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What we’ve witnessed so far for the 2016 Vikings season has been a mix-up of inspirational, tragic, head-scratching, awe-inspiring, ferocious and a lot of goddamn fun.
The Vikings enter their bye week as the last undefeated team in the NFL at 5-0.
First of all, what the fuck is it with these early byes? It’s week 6 for Chrissake and we have the week off. Part of me doesn’t want to take a game off when the team is rolling like this but another more realistic part of me says, “Holy fuck have we had a bunch of injuries and we sure could use a break.”
If you’ve just been watching the highlights of the Vikings games and reading the occasional headlines you already know that we are mostly winning with defense. You know some of the stats: First in fewest points allowed per game (12.6!), 3rd in total points allowed (63), 4th in yards allowed per game (287.6) and tied for 1st with Denver for total sacks (19).
If you’ve been watching every game, like a maniac, you realize that it’s not just a one scheme defense. This team changes their defensive identity to match up with the opponent like I haven’t seen with the Vikings since the early years. Against the first opponent Tennessee, who I will say has been the Vikings toughest opponent of the season so far, we relied on pressure to rattle a still new to the league Marcus Mariota. Against Green Bay and that asshat Aaron Rodgers the defense knew that Rodgers like to hold the ball and wait for his receivers to become open, so we knocked the ever-loving shit out of his dumb ass to make up for it. Same thing in game 3 against Carolina. This was a really fun watch because the defense absolutely hammered Cam all fucking day. The idea was to close off his possible run lanes by keeping outside contain with the defensive ends and bring the double A gap pressure that dear Coach Zimmer loves to bring.
Lest you think this defense is a one-trick “bring the pressure” pony, in the 4th game against the Giants, Coach realized that Eli has a penchant for getting the ball out quick enough to counter any blitz action so the defense had press man coverage against the wideouts with the outside corners and used safety coverage over the top to basically deny the receivers the lanes needed to come open. You know what happened next.
After a couple of years of playing outstanding outside corner Xavier Rhodes is finally getting the recognition that us regular Vikings viewers knew he deserved, The entire secondary is outstanding. Harrison Smith is incredible at run and pass coverage and as the phantom team from Houston (Texans?) can attest, our linebacking corps can drop into coverage as well. Eric Kendricks has been incredible this year. Hell, all of the defense has been incredible. In the Vikings team preview I name dropped Danielle Hunter and he has lived up to the hype.
Fuck, I love this defense.
Story time! Yes, it’s always story time with me, the reason I became a fan of the Vikings was because of their defense. More specifically the Purple People Eaters. Goddamn I love these guys.
There have been very good Vikings players in between, hell, hall of famers! but as a defensive unit? This current team is really fucking close.
I love this team and I would run through a goddamn brick wall for Coach Zimmer.
The injuries have been plentiful and the ability to field a team with the “next man up” mentality that this team has shown has been simply brilliant. That is all because of Coach.
Gone are Teddy and Adrian, both starting tackles Matt Kalil and Andre Smith, DE Sharrif Floyd hasn’t gotten on the field yet this season but none of that matters.
Well the O-line could use some goddamn help since they’ve been getting throttled repeatedly, so here comes Jake Long.
I’m not going to get into the offense too much because everyone will say that Bradford will get hurt.
But what if he doesn’t?
Everyone will say that we can’t win with a group of unproven wide-outs, especially with Stephon Diggs banged up.
But what if we can?
Corrdarrelle Patterson is actually contributing on offense. Holy shit.
What if our idiot kicker fixes his issue with the yips and returns to being the clutch kicker he was the first two years in the league?
We already ran the gauntlet of the toughest part of the schedule and the schedule lightens considerably for the rest of the year with 2 games against Detroit, 2 against Detroit, Jacksonville, Indy, Washington etc.
It’s a pretty rare feeling as a Vikings fan to feel like we could and should beat ANY team in the league and at this point that is exactly how it feels.
Rarer yet is what I have personally experienced this year as a long time and long suffering Vikings and Chicago Cubs fan.
And let’s go Cubbies!
REMINDER: Do you like football? Do you like drinking? Do you like watching football while drinking and gambling legally? Well, DFO is going to Vegas for an NFL Sunday the first weekend in December (12-3 and 12-4-16.) Come join us as some of the DFO dignitaries party in Vegas. The rooms are plentiful that weekend and Southwest has dirt cheap air fares – I booked a roundtrip from L.A. for less than 100 bucks including taxes and fees. Let’s drink things! Gambling to our hearts content and watch some damn football!