers-and-its-not-the-quarterback/ Three football teams dominate conversations in the Twin Cities: the Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Gophers. The Vikings are 5-1. The Packers are 3-4, having lost consecutive games to the Giants, Jets and Commanders. The Gophers, after being dismantled by Penn State on Saturday, are 4-3, 1-3 in the Big Ten, on a […]]]>

Three football teams dominate conversations in the Twin Cities: the Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Gophers.

The Vikings are 5-1. The Packers are 3-4, having lost consecutive games to the Giants, Jets and Commanders. The Gophers, after being dismantled by Penn State on Saturday, are 4-3, 1-3 in the Big Ten, on a three-game losing streak and tied for last in the West Division.

There’s one position that has played a key role in the relative fates of these three teams, and it’s not quarterback. It’s one of the most crucial roles in modern football – the No.1 receiver.

When future Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy was the defensive coordinator for the Vikings, he offered fascinating insight into NFL game theory. He said defenses don’t need multiple stars to be great. They needed a big player who commanded double teams and influenced game plans and play calls.

Hall of Fame defensive tackle John Randle was that player for Dungy. He commanded double teams. He beat double teams. He made attacking game plans predictable.

In recent years, the star receiver has become a similar influencer. Consider:

The Vikings have won four close games in a row against bad or battered teams. They had an offensive explosion and a win over what was thought to be a good team – scoring 17 points in the first half of a 23-7 win over the Packers.

In that game, Vikings star Justin Jefferson caught nine passes for 184 yards and two touchdowns.

A week later, in a 24-7 loss at Philadelphia, Jefferson struggled against star cornerback Darius Slay, and the Vikings offense looked inept.

Over the past three weeks, Jefferson has averaged 9.3 catches and 136 yards in victories on one possession. Without Jefferson, the Vikings may question their new head coach’s expertise instead of enjoying the bye weekend as a first-place team.

Matt LaFleur became the Packers coach in 2019. In his first three seasons, he, Aaron Rodgers and star receiver Davante Adams had 13 regular season wins.

This season, with Adams in Las Vegas, the Packers are 3-4. They produced a 100-yard receiving game — by Allen Lazard in a three-point overtime win over New England.

On Sunday, the Packers played in Washington. Rodgers completed six of his first 10 passes. The four misses were a drop by Lazard, a drop by tight end Robert Tonyan, miscommunication on a deep throw with Romeo Doubs and a drop by Aaron Jones.

On the Packers’ first offensive play of the season, rookie Christian Watson dropped what should have been a Rodgers 75-yard touchdown pass against the Vikings. Their offense, without a star receiver, seems dysfunctional.

Tanner Morgan wasn’t supposed to be a starting quarterback in the Big Ten. He signed up for West Michigan to play for PJ Fleck, then followed Fleck to Minnesota and became a backup to Zack Annexstad.

Morgan became a starter when Annexstad was injured and had a remarkable second season in 2019, producing career bests with 3,253 yards, 10.2 yards per attempt and 30 passing touchdowns.

In his other four seasons, he produced 33 touchdowns. He hasn’t had 2,100 passing yards in any other season.

Did Morgan become a better player in 2019? No. He had two NFL-caliber receivers, Rashod Bateman and Tyler Johnson, making spectacular catches and stretching defenses.

This season, the Gophers are 3-0 when top receiver Chris Autman-Bell is playing and 1-3 when he’s not playing. True, Autman-Bell has played in non-conference games against weak opponents. It’s also true that he may have produced the Dungy effect in one or two of the Gophers’ losses, either making big plays or commanding double teams that opened up space for the approach. a teammate.

Jefferson is the Vikings’ most important player and the reason they are 5-1.

Losing Adams is the simplest explanation for the Packers’ sudden mediocrity.

And if Fleck is to regain his status as a nationally recognized coach, he will have to find himself another Bateman.

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