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Monday Open Thread: December 12, 2016

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Eye-eye, coach!

Minnesota Vikings v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Merry post-win Monday, DN faithful!

Well, it’s a win, we’ll take it. There have been far too few post-win Mondays lately, so let’s enjoy this one. I know it wasn’t perfect and there are areas to improve, but I also thought we improved in areas where we’ve been in need of improvement for much of the year. Let’s take a quick look at the game & do a brief review.

What we did right:

We moved the ball really well through the air on offense. I think Bradford had a very good game, Thielen stepped up big-time for us, and Stefon Diggs made one spectacular catch and gave his all, as he always does. Rudolph also had some key catches, and broke open on the first play when Bradford had some time for a long pass to set the offensive tone for the game. Speaking of which, the offense did a great job of pushing the ball downfield, which is something we’ve been sorely lacking this year. Hey, the pass blocking was okay yesterday. I really think that once Berger gets back on the field, he may be in at right guard.

Our defense did a great job against a pretty good offense. We held them in check for most of the day, and their best drive came courtesy of some questionable PI calls (I did think the refs were good, overall). Rhodes was not happy during that drive, and Zim wisely let him sit down & cool off. I’m not going to complain about PI calls, as it means our defenders are on the receiver and not letting them have easy receptions. It’s much more fun to watch than receivers running wide open through our secondary, like it used to be.

What we need to do better:

Our run game was......stinky. Run blocking was bad, and we weren’t able to score from the one yard line on more plays than I can count right now. The run blocking was poor, and our guys were getting hit behind the line a lot, especially at the goal line. That being said, McKinnon can quit dancing around in the backfield. It seemed there was a couple plays where a gap was available if he would have run downhill and hit the line quickly.

None of the other teams we needed to win or lose seemed to do what they were supposed to, but all we can focus on is winning and continuing to win. That’s all they can control, and if we win out, I like our chances of getting in.

Around the DN since our last open thread:

Chris has your post-game wrap-up.

Ted posted the Stock Market Report: Jaguars.

Vikings news from other sources:

The Strib says that the Vikings will gladly take yesterday’s win.

From Vikings.com:

Here’s Coach Zimmer’s post-game locker room speech.

Coach Zimmer addressed the media yesterday afternoon.

Sam Bradford addressed the media, and said he was proud of the O line.

Here are some interviews with the players (just click on the name to see the interview). Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, and Everson Griffen all addressed the media.

Craig Peters posted his notebook from the game.

Deep passing plays spurred the Vikings to victory, per Eric Smith.

Wobby has 10 takeaways from yesterday’s game.

Around the rest of the NFL:

ESPN has all the scores from week 14.

From ESPN, Rodgers hurt his calf yesterday in their win.

The Giants shut down the Cowboys and got a surprising win last night. The Giants should thank the Vikes for the blueprint on shutting the Dallas offense down.

An important bit of news for Vikings fans, Matthew Stafford dislocated his finger yesterday. He’s not expected to miss time, but we’ll see whether it affects his play.

Other sports news of note:

The Wild got their fourth win in a row on Saturday, as they gave St. Louis the blues, 3-1.

We come to today’s media selection.

Man, we haven’t been playing this nearly enough lately. Fire up the band, boys & girls!

Again, we all know the rules, but in case someone is new:

-No discussion of politics or religion
-No feeding of the trolls
-Keep the bad language to a minimum (using the spoiler tags, if you must)
-Speaking of which, if discussing a newer show or movie, please use spoiler tags
-No pictures that could potentially get someone fired or in serious trouble at their place of employment
-If you can't disagree in a civil manner, feel free to go away
-While navigating the open thread, just assume it's sarcasm
-This isn't a male version of The View, so leave the gender hatred at the door

With that, the beer light is on and the bar is open. Belly up & tie one on. Don't forget to tip your waitress, & try the tiger meat.