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Zimmer was at the helm of a Bengals defence
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The Minnesota Vikings finished the 2013 season with a 5-10-1 record and a pressing question at quarterback. Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel and Josh Freeman all started games for the Vikings in 2013. Ponder opened the season as the starter, but missed games due to injury before eventually returning and being benched due to ineffectiveness. Cassel stepped in as an injury replacement for Ponder in Weeks 4 and 6 and despite a 1-1 record, he was replaced by Freeman in Week 7. Freeman was signed in-season after being released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he struggled as the starter in Week 7 and spent the remainder of the season on the bench. Following a six-week stint where Ponder returned as the starter, Cassel closed the season as the teams No. 1. Once again, the Vikings face questions at quarterback entering this season. Cassel will open Week 1 as the starter but will likely be on a short leash after the Vikings traded up in Mays draft to select Teddy Bridgewater. Mike Zimmer heads up a revamped coaching staff for the Vikings, which also now includes Norv Turner as the teams offensive coordinator. Aside from the uncertainty at quarterback, Zimmer and Turner inherited an offence with plenty of skill. The Vikings hold one of the leagues premier running backs in Adrian Peterson and one of the top young playmakers at wide receiver, in Cordarrelle Patterson. Patterson made his biggest mark on special teams last season, earning a Pro Bowl spot with two returns for touchdowns and 10 returns of over 40 yards. He finished with an average of 32.4 yards per return. This season, however, Patterson looks to become more involved in the receiving game as he is listed as the starter opposite of veteran Greg Jennings on the Vikings depth chart. Patterson caught three passes for 71 yards, including a 53-yard touchdown, in the Vikings Week 3 preseason win over the Kansas City Chiefs. The Vikings will also start the season with 2012 Pro Bowler Kyle Rudolph in healthy. The six-foot-six tight end hauled in 30 passes for 313 yards in eight games last season before suffering a foot fracture that ended his season. The Vikings signed Rudolph to a five-year, $36.5 million extension in the offseason and hes expected to play a major role in Turners tight end-friendly system. On defence, look for Zimmer to improve the Vikings group that struggled mightily in 2013. Only the Dallas Cowboys gave up more yards than the Vikings last season and no team gave up more points. Zimmer was at the helm of a Bengals defence last season which ranked third in the league in yards allowed and fifth in points. If Zimmer can implement change on defence and Vikings can garner consistent play from the quarterback position, the team should be able to improve on their 2013 season this year. Notes Replacing Allen: Come Week 1, the Vikings will open a season without pass rusher Jared Allen for the first time since 2007. Allen signed with the Chicago Bears in the offseason after leading the Vikings with 11.5 sacks in 2013. The Vikings used their top pick in Mays draft on linebacker Anthony Barr, who had 23.5 sacks in his last two college seasons. Backing Peterson: For the previous four seasons, the Vikings have relied on Toby Gerhart to spell Peterson at running back. However, Gerhart signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars in the offseason, leaving the Vikings with Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon behind Peterson. Asiata rushed for a total of 166 yards on 44 carries in 11 games last season. McKinnon was drafted in the third round of this years NFL Draft. Cheap Borussia Dortmund Jerseys . He still wanted out. "It just seemed like the direction they were going didnt fit what I thought my career was going to be," Kesler said. "At the end of the day I want to win a championship and I want to win it now, and four years is a little too long for me. Cheap Football Jerseys . The thunderous cheers quickly changed to an appreciative chant: "Ma-son! Ma-son! Ma-son! Headed to New York with new life, Mason sure earned this curtain call. http://www.chinasoccerjerseys.com/?tag=c...ea-jerseys . The Irish golfer, whose father Patrick died from cancer, says he underwent surgery for sun spots. The 42-year-old Harrington told Irish radio station Today FM: "Ive had a number of skin cancers removed off my face. Cheap World Cup Jerseys . Vonn punctuated her near-perfect season in perfect fashion Friday, earning her fourth overall World Cup title with a dominating giant slalom victory. Wholesale Football Jerseys . With just under five seconds remaining - the Raptors having clawed back from a 19-point deficit and pulled within one - DeRozan took the handoff from Chuck Hayes.CLEVELAND - The Phoenix Suns pulled off a memorable comeback. For the Cleveland Cavaliers, it was a collapse they wont soon forget. The Suns, who looked as though they were about to get run out of the building, rallied from an 18-point halftime deficit by dominating the final two quarters for a 99-90 win Sunday night. "We were getting embarrassed," said Markieff Morris, who led Phoenix with 27 points. "Everybody knew it. Thats why we said if we were going to lose, we were going to go down fighting." Cleveland coach Mike Brown had a simple assessment of his teams meltdown. "It was hard to watch," he said. "Its disappointing we came out and played that way, and we should all feel embarrassed for the way we played in the second half." The Suns held Cleveland to six points in the third quarter and outscored the Cavaliers 56-29 in the second half. Channing Frye finished with 16 points, including four 3-pointers after halftime, and Goran Dragic scored 15 to help Phoenix rally on the first stop of a four-game road trip. "We were so, so bad in the first half, but at least everyone knew how bad we were," said Suns forward P.J. Tucker, who had 13 points and 10 rebounds. "When we were down, everyone was like, Were good. Thats the kind of faith we have in our team, but we cant keep doing this." The Cavaliers, who led by 20 late in the second quarter, fell to 1-3 on a five-game homestand considered crucial to their chances of staying in the Eastern Conference playoff race. "They outworked us in the second half, simply put," said All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, who led Cleveland with 24 points. Cavaliers centre Anderson Varejao injured his left leg late in the fourth quarter. He was down on the court for several minutes, but remained in the game. Varejao, who has battled injuries the last three seasons, will be checked by the teams medical staff on Monday. "I was worried," Brown said. "His knee was bothering him a little bit. It was tough to see." Phoenix trailed 61-43 at halftime, but hit five 3-pointers in the third quarter. Tucker scored on an offensive rebound with 45 seconds left to put Phoenix ahead 68-67, its first lead since 9-6 just 4 minutes into the game. The Cavaliers were 2 of 22 from the field in the third and set a season low for points in a quarter. Clevelands 29 points after halftime marked a season worst for a half. "I got on their case at halftime beecause we didnt give effort in the first half," Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said.dddddddddddd"It was the defence that did it. We got stops and that started it. Then all of a sudden, the other team was back on their heels." The Suns broke away from a 70-all tie with 11 straight points early in the fourth. Leandro Barbosas free throw put Phoenix ahead for good. Morris scored six points in the run before Barbosas steal and layup made it 81-70 with 8:38 remaining. Irvings two free throws with 2:06 to play cut it to 88-85. The teams traded baskets before Fryes 3-pointer made it 93-87 with 1:14 remaining. Phoenix shot just 39 per cent in the first half, when its starters combined for 24 points. Morris scored 15 off the bench. The Suns came out firing in the third quarter, forcing Cleveland to call timeout twice in the first 5 minutes. Frye hit 3s on three straight possessions, Gerald Green added a 3-pointer and a jumper, and a 3 by Dragic helped cut the lead to 65-61. Phoenix trimmed the lead to two on two occasions. Ish Smiths free throw with 1:13 remaining made it 67-66 before Tucker put the Suns ahead. Cleveland ended the second quarter on a 22-10 run sparked by Luol Dengs 10 points and six by Irving. The Cavaliers led 39-33 with 7:39 remaining in the period when Deng hit two jumpers, a layup and four free throws. He also found Jarrett Jack in the corner for a 3-pointer with a pass from the top of the key. Irving added a pair of jumpers and two foul shots. Irving had 13 points and seven assists in the first half. The third-year guard, elected an All-Star starter for the first time last week, had six assists in the first quarter, including Clevelands first four baskets of the game. Deng had 12 points, six rebounds and four assists in the first half. The Suns opened a road trip in which they will play four games in five nights. Phoenix went 1-4 on a trip earlier this month. NOTES: Suns G Eric Bledsoe (right knee surgery) is travelling with the team, but there remains no timetable for his return to the court. Bledsoe, the teams leading scorer, averaged 18 points in 24 games before undergoing an arthroscopic procedure on Jan. 10. ... Deng had his first double-double for the Cavaliers with 18 points and 10 rebounds. ... Phoenix recalled G Archie Goodwin from his NBA Development League assignment with Bakersfield. ... Cleveland brought back F Sergey Karasev and G Carrick Felix from their D-League assignments with Canton. ' ' '
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