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Souhan on Sports

Jim Souhan analyzes the local sports scene

Souhan blog: Vikings-Falcons instant reaction

Atlanta - 

Sometimes, like on Sunday, the Vikings seem to win merely by physically battering the opponent into submission.

Once again on Sunday, the Vikings' passing game was cautious and rudimentary, and once again that didn't matter much as they beat Atlanta, 20-10, to take a full-game lead in the NFC North.

This team is probably going to the playoffs. The question is whether their passing game will be ready for playoff football.

Teddy Bridgewater continues to by cautious. Just like in the days of Christian Ponder, the Vikings rely on Adrian Peterson for their biggest plays. That has gotten the Vikings to 8-3. Can that formula work against good teams? Well, appearances aside, the Falcons were 6-4 before Sunday.

But the Falcons have lost four in a row and quarterback Matt Ryan is not throwing with any authority.

By playing a safety deep on Julio Jones' side of the field, the Vikings took away the Falcons' best chance to make big plays. After a few early bursts by Tevin Coleman - one of which was ruined by Anthony Barr punching the ball out for a fumble - the Vikings defense rarely looked challenged.


This is a quick postgame blog. My game column will be up later at and in the Monday paper.



Souhan: On Teddy and Johnny Football

I've always been fascinated by myth-making and unintended results in sports.

When I first started covering the Twins in 1993, I remember looking back at Andy MacPhail's signing of Jack Morris and Chili Davis, and having MacPhail tell me that he had actually targeted Mike Boddicker and Kirk Gibson.

The Twins would not have won the World Series in 1991 had they signed their original targets.

Which leads us to the Vikings' draft in 2014.

They chose Anthony Barr with the ninth pick. They did very well there.

Reports on draft day - including one from my buddy Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press - indicated that the Vikings then tried to trade up into the first round to take Johnny Manziel. He wound up going at No. 22 to the Browns. Then the Vikings traded for the 32nd and last pick in the first round to take Bridgewater.

I still think Manziel can be a very good NFL player if he can learn to regulate his life away from football. But while Bridgewater has not been brilliant this season, he turned out to be the better pick to date.

The Browns are a mess and so is their supposed franchise quarterback. The Vikings winding up with Bridgewater has allowed them to get to 7-3 this year and to stop spending assets on the quarterback position.

Manziel still might have a higher ceiling than Bridgewater, but Bridgewater turned out to be the much safer pick.

-Krawczynski and I discussed Andrew Wiggins, the Wolves, the Warriors and Kevin McHale's firing on The You Betcha Basketball Show at Also up this week: My interview with Justin Morneau and MalePatternPurple with Tim Yotter on the Vikings. We'll put out the Russo-Souhan Show on Thursday and Roy Smalley's Chin Music, in which he talks about hanging out with Paul and Linda McCartney on his honeymoon, on Friday.

-Today at 3 p.m. Michael Russo and I will be at Tom Reid's Hockey City Pub before the Wild game to do our show live, with live questions and giveaways. Please stop by.


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