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Minnesota Vikings News and Links: December 19, 2018

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We’re half-way to the weekend, and the Vikings look to Detroit, where they will attempt to overcome the next obstacle on the road to the playoffs

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Minnesota Vikings Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

We’ve made it to the peak of the week, it’s an easy downhill coast into the weekend, and the next big game for our beloved purple and gold. I hope they’re keeping their focus on Detroit, because we’ve seen the Lions dig deep and play well above their seasonal average when they play the Vikings. On paper, it looks to be one that the Vikings should be able to handle, but you can throw that paper out the window when it comes to divisional games, especially at this point in the season. It’s the end of the season, the Lions have nothing to lose, and they would like nothing more than to knock off a division rival who has their eye on the playoffs. So, the Vikes better be prepared, and I am confident they will be.

The Lions defense has had a decent year, they’re about at the middle of the pack in most statistical categories, with the pass defense slightly above average, and the run defense slightly below average. In a deviation from the norm, it’s their offense that has been hurting them, and that is mainly due to a rash of injuries. Their WR corps was bombarded with injuries early in the season, and it has shown in their production. The Vikings secondary is very good in coverage, so I expect to see Detroit try to get the ball out quickly. If they have Stafford sit back in the pocket waiting for a WR to get open, the defense may shatter that single game team sack record that they tied earlier this season.

In looking through some stats, I see that the Vikings are 4 for 11 this year on field goals from 40-49 yards. That’s 36%. Might as well just go for it on 4th if the ball is between the 23 & 33 yard lines, the conversion % would likely be higher than 36%. They’ve also managed to miss at least one field goal in every 10-yard incremental category, with the exception of the 10-19 yard category. That’s right, we have not missed a field goal from 10-19 yards this year! We haven’t attempted one, either, but hey, no need to get bogged down in details, gotta celebrate the little victories. If we’re down by 2 points with 3 seconds left in a playoff game, and we line up for a 40 yard field goal to win it, I’m relatively certain that I’ll have a heart attack before he ever kicks it. My dying words will be something about kickers being the root of all evil.........and I’ll also likely blame Ponder, to the confusion of the attending paramedics.

Around the DN since our last open thread:

Luft Krigare posted Good Morning Gjallarhorn Episode 041 - In the Raw With the Grand Poobah.

Ted takes a look at Brian O’Neill, who is quietly having a pretty good rookie year. That’s odd, I keep hearing doomsday laments by some fans who claim we have the worst O line in the NFL and that Cousins will soon break in half.

MarkSP18 looks at which college players are future Vikings. The lucky ones, of course.

Four Minnesota Vikings have been named to the Pro Bowl, per Chris.

Also from Chris, Dalvin Cook has been nominated for the Week 15 FedEx Ground Player of the Week.

Kyle Rudolph has a huge early lead in the voting for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award, Chris has the details on how you can cast your vote.

Vikings news from other sources and news from around the rest of the NFL:

From FoxSports, Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen are nearing a milestone where they will join some elite company.

At Vikings.com, David Carr looks at the film to see how the offense got back on track, the guys on Move the Sticks preview the Vikings-Lions match-up, and there’s plenty more to sift through in the media vault.

Interim HC Joe Philbin isn’t planning to sit Rogers for the final two games, likewise for Rivera and Cam in Carolina, per NFL.com.

Ray Rice is speaking out against domestic violence, and although he’s done with football, is looking to make a difference, per ESPN. Good for him. You commit a wrong, you own it, you take steps to become better, and you move on. That’s all you can ask of someone.

We come to today’s media selection:

Alright Vikings, you had aspirations coming into the season, and you can still get there, so finish what you started.

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

  • No discussion of politics or religion
  • No feeding of the trolls
  • This isn’t a male version of The View, so leave the gender hatred at the door
  • 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 get someone fired or in serious trouble with their employer
  • If you can’t disagree in a civil manner, feel free to go away
  • While navigating the open thread, just assume it’s sarcasm

With that, the beer light is on and the bar is open. Belly up and tie one on. Don’t forget to tip your waitress, and try the offense. No really, it’s actually pretty good, we finally replaced the former chef.