Category Archive: Minnesota Vikings

Oct 23

2016 Week Seven: Vikings vs Eagles

The game started out slow with the Eagles going 3 and out, and then the Vikings going 3 and out – until Locke sold a “hitting the kicker” penalty and the Vikings got another shot… which, they promptly squandered. Let me say for the 103rd time: the Vikings need to learn how to start fast and complete drives if they’re going to compete for a title – with or without that defense.

Let me use a few adjectives to describe the game: revolting, sloppy, bush league, unprofessional, pathetic. Do you disagree? If so, leave me a comment.

For me, this was a hard game to watch because it was the first time I really and truly doubted that the Vikings were as good as we thought they were. Coming off the bye they looked sluggish, imprecise, fatigued. Zimmer summed it up best when he said the offense was embarrassing.  Add to that a lack of urgency and low energy, I am VERY concerned that this team isn’t going to get their momentum back.

Sigh. Let’s go ahead and break this travesty of a game down.

Thank you Blair Walsh for points to avoid a shut out.

Thank you Blair Walsh for points to avoid a shut out.

The Good

  • Sendejo intercepted Wentz on the Eagles’ 2nd offensive series, taking the ball to the 3 yard line. See the Inexplicable for what happens next.
  • After Bradford’s interception, Wentz fumbled and Barr recovered. And what happened next? See The Inexplicable for the answer.
  • After Bradford was stripped and the Eagles recovered, Wentz tried to throw downfield and Xavier Rhodes decided he’d throw a wrench in that plan as he intercepted the ball.
  • The Vikings defense held the Eagles to no points and a punt on a drive that had previously been a march down the field. Since I write this in real time, I hope this heralds a momentum swing that favors the Vikings.
  • Late in the 2nd quarter, Bradford was able to connect with Thielen and Patterson for completions to help move the Vikings how the field.
  • The Vikings recovered a fumble late in the 4th.
  • The Vikings scored a TD. With 34 seconds left to play. Literally no one cared.
Marcus Sherels fumbled when we needed him to work his magic.

Marcus Sherels fumbled when we needed him to work his magic.

The Bad

  • On the first offensive drive, the Vikings got a 2nd chance at putting up some points and they couldn’t deliver.
  • Kyle Rudolph dropped a ball on a pass. Again. I don’t understand why he doesn’t show up 100% of the time.
  • Stefon Diggs was subjected to PI, and a ref threw a flag and then they decided, because the officials routinely prove they hate the Vikings, they picked up the flag and pretended it never happened.
  • Sendejo was injured on his interception. Ankle.
  • Walsh was able to put the first points for either team up on the board.
  • The Vikings started the 2nd half in the same crappy fashion they ended the 1st half. Make no mistake – this game wasn’t fun to watch at any point.
  • With only 6 minutes left in the game, Vikings players were strolling about with no sense of urgency at all. It was infuriating.

The Ugly

  • The o-line. It sucks and if that isn’t addressed (for real this time), the Vikings have no chance to win in the play-offs. You cannot have an ineffective offense, no matter how good your defense is.
  • Bradford’s timing was off or the o-line sucked so badly it made him look terrible.
  • Late in the 2nd quarter, the Eagles managed to break off a 21 yard run, which is unheard of for the Zimmer defense. This led to another 3 points for the Eagles.
  • The Vikings penalties. THE PENALTIES.
  • The Vikings were at the goal line for a 3rd time and handed it to Zach Line, who couldn’t convert a 3rd at 1. So they went for it and our own stupid left tackle blocked the hole Asiata was supposed to go through…. so we turned it over on downs.
It's been a while since I've had to dig out the angry monkey - but this very much resembles my own expression for nearly the entire game.

It’s been a while since I’ve had to dig out the angry monkey – but this very much resembles my own expression for nearly the entire game.

The Inexplicable

  • After Sendejo’s interception, Sam Bradford threw his first interception of the season in the end zone, thereby ending his no interception streak and knocking a little magic off the season. The Vikings, coming off the bye, were clearly not sharp.
  • After Barr recovered, Bradford was stripped of the ball and the Eagles recovered. You cannot make this stuff up. At this point in the game I was furious. Aren’t these people supposed to be professionals? It was Pop Warner all the way out there between Clemmings and Long – unbelievable.
  • Total turnovers in the 1st quarter: 5
  • Total points in the 1st quarter: 0
  • The Vikings special teams let the team down BIG TIME when they let the Eagles return a kick off for a TD. It was ridiculous. To make it worse, Harrison Smith managed to hit the kicker on the after point and gave the Eagles a chance to go for 2 points. Which they, of course, got.
  • Bradford was stripped of the ball yet again late in the 2nd quarter.
  • Marcus Sherels fumbled a punt, giving the ball right back to the Eagles. It was an unbelievable mistake.

So that’s week 7 in a nutshell my Vikings brethren. The Vikings are 5-1 and none of us feels good today.

How did today’s game influence how you feel about the Vikings?



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Sep 25

2016 Week Three: Vikings vs Panthers

Coming off a phenomenal performance last Sunday, I optimistically chose the Vikings to win today. I was berating myself for my stupidity for the first half.

And then… half-time adjustments.

I love Mike Zimmer so much! The entire 2nd half was like a whole new team had taken the field…. the one I remembered from last week (quarters 2 – 4). And so… holy cow… the Vikings enter week 4 undefeated.

But enough celebrating, let’s break it down.

Marcus Sherels now holds the Vikings' Punt Return for a TD record at 4.

Marcus Sherels now holds the Vikings’ Punt Return for a TD record at 4.

The Good

  • The Vikings held the Panthers to a 48 yard field goal on their first offensive series. The defense quickly tightened up and was effective against the run and ultimately the pass on a 3rd and long.
  • Danielle Hunter sacked Newton in the Panthers’ end zone for a safety. Δ
  • Jerrick McKinnon busted out a great run at the end of the first quarter, helping the Vikings keep their drive going. Unfortunately, the drive itself would end in another punt. Again.
  • Linval Joseph and Danielle Hunter sacked Newton, who went down with a potential ankle injury. (The sack is the good part, not the injury)
  • Gano missed a field goal in the 2nd quarter, keeping the score 10-2 and the Vikings still had some breathing room. Let’s be clear though – it felt like the Vikings were down 50 points at this time in the game because both the offensive and defensive play had been terrible. As fans we had to hope for field goal kicks to go wide or hit the uprights just for our team to have a shot at winning.
  • Marcus Sherels returned a punt for 6 points. Blair Walsh, of course, screwed up the extra point.
  • Trae Waynes intercepted Newton with 6 seconds left in the 1st half, preventing another Panthers’ scoring drive.
  • The Vikings took the field like champs in the 3rd quarter and drove down the field for a Bradford-Rudolph TD followed by a Jerrick McKinnon 2 point conversion, giving the Vikings a 16-10 lead. In Odin’s name we pray.
  • Harrison Smith was all over the place today, making tackles, forcing Cam out of his comfort zone. He was amazing.
  • Brian Robison was relentless and was able to inflict a brutal sack on Newton in the 3rd quarter.
  • Terence Newman came up with a big INT in the 3rd quarter. It was the 2nd of the game and it was sweet!
  • Blair Walsh managed to make a 28 yard field goal. Kudos to him and all of the Pop Warner kickers who could make the same chip shot. He followed it up with another field goal in the 4th quarter, taking the Vikings to 22 points vs Carolina’s 10.
  • The Vikings sacked Newton 8 times and intercepted him 3 times as the Vikings ruined the Panthers’ 14 game home winning streak.
Newman makes some plays but he plays pretty sloppy, too. He needs to act like a veteran.

Newman makes some good plays but he plays pretty sloppy, too. He needs to act like a veteran.

The Bad

  • The Panthers’ first running play of the game split the defense like a hot knife through butter. Not a stellar way to start the game. The second running play immediately following was less bad (on the part of the Vikings) as the Vikings were able to stop the runner.
  • The Vikings started their first offensive series with 2 runs, which made sense when Adrian Peterson was in the line up. He’s not and the choice left Bradford with 3rd down at 7. Bradford was nearly picked off after the ball was tipped. Generally a super ugly way for the Vikings to start the game. On the other hand, it felt pretty typical so mentally I’m just going to pretend I didn’t see it.
  • Terence Newman drew another penalty in the 1st quarter. He’s pretty sloppy for a 38 year-old veteran.
  • Before the 1st quarter was even over, the Panthers had scored 10 unanswered points. 2 series. 2 scores. Vikings defense? Stymied.
  • Kearse was called for illegal hands to the face during a punt, improving the Panthers’ field position by 10 yards after a poor Vikings field position and an average punt already had them near the 50 yard line. The number of penalties the Vikings have amassed this season is repulsive.
  • Xavier Rhodes started and then went out.
  • Alex Boone was injured during the 2nd quarter (knee, groin)
  • Sendejo is terrible. I still can’t believe we signed him for MORE time. Why, Vikings, why?
  • Kendricks was hurt late in the 4th quarter. We need him at mike!
Didn't see this connection or the Bradford/Diggs connection today, leaving the defense to score points.

Didn’t see this connection or the Bradford/Diggs connection until after half-time. The Vikings offense needs to get rolling much sooner.

The Ugly

  • Cam’s first pass was a 31 yard bomb to Ted Ginn against Xavier Rhodes, who appeared to be less than 100%.
  • The Vikings 2nd offensive series ended in disaster, with no points and terrible o-line play was punctuated with a Bradford sack before the Vikings punted the ball away. Again. After scoring no points. Again.
  • The Vikings defense looked like a Pop Warner 2nd-string unit that had just been compiled of people selected randomly off the street during most of the first half. It was both perplexing and infuriating since a stalwart defense is supposed to be the hallmark of the Minnesota Vikings. I spent most of the first half hoping for a Zimmer butt-kicking during half-time (for the team, of course, not me…. I was fine). Thankfully, per the usual, Zim turned it around. But I haven’t forgotten that first half performance!
Good-bye Blair. Get off my team. I was here before you and I'll be here after you.

Good-bye Blair. Get off my team. I was here before you and I’ll be here after you.

The Inexplicable

  • The Vikings defense (#92, #93) drew 2 unsportsmanlike conduct penalties after the Panthers scored their first TD. I thought Zimmer demanded control and discipline out of his players? They were pretty freakin’ sloppy during the first quarter.
  • They were also sloppy during the 2nd quarter. Where the hell is the discipline, Zim?
  • What do we do with Blair Walsh?

So that’s it, Vikings friends & neighbors. Week 3 in the hopper and the Vikings are 3-0. I can’t believe it after that day I was sitting at work and I got my first text telling me about Teddy’s injury. But here we are… and I’m proud of my team.

What’s your prediction for the season?




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Sep 18

2016 Week Two: Vikings vs Packers

I was nervous going into the game. It’s a night game – which is never good for the Vikings, who routinely choke on the national stage. Sam Bradford got the start, despite having only had a week and half in the Vikings system. He didn’t do much with the first series; a couple of completions and a couple of misfires, ending in a punt. After a few series, the Bradford-Diggs connection was solidified. And I gotta admit…. Sam Bradford may just be the guy we need!

Mostly, the game was just fraught with ridiculous ineptitude and mistakes and I spent a good deal of it extremely unhappy… right up until Sam Bradford threw the ball deep as time expired.

The reigning NFC North Champions remain undefeated. But… we have work to do.

Ok – let’s break it down.

Stefon Diggs is a bright spot.

Stefon Diggs is a bright spot…. especially with Bradford at QB!

The Good

  • Kendricks was aggressive on defense, batting down a ball early in the first quarter, helping the defense get the Packers off the field.
  • After collapsing like a day-old helium balloon mid-way through the 1st quarter, the Vikings defense FINALLY showed some signs of being conscious at the end of the 1st quarter when Danielle Hunter sacked Rodgers, causing him to lose the ball; however, once again (as was to be the pattern for the evening), the Vikings couldn’t recover it (which is not the good part).
  • Stefon Diggs and Kyle Rudolph gave the Vikings’ offense life. Sam threw a nice fade to Rudolph, securing the first Vikings’ TD of the season (which is ridiculous, since it’s the 2nd game of the season).
  • Sam Bradford was able to return to the field after having his hand lanced to release sub-q blood. (YUCK)
  • The Packers only had 65 yards on offense at the end of the 1st half. A “tee hee” is warranted, I think.
  • B-Rob came up with a strip fumble mid-4th quarter – AND – the Vikings actually recovered it! How ’bout that? (Under “Bad” or even “Ugly” one might find the description of what we did with the recovered fumble… aka NOTHING)
  • Linval Joseph played well.
  • The Vikings WON.
Matt Kalil: is just terrible.

Matt Kalil: he’s just terrible. He was mowed down over and over and over tonight.

The Bad

  • The Vikings missed a fumble recovery on the Packers’ first offensive play. It was ridiculous. Sendejo should have held onto that ball better.
  • The Vikings o-line crumbled repeatedly in the 1st quarter. What am I even saying? The ENTIRE TEAM sucked in the 1st quarter. Matt Kalil false-started for a penalty. Adrian Peterson could not gain more than ONE net yard. The whole thing was a fiasco. I literally could not believe what I was seeing on the field. It was ridiculous.
  • Sam Bradford’s non-throwing hand got hurt by Clay Matthews, whose hair looked like he’d gotten a recent blow-out at the salon…. it was soft, silky, just slightly turned under at the ends. Do you think he realizes that his team is on a downward trajectory?
  • Matt Kalil is terrible. I really have nothing more to add. Oh wait, yes I do. I put some Kalil commentary under “Inexplicable”, too.
  • Everson Griffen lined up off-sides in the 2nd quarter. Why – WHY – would a veteran do that at a critical time? Our veterans were having some issues tonight.
  • Adrian Peterson was injured in the 3rd quarter. Same leg as his original ACL injury. Hope he’s ok without surgical intervention and a long recovery.
  • Danielle Hunter also suffered a knee injury.
The Packers' offense was primarily comprised of MN penalties. It was pretty aggravating.

The Packers’ offense was primarily comprised of MN penalties. It was pretty aggravating.

The Ugly

  • Terence Newman executed a RIDICULOUS PI infraction in the 1st quarter, giving the Packers primo field position, since he decided to comit the penalty in the end zone. You know what he followed it up with? A holding penalty. It was stupid and a veteran should know better. I was angry.
  • Fusco was terrible, getting man-handled at every turn by the Packers’ defense. It was a terrible performance.
  • Trae Waynes and his PI infractions. Settle down dude. So frustrating…. and it wasn’t just a one time thing. It was all game long. That kid needs to learn some discipline. I hated watching him out there; don’t trust him at all.
  • Just how many fumbles can the Vikings force and NOT recover? A ridiculous amount, apparently.
  • Stefon Diggs came flying off the bench, drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. This was after a nice return by Patterson. So, what did that do? Made sure the Vikings had a 3 and out.
  • 13 penalties for 137 yards did NOT help us win this game.
Trae Waynes is terrible.

Trae Waynes is terrible…. except for that one interception in that key moment in the 4th quarter!

The Inexplicable

  • The Packers were able to block a field goal. Where the hell were the special teams?
  • The O-Line. False Start after False Start. It was fricken ridiculous. Are these people actually being paid as professionals?
  • How in the hell could the team let Jordy Nelson get the first TD ever scored in the building. That really makes me mad.
  • Matt Kalil – why the hell is this guy still on the team? He’s totally worthless play after play.
  • Trae Waynes needs to be benched… AFTER his interception.


So that’s the first game in US Bank stadium. We lost our marquee player, likely for the season (maybe forever?), saw some good things in the Bradford-Diggs connection and learned that Trae Waynes is TERRIBLE until he makes one great play that almost negates all of his previous suckage!

So, our beloved Vikings who take use through a roller-coaster of emotion every single week are undefeated as they head into week 3. How are you feeling about the season?



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Sep 11

2016 Week One: Vikings vs Titans

The game started out with a mediocre Blair Walsh kick off, which the Titans returned to the 29 yard line. The Titans’ first offensive series ended with a punt… but for a while there, the Titans were having their way both on the ground and in the air. Eventually, Brian Robison stepped up and made a couple of plays to get the Titans’ offense off the field.

That’s how the 2016 season started for the Vikings. There is a lot of football to be played before we see how it ends.

The way the 1st game of the Vikings’ season ended was in a Vikings victory, which I admit surprised me given the team’s performance in the first half.

We haven't seen our team on the field since January. Momentarily, I was glad they were back.

We haven’t seen our team on the field since January. At times, I was glad they were back… and my attitude noticeably improved when we were up 25-10!

The Good

  • During the Vikings’ 2nd offensive series, Hill managed to complete passes! He was out there spreading the ball around like a pro! Stefon Diggs, Kyle Rudolph…. and then the drive ended in disgrace as Blair Walsh missed [another] field goal.
  • Somehow the Vikings managed to stop the Titans from scoring on their 3rd offensive series. I will attribute this to a deficiency on the part of the Titans, not on any skills the Vikings may or may not possess.
  • To start the 2nd half, Blair Walsh managed to make a 50 yard field goal. On Twitter, we all celebrated and then I realized how pathetic is was that we were still down 7 points and just relieved our once mighty kicker could actually score.
  • Shawn Hill actually hit some of the receivers in stride and played a relatively mistake-free game.
  • 2nd half adjustments are something that Zimmer is able to achieve in a way no Vikings coach has managed to do since Bud Grant.

    2nd half adjustments are something that Zimmer is able to achieve in a way no Vikings coach has managed to do since Bud Grant.

    Coach Zimmer and his 2nd half adjustments. My friends, we finally have a coach for the long-haul.

  • Blair Walsh made a 2nd field goal at 30+ yards out. It’s only in the “good” category because I don’t have a “table-stakes” section.
  • Eric Kendricks scored a TD off a pick. A “Pick-6” as they say in the business. It was a tremendous boon for us. Too bad our “kicker” missed the extra point.
  • Adam Thielen is great both on and off the field.
  • There was a Cordarrelle Patterson sighting as a receiver AND he made a great catch.
  • The Titans fumbled and Danielle Hunter made the best out of the situation by taking it to the house!
  • Shemar Stephen forced a fumble and Andrew Sendejo picked it up. It was fun to watch, but the Vikings were unable to capitalize on it and Locke came out to punt.
  • Late in the 4th quarter, Hill connected with Diggs for a 33 yard passing play. I was very happy to see it!
I had this same expression on my face for much of today's game.

I had this same expression on my face for much of today’s game.

The Bad

  • The defense was sluggish out of the gate. The second time they were on the field, they were terrible against the run and terrible against the pass. Tackling fundamentals were non-existent. The Titans were held to a field goal by sheer luck.
  • The offense was worse; on the first drive they went 3 and out and Hill had a pathetic passing attempt… like, it was nowhere near the receiver (Diggs). I hated Donovan McNabb…. but at least he could get the ball in front of the receiver… or, at least, his feet.
  • Adrian Peterson looks slow and continues to have “vision” problems, meaning that he continues to be unable to see holes. He picks where he wants to run before the play develops and never deviates from his selection. Frankly a little tired of that. I guess the good news is that he managed not to fumble when he did carry.
  • The Vikings completely failed on their 2nd offensive series. From 2 face mask penalties to generalized incompetency, the series was a dud.
  • Shawn Hill ran on a 3rd down… but not far enough to convert.
  • We had Patterson and Sherels in the backfield to receive a punt and they lateralled into a reverse. Why didn’t we save that for game against a division rival? Now people will expect it if they’re both back there. We don’t need to show everyone everything in the first game guys.
  • Too many of the offensive drives ended in field goals. With Walsh’s mental block, that’s extremely risky and problematic. Especially considering our next opponent.
Good-bye Blair. Get off my team. I was here before you and I'll be here after you.

Good-bye Blair. Get off my team. I was here before you and I’ll be here after you.

The Ugly

  • Field goals. Blair Walsh missed a 37 yarder. And then a 56 yarder – which wasn’t even kind of close. Like it was SO FAR off, that football was on its way to Kentucky. He was less bad later in the game, but I don’t know about this guy. It may be time to cut him. He’s mentally weak and has no grit or resiliency.
  • The Titans exposed some deficiencies in the Vikings defense. We’ve been saying all off-season… even if our offense is just decent, that defense is gonna take us to the promised land. Well, you know what? That defense is NOT as good as we’ve been pretending it is. It took them a long time to get with the program and even then they still had some issues in the tackling arena.
  • Blair Walsh missed an extra point in the 3rd quarter, bring the total points he cost us to 7 on the day. HE MISSED AN EXTRA POINT. This isn’t Pop Warner; this is the NFL and you cannot have a kicker who makes you close your eyes and cross your fingers every time he lines up to kick for points.

The Inexplicable

  • Billy Ray Cyrus singing the National Anthem followed by an aerial shot of a drone. Billy Ray Cyrus does not have a voice that can carry our National Anthem.
  • Smith and Ellison with face mask penalties ON THE OFFENSE. Ridiculous.
  • Everson Griffen’s personal foul needlessly negated a Harrison Smith interception. Completely stupid for a veteran.

To sum up the game, it was a mixed bag of brilliant moments and completely ridiculous mistakes made by players who should know better. We were lucky to come out of the game with a win, 25-16.

So, that’s week one, Vikings brethren. 1-0 to start the season. How are you feeling about the team? Use the polls below to vote.


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Jan 10

Wild Card Round: Vikings vs Seahawks

Everyone said the Vikings couldn’t win this game. All the analysts, all the commentators, people on the street… everyone.

I thought we’d win this game.

And we could have. We had this game within our reach. What I didn’t expect was that Adrian Peterson’s inability to hang on to the ball would cost us the game (although given his history, I don’t know WHY I didn’t expect that) and I didn’t think that Blair Walsh would fail to deliver at the end.

So – for one final time this season, let’s break it down.

Nothing good about this game.

Nothing good about this game.

The Good

  • Seattle muffed a punt and the punter took off and ran but the Vikings were able to prevent him from getting a 1st down, giving the Vikings excellent field position. As I type this, my question will always be: can the Vikings turn Seattle’s mishap into points? The answer: kind of. 3 points.
  • Stefon Diggs caught a pass from Teddy on the 7 yard line to secure a first down and goal after the Seattle muffed punt.
  • The Vikings defense was extremely stout during the 2nd quarter.
  • Trae Waynes came up with a critical interception in the 3rd quarter, preventing the Seahawks from converting a 4th down. The Vikings weren’t able to do much with it – another 3 points – but it gave them 6 points more than the Seahawks had at that point in the game.
Teddy better work on his mechanics in the off-season. His awareness in the pocket is not good.

Teddy better work on his mechanics in the off-season. His awareness in the pocket is not good.

The Bad

  • In the first quarter, Teddy’s decision making was suspect.
  • Adrian Peterson was completely shut down and our running game suffered for it. Part of me wonders why Asiata and McKinnon don’t figure into the running game more in these instances. They have a different style and it’s pretty clear that the Seahawks have Peterson completely figured out.
  • Xavier Rhodes needs to figure out how to cover without getting a PI flag.
  • The Vikings defense needed to pressure Wilson. Instead, they let him convert 3rd downs even when his o-line failed. You can’t beat a team like Seattle when you let the QB run around and make plays.
Adrian Peterson: fumbling away the Vikings' chances since 2009.

Adrian Peterson: fumbling away the Vikings’ chances since 2009.

The Ugly

  • The Vikings have to figure out how to get a passing game going. As of the 4th quarter, they are still struggling.
  • When Wilson missed the snap the Vikings defense completely broke down and they missed an opportunity to really stick it to the Seahawks. The result? TD for the wrong team. Not good.
  • The o-line was a complete mess at too many points during the game. Teddy was sacked 3 times – but he was pressured a hell of a lot more than that and, as we’ve seen, he doesn’t cope well when he’s pressured. Net result: the Vikings offense was completely shut down and (per the usual) we had to resort to field goals – all of which Blair Walsh made… with the exception of the one we really needed.
  • Round up of bad stats: 58 yards rushing. Third Down Efficiency: 23%. Third Down Efficiency for Seattle: 35%. Seattle net rushing yards: 97.

The Inexplicable

  • Mike Zimmer challenged the field position in the 2nd quarter – which served to cost us a time out. He’s been burned on this particular challenge before.
  • Adrian Peterson. He costs us EVERY time. When is the last time he’s actually WON a game for us? And how many has he actually cost us? He cost us home field advantage in 2009 on Soldier field. He fumbled in the NFC Championship Game. And now today. Unbelievable.
  • Blair Walsh. Nearly the hero of the game. Instead? He couldn’t deliver the one time we needed him to.
Skol Vikings Nation

Skol Vikings Nation… until next season.

So the season’s over. I know most of us didn’t expect the Vikings to get this far in Zimmer’s second season as head coach. He’s developed a team that would be outstanding IF we had a really good QB and an RB who could hang onto the ball. I have high hopes for the Zimmer-led Vikings in the future and I expect the team (Spielman & friends) to address some of our short-comings in the draft and free agency.

So, focusing on the future… how far do you think the Vikings will get next season? Vote below.

For the last time this season, I will shout “Skol” to my Vikings brethren as I go back into hibernation until training camp.



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Jan 03

2015 Week Seventeen: Vikings vs Packers

And so, the season has wrapped with one last regular season show down between the Vikings and the Packers.

I have to admit, I didn’t have high hopes coming into the game based on previous performance on the Vikings’ side. But…

All hail your NFC North Division Champions!

Let’s break it down.

He's not perfect... but Mike Zimmer is the real deal! We have a real coach my friends!

He’s not perfect… but Mike Zimmer is the real deal! We have a real coach my friends! (We’ll just pretend he didn’t blow out a huge booger on live TV and send him hankies. PS, men… that particular act is vile. Don’t do it. It’s disgusting – and why you don’t know that is beyond my realm of comprehension).

The Good

  • 1st offensive series was a complete failure until… FAKE PUNT with a direct snap to Adam Thielen. Since I essentially live blog this game review, will they convert for points? Answer: a lame field goal due to the inability to complete a pass on Teddy’s part.
  • It took until the 2nd quarter, but finally… ARodg sack by Harrison Smith.
  • The first completed pass of the evening went to Mike Wallace, who was wide open. Nice gain.
  • The Vikings worked hard… only to get another field goal. I’m putting it in the “Good” section because they got points… but this is NOT going to get them anywhere in the post season.
  • Adam Thielen had quite a game! Well done, sir.
  • Adrian Peterson got the first TD (by either team) of the game. Bonus: Blair Walsh made the extra point.
  • Captain Munnerlyn, in a real heads up play, picked up an ARodg fumbled ball (thanks Everson Griffin!) and ran it all the way back to the house. A Blair Walsh extra point added 7 points, bringing the Vikings’ points to 20 (which the Packers were at 3).
  • Jerrick McKinnon is just fantastic and I like him. A lot.
  • Sharrif Floyd got a sack at a critical time, when the Packers were poised to score a TD.
  • Xavier Rhodes intercepted Aaron Rodgers in the end zone. It was delicious.
  • Xavier Rhodes batted down the Aaron Rodgers to Richard Rodgers hail mary, sealing the division championship for the Vikings. Well done, sir. I say, WELL DONE!
Teddy Bridgewater: can you please start being consistent?

Teddy Bridgewater: can you please start being consistent?

The Bad

  • 1st offensive drive – McKinnon WIDE open… Teddy overthrew him.
  • Teddy was completely inaccurate on the first drive. His passes missed repeatedly.
  • The Vikings defense started the game in mediocre fashion. Somehow they managed to hold the Packers to a field goal – but the entire first series was NOT fun to watch. They let Lacy run like he has talent (instead of just being bulky), even Starks had a run. Terrible performance for a first series.
  • The 2nd offensive series for the Vikings went nowhere with another incomplete pass. You know what would be great? A completed pass.
  • TERRIBLE tackling against Adams late in the 2nd quarter. TERRIBLE. 2 defenders completely wiffed. It was appalling. Newman was the primary offender.
  • Thielen was hurt in the 3rd quarter. Pending reports of severity of the injury.
  • Adrian Peterson left in the 3rd quarter with a lower back injury. Pending reports of severity of the injury.
  • Rhett Ellison was injured in the 4th quarter, knee. Pending reports of severity of the injury.
  • Tackling fundamentals – fairly terrible tonight.
Brett Favre... blah blah blah, Aaron Rodgers... blah blah blah... Bart Starr... Blah blah blah. Just shut up Cris. Seriously.

Brett Favre… blah blah blah, Aaron Rodgers… blah blah blah, Bart Starr… Blah blah blah. Packers. Packers. Packers. Oh, there’s a Viking hurt… moving on. Clay Matthews… blah blah blah… Just shut up Cris. Seriously.

The Ugly

  • Sherels muffed a punt in the 2nd quarter and then fumbled it. Luckily, it just barely got out of bounds before a Packer got it. Can’t do that when there’s a division title at stake.
  • Cris Collingsworth’s game commentary.
  • Teddy was sacked 3 times in the first half.
  • Teddy lobbed a ball and he should have just taken the sack because he got intercepted. Like a dodo. NOT a good move, Teddy.
  • The Vikings defense went soft and mushy late in the 3rd quarter and that continued into the 4th quarter. I don’t know what the hell happened to the aggressive defense we saw in the 2nd quarter, but they really devolved, allowing the Packers to score a TD (with Rodgers rushing all over the place – which was ridiculous)
  • Some people tweeted me saying that the defense was “gassed” – well you know what? It’s THEIR fault they’re gassed. If you don’t want to be on the field, then make the plays necessary to get the hell off the field. ARGH!
  • Andrew Sendejo is a TERRIBLE tackler. And what I mean by that is that he doesn’t tackle – he body checks. I sent him a tweet to let him know how terrible I think his technique is. You’re welcome, Andrew.
  • Cordarrelle Patterson needs to get the hell off of my team. He doesn’t do crap out there and then tonight he fumbles when the kicker knocks the ball out? Unforgiveable. Ridiculous. You add to that video of him laughing on the sideline? Just a complete representation of what an idiot he is. If this guy is still on the team in the fall, I’m gonna occupy Winter Park.
  • Adrian Peterson returned to the game. Only to fumble. Just sit him. McKinnon is more than sufficient to close out the game.
You want to sit around and laugh on the sidelines after majorly screwing up? Well, you can get the hell off my team, Cordarrelle.

You want to sit around and laugh on the sidelines after majorly screwing up? Well, you can get the hell off my team, Cordarrelle.

The Inexplicable

  • The offensive play calling was completely uninspired. While Teddy wasn’t playing well, why not get him comfortable with some play action options? Norv Turner – totally overrated.
  • Um… clock management at the end of the 2nd quarter? And… where were the cojones? I thought, based on the fake punt in the 1st quarter, the Vikings were going to be aggressive. Instead, 4th and 2… and they take a delay of game penalty… and completely ignore a potential field goal. C’mon man.
  • Defensive scheme during the mid-3rd through the 4th quarter. Whether or not they were tired, the coverage was just wrong. It was like Zimmer forgot who we were playing. That needs to be shored up before we meet them again.

So that’s it for the season, Vikings fans.

New poll this week. Don’t forget to vote!




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Dec 28

2015 Week Sixteen: Vikings vs Giants

I was actually at the game last night, courtesy of Bose, so my review is later that usual. Let me start by saying it was bloody cold out there last night. I like a nice 70 degrees at all times, so 12°F with a wind, making it feel around 0°F wasn’t really cutting it for me. To the lady who told me I’d be sorry for not wearing ski pants – I hate you; and also, thank you for the astute observation.

Soooo… the Vikings won last night. Soundly. In fact, one might say they delivered a knock-out beat-down on those Giants with a 49-17 win.

Prior to the game, I spent my time at Manning’s off Como, laughing as the Packers lost to the Cardinals, so we arrived at the game in great moods and I was looking forward to a trouncing of the Giants; I think we all know that the Vikings are Eli Manning’s kryptonite. And last night was no exception.

Let’s break it down.

Eli Manning: sacked 4 times during the game.

Eli Manning: sacked 4 times during the game, intercepted 3 times. I always love when the Giants come to town!

The Good

  • Mid-first quarter, Sendejo intercepted Eli Manning off an Xavier Rhodes tipped ball. The first Sad Eli face of the night was delicious and I enjoyed it.
  • Danielle Hunter got the first sack on Manning for the evening. It was a good opportunity for me and my friend Moon to jump around and celebrate to get some blood flowing in the breezy corner of the end zone. Not for nothin’ but that was Hunter’s 6th sack of the season. He leads all rookies in that particular stat (and I have to believe a lot of veterans, too).
  • Jarius Wright had several key catches during the game, including a nice 1st down pick up near the end of the 1st quarter.
  • Peterson’s ankle seemed stout. He made a lot of impressive cuts and tied Emmitt Smith for an NFL record.
  • Brian Robison started the 2nd quarter with a sack on Manning. Yet another great reason to cheer.
  • Harry-baby, you're the one! You make Pick-6s so much fun!

    Harry-baby, you’re the one! You make Pick-6s so much fun!

    Harrison Smith – stopping the run, covering receivers, jumping routes and scoring with a Pick-6. Praise the Sweet Baby Odin he’s back and healthy.

  • Vikings first passing TD of the night was a beautiful throw to Kyle Rudolph at 4 minutes into the 2nd quarter. Teddy hit 82 in stride and it was a beautiful play.
  • Linval Joseph is back. Boy, is he. Instrumental against the run, it was great to see him on the field.
  • Teddy B has started working the hard count to pull the opposing defense off-sides. Great to watch him evolve.
  • This game had the least-bad offensive coordination of the season in my opinion.
  • With 4 minutes left in the 2nd quarter, Harrison Smith jumped a route and ran it back for a Pick Six. So impressive, I’ll mention it twice. One caveat: although the play was great, his attempt at spiking the ball to celebrate was the lamest attempt I’ve even seen, with the ball spinning off the top of his hand and I’ll just say it reminded me of a Donovan McNabb pass. If you didn’t catch it, go watch a highlight reel – it made me laugh. #SorryHarry
  • The Vikings seemed to have addressed some of their issues with tackling fundamentals. OR, three 2nd or 3rd stringers are now sitting back on the bench now that we have our 3 starters back and that has resolved the issue. One of those (or maybe both) are true.
  • Tom Johnson got the 3rd Manning sack of the night. He just busted right through and smacked Eli down to the turf. I approved then and I approve now.
  • Robert Blanton recovered an on-side kick near the end of the 3rd quarter. He had quite a good run back, too. Teddy said in his presser that he teased Blanton when he got back to the sideline for being chased down by an offensive lineman. Clearly Teddy found that to be hilarious, and I can’t disagree.
  • Teddy did a lot of good things during the game, including scrambling, making good decisions about whether or not to throw the ball and connecting with receivers in critical moments.
  • Matt Asiata had some nice runs. Jerrick McKinnon is obviously more explosive and versatile; however, Asiata has his place, too. It’s nice having a deep RB bench to use in various situations.
  • Captain Munnerlyn (Theeeeeeee Captain!) had a great INT in the 3rd quarter. It’s always nice to see him active on the field.
  • Chad Greenway led the team (per the usual) in tackles (6) and assists (3). I get so pissed when people discount his presence on the field. He’s repeatedly been the tackling leader on our team over his tenure. Also – if anyone thinks the team would have been able to hold their own with 3 of our defensive starters on the sidelines without Greenway at mike over the last couple of weeks, they’re out of their ever-lovin’ mind.
  • Jerrick McKinnon’s 2nd TD was mighty pretty!
Oh, AD... if you're not fumbling, you're muffing catches. Please work on your trade, which (by the way) includes pass protection. (PS - great 39 yard run - 'preciate ya!)

Oh, AD… if you’re not fumbling, you’re muffing catches. Please work on your trade, which (by the way) includes pass protection. (PS – great 39 yard run – ‘preciate ya!)

The Bad

  • In the 3rd offensive series, Peterson muffed an easy screen pass that could have secured a Vikings 1st down. This was a big deal because a) Teddy got sacked on the play immediately following, causing the Vikings to punt and b) the Vikings did not capitalize on the Sendejo interception. When your defense forces a turnover, great teams turn that into points. The Vikings rarely  do, which is not going to help the team win in the post-season.
  • Jerrick McKinnon’s first TD was negated by a false-start by Matt Kalil. Seriously, Kalil – you’re not a rookie. Act like a veteran when you’re out there.
  • The Giants scored a TD when Sendejo took the lazy-man’s way out when trying to tackle the Giants’ Randle late in the 3rd quarter. Running into a player isn’t enough to bring them down sometimes… which is why you actually have the tackle!
  • Teddy was sacked 3 times during the game. Our o-line needs to step it up.
  • I’m sure there were some other things that I thought were bad but in the afterglow of finally being warm, I’m not quite as nit-picky as usual.
NINE TIMES. ARodg was sacked 9 times. What a tasty treat the week before we see that horrid team again. Let's hope their o-line is equally as ineffective on 1/3.
NINE TIMES. ARodg was sacked 9 times. What a tasty treat the week before we see that horrid team again. Let’s hope their o-line is equally as ineffective on 1/3.

The Ugly

  • The Vikings’ first 2 offensive series resulted in zero production in terms of points. Let’s get serious now: the Vikings cannot wait to produce offensive points until the 2nd quarter when we play the Packers next week. There’s no way the Vikings win against the Packers if they take an entire quarter to warm up.

The Inexplicable

  • In terms of the inexplicable – I don’t really have anything for the Vikings for once! Instead, we could talk about the Cardinals/Packers game. That was fairly inexplicable. Like… Aaron Rodgers fumbled 3 times and lost 2 of them. I think he’s been infected with Peterson-itis, which is fantastic, as long as he keeps it away from us (i.e. doesn’t give the issue back to AD). With 101 net rushing yards and a hilarious 77 net passing yards because *someone* (not saying who, Aaron Rodgers) was sacked NINE times for a loss of 78 yards. Hahahahaha! I am sure you were laughing as hard as I was. Now… let us just hope that the Packers are equally as ineffective next week when our beloved Vikings take the field at Lameblow (NoPackNo).

So, that’s it, Vikings fans. One game left in the regular season. Whatever happens next week, the Vikings are going to the play-offs for the first time since 2012. Frankly, we have a lot more to like about this team than the one that somehow backed into the post-season 3 years ago.

So I have a new poll question for you this week. What will next week bring?



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Dec 20

2015 Week Fifteen: Vikings vs Bears

I’m back. I didn’t blog the Cardinals game since I was hosting my team at my house for the holidays. We did have the game on and it was not the national spotlight embarrassment I expected, which was a nice surprise – except for the fact it felt like the Vikings could have won that game with just a little more effort, so that was almost worse than a blow out.

All that said, the Bears came to town today. The Bears started the 2nd half with an unexpected on-side kick. They recovered and the momentum the Vikings wanted went directly to the Bears. Until 2 plays later when Robison went for the sack, the strip and the recovery. The Vikings were able to capitalize on the turnover with a great passing play from Teddy to Diggs for 6 points. When Teddy ran for a TD mid-4th quarter, the game was over and the Vikings had one more win on the season.

So, let’s break it down.

Teddy Bridgewater was the MVP of the game. Maybe we do have a real QB after all.

Teddy Bridgewater was the MVP of the game. Maybe we do have a real QB after all.

The Good

  • While down our top 3 defenders, the Vikings’ defense managed to hold the Bears to 3-and-Outs on their first two offensive series. Andrew Sendejo and Chad Greenway had big plays in the second series.
  • The Vikings offense looked sharp starting the game. They marched 93 yards and a TD pass from Teddy to Stefon Diggs capped the drive.
  • Blair Walsh managed to make a 53 yard field goal. He banked it in off the left upright so extra credit for giving the Bears fans hope that it might miss.
  • Tom Johnson made some critical plays, as did Sharrif Floyd. While having Joseph, Smith and Barr out is doing the Vikings no favors, there are some players stepping up, which is good to see.
  • Danielle Hunter had a beautiful sack on Cutler in the 2nd quarter. Robison started the pressure and Hunter finished it. Sweet! Bears were forced to punt.
  • Jerrick McKinnon – did Norv finally figure out how to use him? Before the half, he already had 2 TDs. So many games, we could have used points like that.
  • Adam Thielen made a welcome appearance late in the 2nd quarter. The special teams coverage on the kick-off was stout for the first time in a while.
  • Brian Robison with a strip-sack and subsequent recovery at the start of the 2nd half returned the momentum to the Vikings after the Bears’ on-side kick recovery to start it.
  • Teddy connected with Stefon Diggs for a TD, making the most of the turnover. Bonus: Blair Walsh made the extra point.
  • Chad Greenway had a very good game today, including a sack.
  • Trattou - intercepting Cutler like a boss!

    Trattou – intercepting Cutler like a boss!

    Justin Trattou intercepted Cutler with 9 minutes or so left in the 4th quarter, embodying the old motto of “next man up”.

  • After Trattou’s INT, Teddy ran for a TD as the Bears looked on in disbelief. I had to chuckle. There. Is. Your. Dagger.
  • Adam Thielen anticipated another on-side kick and recovered it. Between Jerrick McKinnon and Matt Asiata, the Vikings ran the ball to eat up time on the clock.

The Bad

  • The Vikings deferred after winning the toss and then allowed a 49 yard kick-off return. Special teams weren’t so special to start the game.
  • The Vikings allowed Matt Forte to break free on the first play of the Bears’ first offensive series. The good news was that the Bears decided to hold on that play (and the refs caught it) so the run was negated.
  • Teddy was sacked for a 10 yard loss, stalling the Vikings’ second offensive series. They settled for a barely-there field goal by former Legatron, Blair Walsh.
  • The offensive line started to break down mid-2nd quarter, preventing Bridgewater from having enough time to throw. Worse – the Bears defense was able to sack Teddy and put enough pressure on him to almost get a safety.
  • The Vikings defense looked a little low-effort once the Vikings were up 31-10. We need 60 minutes of football, men.
Mike Priefer: Get your special teams in order.

Mike Priefer: Get your special teams in order.

The Ugly

  • Tackling fundamentals. Surprisingly, I don’t start every game review with this as a permanent bullet – although by the 2nd quarter, it’s always here. Watching the Vikings tackle is like riding a psychotic horse through rush hour traffic. You never know what’s going to happen play by play.
  • Adrian Peterson was injured in the 2nd quarter, rolling an ankle. Since the Vikings running game starts and ends with him, that didn’t bode well for the 2nd half of the game.

The Inexplicable

  • Remember when we had good special teams coverage on punts and kick-offs? Me either. It’s been so long since the Vikings special teams looked good, I barely remember the days we’d stuff the opponent deep in their own territory. Hey Priefer…. you might wanna fix that!

So the Vikings win and the Giants are up next. The Vikings have 2 must-win games ahead. Let’s see what they’ll do.

Until next week Vikings Nation…



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Dec 06

2015 Week Thirteen: Vikings vs Seahawks

Coming into this game, all of the analysts agreed that the Vikings had to win this game if they wanted to be taken seriously. I’ve been less worried about this game than the upcoming game against the Cardinals. Clearly, I should have been more worried about this game, since I’ve pretty well written off the Cardinals game some weeks ago. In fact, I’m hosting my team from work on Thursday, so I won’t even be Tweeting or blogging the game.

DISCLAIMER: if you don’t like a real assessment of a terrible performance and are hoping for some positivity in the face of a horrible loss, this isn’t the post (or really the blog) for you!

Back to today’s travesty. The Vikings were terrible, horrible, atrocious… I could go on forever with negative adjectives to describe the absolutely pathetic showing the Vikings had today. In full disclosure, I cleaned my kitchen during the 3rd quarter to give myself a mental break. I mean – as a fan – I couldn’t really be expected to watch the crap the team put on the field today for the entire game, could I?

The game started with some seriously crappy special teams play on the kick-off, with the Vikings allowing a 49 yard return… and it just got worse from there. I don’t understand why people weren’t booing more. Had I been at the game, I would have been booing the entire game. Especially after some of the players stopped playing with any heart. To say the team lacks resiliency would be an understatement.

Let’s break it down.

Thanks for the points, Cordarrelle.

Thanks for the points, Cordarrelle.

The Good

  • On the good news front (after the crappy special teams play), the Vikings (Exum) forced an almost immediate fumble on a Seahawks run by Rawls, with Antone Exum on the clear recovery. My immediate thought after the turnover was: will the Vikings’ offense be able to capitalize? The answer, of course, was no.
  • Danielle Hunter was instrumental in shutting down the Seahawks’ offense early in the 2nd quarter. Way to step up, kid!
  • The Cordarrelle Patterson sighting included a kick-off return TD with NO post-play penalty; however, he did excessively celebrate a TD that changed nothing. Now… if he were able to score 4 more of those today, then he could celebrate.
Teddy just isn't getting it done.

Teddy just isn’t getting it done.

The Bad

  • The Vikings had a prime opportunity to smash the Seahawks’ morale to the ground after they fumble. Per the usual, the offense failed to make anything happen, returning the momentum to the Seahawks.
  • The Vikings defense on Seattle’s 2nd offensive series was filled with mistakes. Penalties, missed tackles (really TERRIBLE tackling). They couldn’t seal the deal on any big plays, allowing the Seahawks to eat up a bunch of time on the clock and repeatedly convert 3rd down after 3rd down. There was minimal pressure on Wilson. Did I mention the tackling was atrocious? Net result: TD Seahawks
  • Before the 2nd quarter even ended I was sick to death of this game. I mean honestly – would it be too much to ask for the team to come ready to play? And to actually TRY?
  • Teddy managed to complete some passes in the 2nd quarter, which was miraculous, given how horrible he was playing earlier in the game. It was all for naught, though, because the Vikings offense did exactly NOTHING with the series.
What gives, Zim? Your team looks like crap. What are you going to do about it?

What gives, Zim? Your team looks like crap. What are you going to do about it?

The Ugly

  • The Vikings 3rd offensive series was a complete failure. They couldn’t move the ball and Teddy was a nightmare at QB. Holding onto the ball too long, completely ineffective at passing. It’s probably time we all admit that Teddy is NOT the QB of the future and I’ll state this very clearly: Rick Spielman is a complete joke when it comes to drafting quarterbacks. The Vikings will never be a contender if he continues to be the GM. Of course, I will get comments from people defending Teddy. He’s a likable guy but he’s not the QB of the future. I am quite certain of that. If, say, 2 years from now, Teddy miraculously leads us to a Super Bowl, then I will stand corrected. Until then, I will remain a Teddy skeptic.
  • Teddy was intercepted late in the 2nd quarter. That was bad and the Diggs came by with a facemask to pour salt in the wound. Completely ineffective, totally horrendous and unbelievably bad play.
  • Teddy’s accuracy was so bad that some of the actual catches came from receivers nearly laying on the ground. Somehow I don’t think Mike Wallace sighed with the team to lay on the ground trying to catch poorly thrown passes. It reminded me of the Donovan McNabb & his ducks days.
  • Teddy’s decision making: in the 4th quarter, Teddy under pressure – he throws to McKinnon 3 yards behind the line of scrimmage for a loss. THROW IT AWAY TEDDY. Is it his first NFL game???
  • Tackling. Where was it? The Vikings were the best open field tacklers 3 weeks ago. Now, suddenly, we have no one tackling anyone. I realize Barr and Smith are out – but they weren’t the only ones making plays. This is something more than just having 2 starters sitting out.
  • Norv Turner can’t run an offense. Clearly. Maybe in the off-season, we can agree that Norv Turner couldn’t coach his way out of a wet paper bag and move on to someone new. The Norv Experiment failed.
  • Penalties. This team – I don’t know what the hell Zimmer is doing in practice, but on the field the team has completely imploded.
Is the #5 cursed for the Vikings when worn by a QB? Or did Donovan McNabb possess Teddy?

Is the #5 cursed for the Vikings when worn by a QB? Or did Donovan McNabb possess Teddy when we weren’t looking?

The Inexplicable

  • The complete collapse of anything that resembled a professional football team.
  • Remember when we had awesome special teams play? You know – when they used to prevent the return team from any real return after the punt or kick-off? Yes, it’s all just a memory now. Between 2 blocked punts and a complete failure of the coverage team when it came to taking down the returners, we’ve seen a real degradation in special teams play over the last several games.
  • The Vikings failed in the 2 phases we can typically count on: the defense and the special teams play. Since we never really had an offense, there is no way this team can win if the defense and special teams units are not playing well. Clearly, as we saw today.

Well, that’s it for this week. It was a humiliating travesty of a game. This team isn’t ready for the post season. They, in my opinion, lost their season today. They won’t come back from this because they’re not resilient. The loss to the Packers started the slide – and I know they won last week, but faced with a good QB, this team can no longer cope.

I won’t be here Thursday – hosting 50+ people in my house will have my full attention, and I do believe I will be thankful for the distraction. For those of you who will have to watch Thursday night’s game – stay strong, walk away if you need to, and be thankful that the Vikings will not be able to ruin next Sunday for you.



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