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The Zone Coverage Football Machine

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The Zone Coverage Football Machine is a weekly, in-depth Minnesota Vikings discussion that gives you locker room insights and on-field analysis from professional beat writers. Host Sam Ekstrom has been on the Vikings beat for Zone Coverage since 2014. Arif Hasan has covered the Vikings for Zone Coverage and The Athletic and brings an analytical slant. Luke Inman is Zone Coverage's resident draft and film guru. Together, they give you the most informed Vikings speculation you'll find anywhere.

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The Zone Coverage Football Machine is a weekly, in-depth Minnesota Vikings discussion that gives you locker room insights and on-field analysis from professional beat writers. Host Sam Ekstrom has been on the Vikings beat for Zone Coverage since 2014. Arif Hasan has covered the Vikings for Zone Coverage and The Athletic and brings an analytical slant. Luke Inman is Zone Coverage's resident draft and film guru. Together, they give you the most informed Vikings speculation you'll find anywhere.

iTunes Ratings

124 Ratings
Average Ratings
112
3
3
1
5

Fun Show

By djkirscht - May 28 2020
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Sam, Arif, Luke all sound like they genuinely enjoy being together. A shoe that is perfect listening for any time.

#Chemistry

By tm3073 - Jan 09 2020
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✅ Informative & Entertaining ✅ Best Vikings pod ✅ Best NFL pod ✅ Jerry

iTunes Ratings

124 Ratings
Average Ratings
112
3
3
1
5

Fun Show

By djkirscht - May 28 2020
Read more
Sam, Arif, Luke all sound like they genuinely enjoy being together. A shoe that is perfect listening for any time.

#Chemistry

By tm3073 - Jan 09 2020
Read more
✅ Informative & Entertaining ✅ Best Vikings pod ✅ Best NFL pod ✅ Jerry
Cover image of The Zone Coverage Football Machine

The Zone Coverage Football Machine

Latest release on Sep 24, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 2 days ago

Rank #1: Hour 1 - Vikings Offense on a Hot Streak

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Sam is back in studio with Arif, Luke and Tom to talk about the offensive hot streak over the last three games. We discuss the recent win over Detroit, the upcoming matchup with Washington, and we reminisce about Adrian Peterson.

In This Episode:

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Sam Ekstrom (@SamEkstrom) is a Zone Coverage staff writer covering the Minnesota Vikings and Golden Gophers basketball.

Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) covers the Minnesota Vikings for The Athletic.

Luke Inman (@Luke_Spinman) Luke Inman is Zone Coverage's resident NFL Draft guru and video content creator.

Tom Schreier (@tschreier3) is the co-founder of ZoneCoverage.com and previously wrote about Minnesota sports for Bleacher Report and Yahoo! Sports.

Oct 24 2019

1hr 7mins

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Rank #2: Hour 1 - Jayron Kearse, Xavier Rhodes and Dan Bailey

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Sam, Arif, Luke and Tom are in studio to talk about the Thursday night win over Washington. We also talk about Dan Bailey's turnaround, Jayron Kearse making the news and a preview of the upcoming Chiefs game.

In This Episode:

  • A convincing win despite red zone troubles [5:30]
  • Charges brought against Jayron Kearse [19:00]
  • Most impressive win for the Vikings [26:00]
  • Rhodes' decline [35:00]
  • Mahomes or Moore [46:00]
  • Gambling Picks [53:00]

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Sam Ekstrom (@SamEkstrom) is a Zone Coverage staff writer covering the Minnesota Vikings and Golden Gophers basketball.

Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) covers the Minnesota Vikings for The Athletic.

Luke Inman (@Luke_Spinman) Luke Inman is Zone Coverage's resident NFL Draft guru and video content creator.

Tom Schreier (@tschreier3) is the co-founder of ZoneCoverage.com and previously wrote about Minnesota sports for Bleacher Report and Yahoo! Sports.

Oct 31 2019

1hr

Play

Rank #3: Hour 2 - Chiefs WRs and The Candy Draft

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In Hour 2, Sam, Arif, Luke and Tom are in studio to take your phone calls and answer your Twitter questions. This week we talk about the Vikings secondary, after a quiet trade deadline we discuss some fun trade scenarios that could have been and The Official Halloween Candy Draft 2019.

In This Episode:

  • Vikings DBs vs Chiefs WRs [2:00]
  • Fred calls in to talk defense [12:00]
  • Trading Cousins for Garoppolo [27:00]
  • Bridgewater to the Bears? [33:00]
  • 2019 Candy Draft! [44:00]

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Sam Ekstrom (@SamEkstrom) is a Zone Coverage staff writer covering the Minnesota Vikings and Golden Gophers basketball.

Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) covers the Minnesota Vikings for The Athletic.

Luke Inman (@Luke_Spinman) Luke Inman is Zone Coverage's resident NFL Draft guru and video content creator.

Tom Schreier (@tschreier3) is the co-founder of ZoneCoverage.com and previously wrote about Minnesota sports for Bleacher Report and Yahoo! Sports.

Oct 31 2019

1hr

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Rank #4: Postgame Reaction: Vikings Slug Out 19-9 Win Over Washington

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Sam Ekstrom and Luke Inman react to the fourth straight Minnesota win.

In today's special Friday edition:

-Luke didn't love the conservative gameplan, but will take the result.

-The offensive line is playing with tenacity.

-Production matched the Detroit; the Vikings just couldn't finish drives.

-Is there cause for concern with Xavier Rhodes?

Oct 25 2019

29mins

Play

Rank #5: Hour 1 - Zimmer's Game Plan, Danielle Hunter, and Divisional Round Preview

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Sam, Luke, and Arif are in studio this week to talk about a big win in The Big Easy. We look at the standouts for the Vikings, the defensive game plan, and how the Vikings matchup against the 49ers.

In This Episode:

  • The New Orleans experience [3:30]
  • Heroes of the Game [11:00]
  • Defensive game plan [18:00]
  • Thielen's ankle injury [33:00]
  • Vikings chances against the 49ers [39:00]
  • Gambling Picks [51:00]

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Sam Ekstrom (@SamEkstrom) is a Zone Coverage staff writer covering the Minnesota Vikings and Golden Gophers basketball.

Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) covers the Minnesota Vikings for The Athletic.

Luke Inman (@Luke_SpinmanNFL) Luke Inman is Zone Coverage's resident NFL Draft guru and video content creator.

Tom Schreier (@tschreier3) is the co-founder of ZoneCoverage.com and previously wrote about Minnesota sports for Bleacher Report and Yahoo! Sports.

Jan 09 2020

1hr

Play

Rank #6: Hour 1 - Primetime Win in Dallas

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Sam, Arif, Luke and Tom are in studio to talk about the primetime win in Dallas. We talk about the defensive strategy, the Cowboys' play calling, and the effects of recent injuries to key players. We also discuss the upcoming matchup with Denver.

In This Episode:

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Sam Ekstrom (@SamEkstrom) is a Zone Coverage staff writer covering the Minnesota Vikings and Golden Gophers basketball.

Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) covers the Minnesota Vikings for The Athletic.

Luke Inman (@Luke_Spinman) Luke Inman is Zone Coverage's resident NFL Draft guru and video content creator.

Tom Schreier (@tschreier3) is the co-founder of ZoneCoverage.com and previously wrote about Minnesota sports for Bleacher Report and Yahoo! Sports.

Nov 14 2019

58mins

Play

Rank #7: Hour 1 - An Electric Comeback Win for the Vikings

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Sam, Arif, Luke and Tom are in studio to talk about a roller coaster ride at US Bank Stadium against the Denver Broncos. We analyze the offensive ineptitude in the first half and the historic comeback in the second half. 

In This Episode:

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Sam Ekstrom (@SamEkstrom) is a Zone Coverage staff writer covering the Minnesota Vikings and Golden Gophers basketball.

Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) covers the Minnesota Vikings for The Athletic.

Luke Inman (@Luke_Spinman) Luke Inman is Zone Coverage's resident NFL Draft guru and video content creator.

Tom Schreier (@tschreier3) is the co-founder of ZoneCoverage.com and previously wrote about Minnesota sports for Bleacher Report and Yahoo! Sports.

Nov 20 2019

59mins

Play

Rank #8: Hour 1 - Reflecting on the Season, the Decade, and Going to New Orleans

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Sam, Luke and Arif are in studio this week to talk about the playoffs. The Vikings draw the Saints in the first round and we are here to break down the matchup. We also reflect on the season and the decade.

In This Episode:

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Sam Ekstrom (@SamEkstrom) is a Zone Coverage staff writer covering the Minnesota Vikings and Golden Gophers basketball.

Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) covers the Minnesota Vikings for The Athletic.

Luke Inman (@Luke_SpinmanNFL) Luke Inman is Zone Coverage's resident NFL Draft guru and video content creator.

Tom Schreier (@tschreier3) is the co-founder of ZoneCoverage.com and previously wrote about Minnesota sports for Bleacher Report and Yahoo! Sports.

Jan 02 2020

1hr

Play

Rank #9: Hour 1 - CB Rotations, RB Depth, and Pro Bowl Snubs

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Sam, Luke and Arif are in studio this week to talk about the big defensive effort in L.A. as the Vikings turned the Chargers over seven times. We discuss Boone and Mattison, improvement at the cornerback position and a preview of the Monday Night Packer game.

In This Episode:

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Sam Ekstrom (@SamEkstrom) is a Zone Coverage staff writer covering the Minnesota Vikings and Golden Gophers basketball.

Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) covers the Minnesota Vikings for The Athletic.

Luke Inman (@Luke_Spinman) Luke Inman is Zone Coverage's resident NFL Draft guru and video content creator.

Tom Schreier (@tschreier3) is the co-founder of ZoneCoverage.com and previously wrote about Minnesota sports for Bleacher Report and Yahoo! Sports.

Dec 19 2019

1hr 12mins

Play

Rank #10: Hour 1 - WR + QB Prospects and Getting Under the Cap

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Sam, Tom and Luke are in studio to talk about potential draft prospects and the combine. We discuss the top quarterbacks in this year's draft, the loaded wide receiver field, and restructuring around the cap.

In This Episode:

  • Top QB draft prospects [4:00]
  • Speedy wide receivers [12:30]
  • Guard vs Tackle [27:00]
  • Returning defensive players [33:00]
  • Restructuring Kirk [43:00]
  • Fill in the _ [51:00]

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Sam Ekstrom (@SamEkstrom) is a Zone Coverage staff writer covering the Minnesota Vikings and Golden Gophers basketball.

Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) covers the Minnesota Vikings for The Athletic.

Luke Inman (@Luke_SpinmanNFL) Luke Inman is Zone Coverage's resident NFL Draft guru and video content creator.

Tom Schreier (@tschreier3) is the co-founder of ZoneCoverage.com and previously wrote about Minnesota sports for Bleacher Report and Yahoo! Sports.

Feb 26 2020

1hr 2mins

Play

Rank #11: Hour 2 - Stefanski's Impact and Red Zone Defense

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In Hour 2, Sam, Arif, Luke and Tom are in studio to take your phone calls and answer your Twitter questions. We talk about the Kaepernick tryout, Stefanski's influence, and potential playoff scenarios. 

In This Episode:

  • Kaepernick to the Steelers? [6:00]
  • Alex calls in to talk about Will Hernandez [11:00]
  • Could Stefanski be a head coach next year? [24:00]
  • Red zone defense [32:00]
  • Handsome Head Coach Rankings [47:00]

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Sam Ekstrom (@SamEkstrom) is a Zone Coverage staff writer covering the Minnesota Vikings and Golden Gophers basketball.

Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) covers the Minnesota Vikings for The Athletic.

Luke Inman (@Luke_Spinman) Luke Inman is Zone Coverage's resident NFL Draft guru and video content creator.

Tom Schreier (@tschreier3) is the co-founder of ZoneCoverage.com and previously wrote about Minnesota sports for Bleacher Report and Yahoo! Sports.

Nov 20 2019

59mins

Play

Rank #12: Postgame Reaction: Vikings Shoot Themselves in the Foot... Then Storm Back

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Sam Ekstrom and Luke Inman are in studio to review the tale of two halves in Minnesota's 27-23 win. They discuss:

-The first-half disaster in all three phases

-The second-half rally, led by Kirk Cousins

-Shoddy special teams play

-What does the secondary need to do to improve?

-How do the final five games shape up?

Nov 18 2019

30mins

Play

Rank #13: Hour 1 - Russell's Greatness, Keys To Victory, Bye-Week Observations

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Sam, Luke and Tom are in studio to talk about all the things that happened around the NFL during the Minnesota Vikings bye-week, the likelihood that they need to win out in order to clinch the division, preview of their upcoming game against the Seattle Seahawks, and of course the team runs through their favorite gambling picks for this week!

In This Episode:

  • Pittsburgh Steelers Weekly w/ Justin The Producer [2:00]
  • Storylines from around the league [6:30]
  • Do the Vikings need to win out to clinch division? [15:00]
  • Vikings vs. Seahawks preview [25:00]
  • Josh Doctson released/Injury report [38:00]
  • Gambling Picks [45:00]

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Sam Ekstrom (@SamEkstrom) is a Zone Coverage staff writer covering the Minnesota Vikings and Golden Gophers basketball.

Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) covers the Minnesota Vikings for The Athletic.

Luke Inman (@Luke_Spinman) Luke Inman is Zone Coverage's resident NFL Draft guru and video content creator.

Tom Schreier (@tschreier3) is the co-founder of ZoneCoverage.com and previously wrote about Minnesota sports for Bleacher Report and Yahoo! Sports.

Nov 26 2019

1hr 7mins

Play

Rank #14: Hour 1 - L.A. Chargers Preview and Thielen's Return

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Sam, Luke and Arif are in studio this week to talk about the solid defensive performance against Detroit. We also talk about Thielen's return, the Chargers roster and some draft talk.

In This Episode:

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Sam Ekstrom (@SamEkstrom) is a Zone Coverage staff writer covering the Minnesota Vikings and Golden Gophers basketball.

Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) covers the Minnesota Vikings for The Athletic.

Luke Inman (@Luke_Spinman) Luke Inman is Zone Coverage's resident NFL Draft guru and video content creator.

Tom Schreier (@tschreier3) is the co-founder of ZoneCoverage.com and previously wrote about Minnesota sports for Bleacher Report and Yahoo! Sports.

Dec 12 2019

1hr 3mins

Play

Rank #15: Postgame Reaction: The Minnesota Vikings Defeat the New Orleans Saints on Wild Card Weekend

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Sam Ekstrom and Luke Inman recap the Minnesota Vikings 26-20 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday afternoon, and look ahead to their Divisional Round opponent, the San Francisco 49ers.

  • Recapping the Wild Card weekend victory
  • "Seeing one go through the net"
  • Dalvin, Diggs, Cousins, Thielen
  • Defense, Defense, Defense
  • Previewing the 49ers

Jan 06 2020

34mins

Play

Rank #16: Hour 1 - Kevin Stefanski, George Edwards, and 2020 Roster Speculation

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Sam, Luke, Tom, and Arif are in studio this week to wrap up the season as the Vikings lose to the 49ers in the Divisional Round of the playoffs. There are a lot of changes coming for the Vikings as we discuss the coaching staff and roster.

In This Episode:

  • We say goodbye to some of the coaching staff [6:00]
  • Stefanski goes to Cleveland [20:00]
  • Cousins' lack of aggressive plays [28:00]
  • Who will be playing for the purple next year? [34:00]
  • Gambling Picks [50:00]

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Sam Ekstrom (@SamEkstrom) is a Zone Coverage staff writer covering the Minnesota Vikings and Golden Gophers basketball.

Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) covers the Minnesota Vikings for The Athletic.

Luke Inman (@Luke_SpinmanNFL) Luke Inman is Zone Coverage's resident NFL Draft guru and video content creator.

Tom Schreier (@tschreier3) is the co-founder of ZoneCoverage.com and previously wrote about Minnesota sports for Bleacher Report and Yahoo! Sports.

Jan 15 2020

1hr

Play

Rank #17: Hour 1 - Dom Capers and the Defensive Coaching Structure

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Sam, Arif, and Luke are in studio to talk about Minnesota's cap troubles and how they can put together a winning team next year. We look at the addition of Dom Capers, the changing defensive structure, and who will leave in free agency.

In This Episode:

  • Potential trade scenarios [11:00]
  • Defensive coaching structure [22:00]
  • Free agents...  return or release [36:00]
  • Luke's Prospect of the Week [52:00]

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Sam Ekstrom (@SamEkstrom) is a Zone Coverage staff writer covering the Minnesota Vikings and Golden Gophers basketball.

Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) covers the Minnesota Vikings for The Athletic.

Luke Inman (@Luke_SpinmanNFL) Luke Inman is Zone Coverage's resident NFL Draft guru and video content creator.

Tom Schreier (@tschreier3) is the co-founder of ZoneCoverage.com and previously wrote about Minnesota sports for Bleacher Report and Yahoo! Sports.

Feb 12 2020

56mins

Play

Rank #18: Free Agency Preview, Stefon Diggs Traded, Kirk Cousins Extended

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The global pandemic didn't slow NFL free agency as the Vikings made myriad moves to clear cap space while making a blockbuster trade of a star receiver. Luke Inman filled in for Sam Ekstrom and was joined by Arif Hasan and Tom Schreier. Topics included:

-Stefon Diggs traded to the Buffalo Bills

-Kirk Cousins' extension

-Which Vikings are staying? Which are leaving?

-Marquee QBs finding new homes

Mar 19 2020

1hr 12mins

Play

Rank #19: Hour 2 - Chargers, Kendricks, and the Christmas Draft

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In Hour 2, Sam, Luke and Arif are in studio to take your phone calls and answer your Twitter questions! It's a very special episode as Sam and Luke debut their brand new Christmas song, we draft our favorite Christmas hallmarks, and we talk Vikings.

In This Episode:

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Sam Ekstrom (@SamEkstrom) is a Zone Coverage staff writer covering the Minnesota Vikings and Golden Gophers basketball.

Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) covers the Minnesota Vikings for The Athletic.

Luke Inman (@Luke_Spinman) Luke Inman is Zone Coverage's resident NFL Draft guru and video content creator.

Tom Schreier (@tschreier3) is the co-founder of ZoneCoverage.com and previously wrote about Minnesota sports for Bleacher Report and Yahoo! Sports.

Dec 19 2019

1hr 5mins

Play

Rank #20: Combine Winners/Losers, Free Agency Moves & Salary Cap Scenarios

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Sam, Luke and Tom are in the MBC Studios for this week's show, producing one hour of Vikings talk as the calendar turns to March. They mix in your Twitter questions and discuss the following:

-Who had the best Combine performances? And whose stock went down?

-What's going to happen to the Vikings' roster before free agency tampering starts on March 16?

-How can the Vikings clear up enough cap space to make some moves?

Mar 04 2020

55mins

Play