Archive for the ‘Minnesota Vikings’ Category
There’s a flood of positivity flowing through Winter Park this morning. That’s because Adrian Peterson is back at Winter Park:
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Adrian Peterson is coming back to the Minnesota Vikings, telling The Associated Press that he will participate in the team’s voluntary practice on Tuesday and still has love for his team after nine months away.
Peterson sent an e-mail to the AP early Tuesday morning saying he’s excited to put on a uniform again after missing the final 15 games of last season while addressing child abuse charges in Texas. He also skipped the team’s voluntary practices last week while openly lamenting the fact that the final three years of his contract are not guaranteed.
“I’ve been away from the game for an entire season,” Peterson wrote to the AP. “I wanted the chance to be around the players and coaches, the guys that really matter to me.”
Teddy Bridgewater just improved as a quarterback. Mike Zimmer became a smarter head coach. Norv Turner is wearing an ear-to-ear smile and Mike Wallace dreams of all the single coverage he’ll see this season. There’s a difference between quality starters and Pro Bowl players. Then there’s the difference between Pro Bowl players and true superstars. Adrian fits in at the top of the ‘true superstar’ category. There isn’t a defensive coordinator who isn’t revising his game plan if he’s facing the Vikings this season.
Last year, Teddy Bridgewater had an impressive rookie season. Still, there’s no denying he’s still got lots to learn. His learning curve isn’t as inclined as it was a month ago thanks to Adrian. Play action passes against defenses with 9 men in the box are more like pitch and catch routines. Last year, defenses didn’t take the Vikings running game seriously. They didn’t take Teddy’s play action fakes seriously, either. That changed this morning.
One of the sneaky smart things that the Vikings did this winter was trade for speedster Mike Wallace. When he was asked if Mike Wallace was good at double moves, Norv Turner said that Wallace was fast enough that he didn’t need a double move. There was a smile on Turner’s face at that point. I’m thinking about the cat-that-ate-the-canary type smile.
This morning’s news officially makes the Vikings a potential playoff team.
Scott Wright reminded me of something that I’ve meant to write about with this tweet:
The Minnesota Vikings almost always get good to great value with their picks. Love the pickup of Pittsburgh OT T.J. Clemmings in Round 4.
— Scott Wright (@DraftCountdown) May 2, 2015
This year, the Vikings drafted T.J. Clemmings with their pick in the fourth round. While I’d be surprised if Clemmings starts this year at tackle, I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t replace Phil Loadholt at right tackle in 2016. According to ESPN’s Todd McShay, Clemmings was the worst-looking tackle he’d ever seen in Division I in 2013. When he watched tape of Clemmings this year, McShay said he saw a totally different player.
The Vikings have a lengthy history of cashing in during the 4th round under Spielman. The Vikings have a bunch of players on their roster that they’ve picked in the fourth round, including starters Everson Griffen and Brian Robison, WR Jarius Wright and part-time starters TE Rhett Ellison and OLB Gerald Hodges.
First round picks get the fans’ attention because they’re high profile players. Bill Polian is right, though, when he says that the third-sixth round players are the backbone of most championship teams.
Last night, the Vikings drafted Trae Waynes, the best cornerback in the NFL Draft. Tonight, the Vikings strengthened their linebackers, drafting Eric Kendricks, a linebacker from UCLA, with the 45th pick overall. Before making their pick in the third round, GM Rick Spielman traded down twice. First, he traded the 76th pick to the Chiefs for the 80th overall pick and the 193rd overall pick (6th round), then trading the 80th overall pick to Detroit for the 88th overall and 143rd overall picks.
With the 88th overall pick (third round), the Vikings picked Danielle Hunter, a raw DE from LSU:
Strengths Freakish combination of size, athleticism and explosiveness. Has long arms with jarring power behind his hands. When technique is right, he can stack and overpower tackles at point of attack. Fluid and agile in space. Uses length to bat down passes and disrupt the passing lane. Flashes winning spin move in pass rush, but needs to learn to set it up better. Uses arm-over inside move to set up tackles for loss. High-end tackle production for his position. Secondary motor to pursue and speed to chase leads to more tackle opportunities. Lead all SEC defensive linemen in “stuffs” (tackles for no gain or loss of yards) with 17. Active and energetic at all times. Continues to work to improve position vs. run and pass. Off-field character considered “squeaky clean” by NFL scouts. Has speed and agility to become special-teams star early in his career.
Weaknesses Relies heavily on his athleticism and motor over skill and instincts. Pass-rush production doesn’t match the traits. Played 80 percent of the defensive snaps in 2014, managing just 1.5 sacks. Doesn’t have the upfield burst and bend to turn the corner. Considered a “thinker” as a pass rusher rather than a naturally instinctive reactor. Must show he can effectively counter as a pass rusher. Has winning power in hands, but inconsistent with how he uses them against run and pass. Scouts want to see more competitive nastiness from him.
This highlight video shows Hunter’s athleticism. He’ll need some coaching up but he’s got something coaches can’t teach. He’s 6’5″, weighs 252 lbs. and he runs the 40-yard dash in 4.57 seconds.
Thanks to Spielman’s third round trades, the Vikings will have the 110th overall pick (11th pick in the fourth round), the 137th & 143rd overall (fifth round), 193rd overall pick in the 6th round and the
228th & 232rd overall picks in the 7th round.
Those extra third day picks can be quite valuable. Last year, the Vikings got rotation players Shamar Stephen and Jabari Price in the 7th round, plus special teams player Antone Exum in the 6th round.
Here’s what the people at Walter Football said about the Vikings’ first and second day picks:
11. Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State: A- Grade
It was either Trae Waynes or DeVante Parker, and either would’ve made a ton of sense. But whereas Parker was the No. 3 receiver, Waynes was the top cornerback on the board. With that in mind, doesn’t it seem like a huge steal that the Vikings were able to obtain the No. 1 corner in the draft with the 11th pick? This is a strong choice, as Waynes fills a need as a starter across from Xavier Rhodes. The Vikings had to find another corner to help them against all of the talented receivers on Green Bay, Chicago and Detroit.
45. Eric Kendricks, ILB, UCLA: A+ Grade
This is my favorite pick of the second round so far. Eric Kendricks is a first-round prospect. I had him going to Nos. 24 and 30 in various updates of my mock draft. He should’ve been the first inside linebacker off the board, so he’s an absolute steal in the middle of the second frame. He fills a huge need for Minnesota in the middle of its defense.
88. Danielle Hunter, DE/OLB, LSU: B+ Grade
Danielle Hunter’s draft stock was all over the place. Some had him as a second-round prospect. One team we spoke to scoffed at this, listing him as a fifth-round prospect. This range should be right for him. Hunter isn’t much of a football player right now, but he has the athleticism to develop into a strong starter. The good thing is that Hunter doesn’t have to play much right away. He’ll have time to eventually emerge as a key player down the road.
If someone had told Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer that they’d pick their starting corner and starting middle linebacker with their first two picks, I suspect they’d be happy. If you’d told them that they got the best cover corner and best cover linebacker with those picks, I’m certain that they’d be more than a little happy.
Months ago, the Vikings football people (primarily GM Rick Spielman and Coach Mike Zimmer) made it clear that Adrian Peterson would finish his career with the Vikings by essentially saying that he’d either play out his contract with them or they’d put him on the involuntary retirement list.
According to this post, Ben Dogra, Peterson’s agent, essentially cried uncle:
Adrian Peterson’s agent is no longer saying he wants out of Minnesota. He’s now saying he wants more money to stay in Minnesota.
Ben Dogra, who has previously said it’s not in Peterson’s best interest to stay with the Vikings, now says that he understands the Vikings will not get rid of Peterson.
“One of the things that I appreciate with the Vikings is their resolve to say ‘we’re not trading him,’” Dogra told USA Today. “That tells me they value him not only as a football player, but what he’s done for the organization. I actually, as an agent, not only appreciate it — I accept it. But actions speak louder than words. If that’s going to happen, and you want to keep him, then show him a commitment to make him retire as a Viking. And I haven’t had that solution.”
Simply put, that’s what it sounds like to hear an agent admit he’s lost this fight. Now it’s time for the Vikings to welcome Adrian back, get him on the same page as QB Teddy Bridgewater and receiver Mike Wallace.
Adrian won’t recognize the defense. They’ve improved significantly since his last game against the Rams. Last night, they improved the defense more by drafting the best cornerback in the draft in Trae Waynes of Michigan State. With 2 more days of the draft left, I won’t be surprised if Spielman finds an offensive lineman or 2 plus a linebacker to improve the Vikings on both sides of the ball.
Check out Scott Wright’s list of best available players for tonight’s part of the draft. There are 4 players on Scott’s list that would be plug-and-play guys with the Vikings, including 2 offensive linemen, on Scott’s best available list.
With the NFL offseason in full swing, gossip columnists like Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk and ‘journalists’ like Adam Shefter of ESPN have run a nauseating amount of articles about Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. Florio has been particularly annoying on that front.
His near-daily posts about what that day’s news means in terms of whether Peterson will be a Viking next opening day is a display of how the NFL encourages media coverage whether there’s anything to report on or not. (There usually isn’t.)
Yesterday, there genuinely was news on the Peterson front. The NFL finally reinstated him after putting him on the Commissioner’s naughty boy list. The Vikings issued this brief statement on Peterson’s reinstatement:
“The Minnesota Vikings have been informed by the NFL that Adrian Peterson has been reinstated. We look forward to Adrian re-joining the Vikings.”
Immediately, the ‘Will Adrian be freed and traded to the Cowboys?’ stories littered the internet again. The answer to that question is simple. Adrian will be traded if another NFL team blows them away with an offer.
Rick Spielman, the Vikings GM, has repeatedly and steadfastly said that they’re looking forward to seeing Adrian lining up behind future superstar QB Teddy Bridgewater. Why wouldn’t he want that? Adrian Peterson is the best running back in the NFL. The last 4 years, he’s been the only offensive weapon the Vikings had. That’s why it’s astonishing he’s been incredibly productive. He’s been the only threat the other team’s defense has had to identify and stop.
That’s meant having 8 or 9 men within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage on, at minimum, 80% of rushing plays. This offseason, the Vikings added Mike Wallace, once the premium deep threat pass catcher in the NFL. Imagine how thrilled he’d be consistently getting man coverage while the defense focuses on Adrian. Imagine the explosiveness of the Vikings offense with Teddy Bridgewater emerging as a Pro Bowl QB with a full set of weapons.
Spielman’s message to other NFL teams has been simple. Adrian’s under contract to us for the next 3 years. If you want him on your team, you’ll have to blow us away with a great offer. If we don’t get that type offer, we’ll just have to figure out a way to use Mr. Peterson.
If Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wants Adrian Peterson playing his home games in Dallas, he’d better put together a great offer. If he doesn’t, Adrian Peterson will remain a Viking.
Bill Polian, the architect of Buffalo’s, Carolina’s and Indianapolis’s Super Bowl team, has been all over the Ben Dogra/Adrian Peterson soap opera this entire winter. Matt Vensel, one of the Strib’s Viking beat writers, wrote about Polian’s conference call where Polian addressed the situation for the umpteenth time. Here’s what Polian said:
“I’ve had a lot to say on this subject on [ESPN’s NFL] Insiders,” he said. “Let’s take away the hypotheticals for a moment and say the following: Despite anything his agent may say to the contrary or his, quote, people, whoever they may be or say to the contrary, the following are the facts. He has a valid contract, a multi-year contract with the Minnesota Vikings. And if the Minnesota Vikings decide that they want him to play football for them, he will play football for them or play football for no one.
“So I think that is a fact. It’s very clear-cut. It’s black and white, despite any protestations to the contrary. Secondly, if you were to be interested in trading for him, that means that the Vikings control the ability to move him. No one else. So there is no third party interaction here. This is a question of whether or not the Vikings want to trade Adrian Peterson to someone else. So I think those two sets of facts have been lost in all of the noise that surrounds this situation almost since last January.
“The third part of the equation is where does he stand with the league? I presume that question will be answered at some point in the foreseeable future. But it has not been answered yet. And that certainly affects any potential trade. I hasten to add that if the Vikings would be willing to entertain one — and they have said just the opposite, at least from where I can tell recently — trying to determine what’s fair compensation for him in a trade assumes that the Vikings would be willing to enter into such a transaction. Not that someone else decides that it should take place.
“So compensation is [Vikings General Manager] Rick Spielman’s call, and I’m not going to farm his land. The fact of the matter is that he has a very, very fair contract, in my opinion, from his perspective. He’s the highest-paid back in the league, I believe. And he has a multi-year contract. So he would be ostensibly available for three more years if any team ever trades for him. To me, that mitigates whatever his age is. He’s also had a year off, which is probably for a running back a good thing. So the extent that his age is a factor if you were going to move him, I don’t think it is a factor because he’s under club control for the next three years.
“Could you make a trade for anybody on the clock? Of course you can. But the question of whether or not that player will report is another issue. And that’s unknowable at this time. I would be, as a general manager, I’d be very wary given what’s gone on up to this point that he would report and honor that contract. I would have concerns about that if I were trying to make a trade.”
This is essentially the same answer Polian has given ever since Ben Dogra, Adrian Peterson’s agent, started shooting his mouth off about the subject.
To the fans, Ben Dogra is a villain. To Vikings GM Rick Spielman, he’s just a pain in the arse. Dogra is doing what Adrian wants him to do. To his credit, Spielman is playing hardball. That’s the right response to the situation. If Spielman can swing a trade that nets him a first round pick that he can turn into Todd Gurley, that’s fantastic. If he can’t, then Spielman should call Adrian and tell him he’s expected to show up for the mandatory mini-camps. He should also remind Peterson that non-participation will cost him $45,000,000 in salaries that he won’t collect and it’ll force him to write a check for $2,400,000 for the signing bonus he didn’t earn.
I’m betting it won’t come to that. No player is stupid enough to turn his back on $50,000,000. No agent would advise his client to forfeit that money, especially considering the fact that Adrian’s salary pays Dogra’s commission.
The most over-hyped story in the NFL offseason has been the drama whipped up by Ben Dogra, Adrian Peterson’s agent. It surpasses the hyperventilation surrounding Chip Kelly trading up to the 2nd pick to draft Marcus Mariota. While it’s possible that one of those trades happens, the chances that both things happen are about as likely as Kate Upton proposing to me.
I get it that Dogra is representing his client. That’s his first responsibility. Rick Spielman’s first responsibility is to build a championship football team in Minneapolis. The best way to do that is to give Teddy Bridgewater a bunch of weapons who can score from any place on the field. Putting Adrian behind Teddy is a major step in that direction. Putting a rejuvenated Mike Wallace on the outside is another positive step in that direction.
That isn’t to say trading Adrian is foolish. It’s saying that it’s foolish unless Spielman gets a king’s ransom for Peterson. Earlier this week, former Colts GM Bill Polian quantified what a king’s ransom would be if he were the GM. When asked what it’d take, Polian abruptly said “multiple number ones”, as in more than 1 first round pick. I totally agree. I don’t think it’s likely that there’s a team out there willing to pull the trigger on that type of trade but that’s the starting point for the Vikings.
If I’m Rick Spielman, I wouldn’t trade the best running back in the game for a second- or third-round pick. The other GM would hear me start laughing if he offered that type of compensation. I’d point out that, despite Dogra’s daily protestations, Peterson is still under contract for 3 more years.
Frankly, I’d tell Dogra that there isn’t a trade market out there and that his client’s only option for playing this year are with the Vikings. Honestly, I’m certain that Dogra knows this. There just aren’t many teams that can fit Peterson’s $15.4 million cap hit into their budget and pay the Vikings enough in talent and/or draft picks.
The Cowboys can’t afford that capwise, especially after signing Greg Hardy to rush the passer. They’d have to give up their first round pick this year plus either Zack Martin or the Cowboys’ 2nd round pick. There’s no way the Cowboys would do that.
The Cardinals have the flexibility capwise but they’d have to give up the 24th pick in the draft plus Tyrann Mathieu and a second day pick to get Peterson.
The bottom line is simple. The Vikings hold all the cards in this. Either Adrian plays for the Vikings or he retires. Considering the fact that Adrian can make $40,000,000 over the next 3 years, I just don’t see Peterson walking away from that payday.
The other factor that hasn’t been talked about by the media is the fact that Adrian watched Teddy last year. He was impressed with Teddy. Why wouldn’t he want to play for a team that’s on the verge of becoming a legitimate contender in the NFC North? That doesn’t mean I think the Vikings would win the Division this year if Adrian returns. I’ll say, though, that they’d have a pretty strong shot at it their first year in the dome.
The DFL’s most trusted ally, other than Alida Messinger and the public employee unions, are the environmental activists. For all the things that the DFL does to help the DFL environmental activists make life miserable for blue collar workers, you’d think they’d get a pass on things. Apparently, the environmental activist wing of the DFL didn’t get the memo:
Adding bird-safe glass to the Minnesota Vikings’ new stadium could add as much as $60 million in extra costs and delay construction by six months, the chairwoman of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority said Friday.
Chairwoman Michele Kelm-Helgen gave the estimate in response to complaints that the clear glass planned for the $1 billion downtown Minneapolis stadium would pose a threat to migratory birds, Minnesota Public Radio News reported.
First, this is what environmental activists do. They make things up, then talk about the potential for crisis. This is fiction. Second, if this was a legitimate problem, which it isn’t, who cares?
Why should the Vikings have to spend an additional $60,000,000 to prevent birds from flying into the new Vikings stadium? Why should they have to wait an additional year to move into their new home? Most importantly, why didn’t these environmental activists mention this when the blueprints were first released in May of 2013?
If there was a Republican governor and Republican-picked chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, they’d tell these environmental activists to take a hike. What’s better is that organizations like Minnesota Citizens for the Protection of Migratory Birds wouldn’t have standing to proceed with a lawsuit because they can’t show how they’d be harmed.
It’s poetic justice that the political party that specializes in doing special favors for special interests is getting hassled by their most special of special interest allies.
Pat Kessler’s Reality Check on Jeff Johnson’s latest ad is a step down for Kessler. On the positive side, he got this part mostly right:
The ad takes some tough shots at Gov. Mark Dayton and, unexpectedly, the owners of the Minnesota Vikings.
It’s classic political mudslinging, but there is some truth to it, as it counts down the missteps of a Governor who Johnson says is “incompetent” and who the new ad calls “unaware.”
“Unaware of bonuses for his failed Obamacare bureaucrats,” says the ad, as the words “Unaware Mark Dayton” appear on the screen. “Not even knowing what’s in the bills he signed.”
The ad accurately quotes Dayton saying he was unaware of MNsure bonuses, unaware of a farm equipment tax in a 2013 tax bill and unaware that personal seat licenses were included in the Vikings stadium bill.
It’s offensive to hear Kessler characterize the ad as mudslinging. It isn’t a stretch whatsoever to say that Gov. Dayton is incompetent. It’s verifiable that he’s admitted that he wasn’t aware of major provisions in the biggest bills Gov. Dayton has signed.
It isn’t mudslinging if the ad uses verifiable information. It’s hard-hitting but it isn’t mudslinging. If Gov. Dayton didn’t want to see these things highlighted, then he shouldn’t have made these dramatic admissions. Gov. Dayton made some major mistakes. Jeff Johnson’s ad just highlights that.
That wasn’t the worst of Kessler’s segment. Check this out:
But the ad strays from the truth when it smears Dayton and team owners Mark and Zygi Wilf, linking the Vikings stadium deal and the Wilf’s legal troubles. “Half a billion taxpayer dollars to the Wilfs after they committed civil fraud and racketeering,” says the ad, with grainy black and white video of Dayton and Vikings team owner Zygi Wilf.
That’s at least MISLEADING and borders on false.
Approximately $500 million is the amount taxpayers forked over to build the $1 billion stadium after the Minnesota legislature passed and Dayton signed the bill into law. The Wilfs put up the other $500 million.
What’s misleading, Mr. Kessler? Did the state of Minnesota commit to paying approximately $500,000,000 of taxpayer money to build the stadium? That’s easily verifiable. It’s in the bill. This isn’t difficult to verify it. The state of Minnesota committed to paying that money while the Wilfs were defending themselves in a New Jersey court on charges of civil fraud and racketeering. That statement is also accurate.
If both those statements are accurate, how could they border on being false? The simple answer is they can’t. True statements can’t border on being false. Still, that wasn’t the low point of the segment. This is:
The Minnesota Vikings strongly objected to the use of their team owners in the Johnson ad.
“We’re extremely disappointed that Jeff Johnson would stoop to this level,” said Vikings Vice President Lester Bagley. “The ad is reckless. The Wilfs have made substantial contributions to this community and this state. What Jeff Johnson has done is not consistent with Minnesota values.”
Mr. Kessler, Reality Check is about checking facts, not about sharing opinions. Quoting Lester Bagley in the article is totally inappropriate, especially considering the fact that he contributed to Gov. Dayton’s campaign. Furthermore, Bagley serves the Wilfs, nobody else. What qualifies him to speak on what Minnesota values are?
Finally, this was disgraceful, too:
A spokesman from Dayton campaign Linden Zakula said, “It’s not surprising to see a desperate attack from a candidate so far behind. Commissioner Johnson offers no real ideas to improve education, create jobs, or help Minnesota families. It’s easy for Commissioner Johnson to be against everything when he, himself, proposes nothing.”
My question for Mr. Kessler is straightforward. Did the Dayton campaign pay for this campaign ad? Inviting the Dayton campaign spokesman to take a cheap shot at Commissioner Johnson during a factchecking segment is totally unprofessional.
Calling accurate statements “bordering on false is disgusting. Allowing outsiders to level cheap shots at a political candidate during that factchecking segment is utterly unprofessional. Kessler should be ashamed of himself.
Technorati: Pat Kessler, Reality Check, Media Bias, Mark Dayton, MNsure, Performance Bonuses, Vikings Stadium, Farm Equipment Repair Sales Tax, Dayton Campaign, DFL, Lester Bagley, Zygi Wilf, Mark Wilf, Civil Fraud and Racketeering, Jeff Johnson, Political Hardball, Unaware, MNGOP, Election 2014
This afternoon, the Minnesota saw the difference that a great quarterback makes. This afternoon, Teddy Bridgewater became the face of the Vikings, running for a touchdown while completing 19 of 30 passes for 317 yards. This was the first time a Vikings quarterback threw for 300 yards since the year Brett Favre took the Vikings to the NFC Championship Game.
Bridgewater’s play, though, wasn’t the only noteworthy accomplishment for the Vikings’ offense. This was the first game the Vikings quarterback threw for 300 yards, a Vikings runner ran for 100 yards and a Vikings receiver got more than 100 yards receiving in the same game since Brett Favre, Adrian Peterson and Sidney Rice turned the trick against Detroit on 11/15/09. This time, Touchdown Teddy threw for 317 yards, Jerrick McKinnon ran the ball 18 times for 135 yards and Jarius Wright caught 8 passes for 132 yards.
It’s gotta be intimidating for the Packers, the Vikings opponent this Thursday, to think that the Vikings offense cooled off in the second half because they still gained 207 yards in the second half. The Vikings gained 351 yards in the first half.
For the second straight game, the Vikings’ opponent threw tons of exotic blitzes at Bridgewater. For the second straight game, Bridgewater handled it like a veteran. It’d be wrong to highlight the fact that Bridgewater had tons of time thanks to his offensive line playing their best game since 2012. Then again, Atlanta’s defense will never be mistaken for the original Steel Curtain defense led by Jack Lambert, Mean Joe Greene, LC Greenwood and Mel Blount.
The offensive line of Kalil, Johnson, Sullivan, Ducasse and Loadholt dominated Atlanta’s defensive line. McKinnon gained an average of 7.5 yards per carry. Matt Asiata scored 3 rushing touchdowns, with McKinnon and Bridgewater each scoring a rushing touchdown, too. The Vikings gained 241 yards rushing on 44 carries. That’s a 5.5 yard per carry average.
I’d be surprised if this wasn’t a hellish week for Atlanta’s D-Line. They were dominated. They got manhandled. They forced 2 punts the entire day. Atlanta’s defense gave up 558 yards of total offense while letting Jarius Wright had a career day receiving and Vikings receivers seemed to be open all day.
Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk briefly about the Vikings defense. Statistically, it wasn’t a great day. They gave up 411 yards of total offense. They gave up 2 explosive touchdowns in the third quarter. Still, they turned up the heat when they needed to. Rookie first round pick Anthony Barr called the defensive signals today while finishing with 5 tackles and the Vikings’ only sack. After spending lots of time in Coach Zimmer’s doghouse in the preseason, third year corner Josh Robinson essentially finished the game with a great interception down the sideline. Harrison Smith finished with 5 tackles, too, and a 4th quarter interception of Matt Ryan.
Atlanta has too many weapons to be stopped. Still, the Vikings came up with the key stops when they needed them.
It’s too early to make predictions about how many games the Vikings will win this year now that the Bridgewater Era has started. It isn’t too early to say, though, that Rick Spielman, Mike Zimmer and Norv Turner are putting this team together the right way. Turner’s offense looked positively explosive today. Zimmer’s defense played hard-nosed football. They were opportunistic, too.
Finally, the Vikings have a new face of the franchise in Teddy Bridgewater. What’s fun to watch is that the game seems to play out in slow motion for him. It’s also fun to watch his arm talent, too. Teddy’s the real deal.