It’s game day, gentleman (and ladies). We’re about eight hours away from the start of one of biggest game the Vikings have played in quite some time. Just rolled out of bed. Got some coffee in hand. Let’s get to those questions, shall we?
Q: Everybody knows it, but why is Adrian Peterson this year’s MVP? (Malte)
Obviously, I can’t look at the debate between Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson objectively. That being said, I do not understand the argument for Peyton Manning as MVP over Peterson. If Manning wins, it should be renamed to Most Valuable Quarterback because he is not more valuable to the Broncos than AD is to the Vikings. For one, Manning isn’t even the best quarterback in the league this year. Last time I looked over the stats for quarterbacks, I don’t remember Manning leading in a single one of them. Here’s what it comes down to: Adrian Peterson willed this team to 10 victories. He threw this team over his shoulder and carried them to seven more wins than last season running through [usually] nine defenders in the box on any given play. Especially once Percy Harvin left, Peterson was the Vikings only offensive weapon. Peyton Manning stepped onto a playoff caliber team with a great defense, great receivers and an already pretty solid foundation. Yes, he gave the team five more wins than they had last year, but I believe you put any other ‘elite’ QB in that role and Denver ends the season with the same (if not better) record. What Adrian Peterson did this season could not be done had any other running back been in his shoes. It’s that simple. That is value. Peterson deserves this award. (Alas, if I had to wager today, I would say that Manning ends up winning the dang thing.)
Q: What do you see in this team that makes you give such a Bold prediction at Green Bay? (Purple Charlie)
Actually, my “bold prediction” was that if the Vikings win today against the Packers, I think they will make it to the NFC Championship. In other words, if they win today, I think they will beat the Falcons next week. But, since you asked, and since I also believe that the Vikings will win today against the Packers, I’ll answer that question directly. I think this team wants it more. I think it’s firing on all cylinders right now and loves the fact that no one is still giving them the time of day. Really though, I think we can beat anybody with the way Adrian Peterson has been playing this season. All I’ve heard on the radio all week is how the Packers are going to stop Peterson today. Apparently they’ve managed to acquire the tackling ability (and courage) it takes to bring Peterson down. They couldn’t do it in the climate controlled confines of Mall of America Field, but hey, they sure as hell will get things together and be able to do it today in the freezing temperatures at Lambeau.
No, that’s not going to happen.
Here is what’s going to happen. The Packers are going to continue to sell out to stop the run. Ponder is going to continue to be efficient and understand that there will likely be at least one open receiver on any given play. Peterson will have +200 yards (for almost the third time) and Ponder will continue to convert third downs. Our line, will the help of rising star Everson Griffen, will continue to create problems for Green Bay’s line and put some hits on him.
While I think Green Bay’s offense will still put up some points against our defense, I think we are more set up to win a game in these conditions than the Packers. Vikings in a close one, 24-21.
Q: If the Packers focus on Peterson tonight at what point would you try to do a trick play for that one big play? (Freddie Williams)
If I am Bill Musgrave standing on the sideline with my playing card-sized playbook sheet and the Packers come out determined to [try and] stop Peterson again, I don’t try any trick plays. I would do instead what we did last week, which is to disregard the fact that they’re trying to stop AD (they can’t) and run the ball while mixing in some well designed play action passes. That being said, I may occasionally take some deep shots after running said play action, but I don’t think I would try any designed “trick plays.”
Q: On a scale from 1-10, how nervous were you when Blair Walsh lined up for the game winning field goal last weekend against the Packers. (I’m paraphrasing here, Ole.)
Honestly, I wasn’t really that nervous. Maybe a 4? More excited than nervous. After AP broke off that 20 yard run and put us well within Blair Walsh’s range, barring a block, I knew he would make the field goal. The kid is just money.
Q: Since [Greg Jennings] auditioned for the Vikings last week with his big game do you think maybe he drops a few passes tomorrow night to help his future team out? (WTFVIKESFAN)
Hah! Not a chance. Plus, Jennings won’t be a Viking next year. Or at least I hope not. Sorry to disappoint!
Q: Will Harvin be a Viking next year? And if so, why? And if not, why? (WTFVIKESFAN)
Tough one. Really tough one… If I had to guess between the two today I would guess that Harvin will not be a Viking next year. It could go either way, but here’s my thinking. One, I don’t think Frazier wants any drama in the locker room. I don’t think it jives with the culture he’s trying to create (has created) on this team. Two, I’m not sure that the team will believe he is worth the large chunk of change he’s going to want to stay on this team. Especially when rookie receiver Jarius Wright has kind of come into his own these past few weeks. Not to say that I think Wright will be as good as Harvin, but I’m not sure the team will feel the discrepancy is big enough to warrant a huge contract for Percy. Three, I think the team would rather use that money on bringing in (or trading for) a big name, true #1 wide receiver Free Agent this off-season. It’s a bummer because I really like #12, but that’s just how I think things will play out at this point. This will be one of the biggest stories to watch over the off-season and, rest assured, we’ll be following out the entire time here at VT.
Q: Should the Vikings trade Jared Allen while he still has value? Griffen needs to be on the field every play in my opinion. He is a beast. (WTFVIKESFAN)
Another great question that will be another big topic during the off-season. Griffen has been a monster out there filling in for Robison as defensive end. On one hand, I think our defensive line would probably be pretty good with just Robison and Griffen out there. On the other hand, Jared Allen is a figurehead for this team. He is a defensive leader and the gritty face of the franchise. With that being said, if I had to make a decision today for the Minnesota Vikings (I’m Rick Spielman for a second), I would definitely see what the market is like for an end like Jared Allen. I think Jared Allen peaked last year and this is a team that has committed to a youth movement. This might be the perfect time to see if we can get a few good draft picks for Allen. If we could get, let’s say, a late first round/early second round, fourth and 2014 mid draft pick for him, I would do it. (Go ahead, let me have it.)
Q: I know this is early for draft talk, but right before free agency what position should the Vikings focus on first? Or should Vikings go best available player? (WTFVIKESFAN)
It’s never too early for draft talk! I can’t wait for this year’s draft… It’s like Christmas morning for me. This is another great question, man. I think the most important position for the Vikings to address this off-season is acquiring a true #1 WR. Unfortunately, I don’t think one exists in this year’s draft and instead could be acquired through free agency. So I think in the first round the Vikings should focus on grabbing someone for the trenches – either a big defensive tackle or a solid offensive guard. Other positions of importance? I’d like the front office to focus on beefing up the secondary as well as maybe doing some great scouting and finding a quarterback you can find in the middle rounds of the draft as a potential backup plan to Ponder.
Q: What do you think about A.J. Jefferson? Some games he has looked good, and made some plays. Some games he still looks a little raw. (WTFVIKESFAN)
For a guy that went undrafted and cost us almost nothing to acquire in a trade, I think Jefferson has been “okay.” He always seems to be stride for stride with the receiver he is covering, but doesn’t turn around to try and make a play on the ball. Instead, he ends up flailing his arms around, making contact with the wideout, and getting called for PI. Jefferson is someone who I think has potential and should fight for a spot on the field during the off-season.
Q: What are the odds that AD wins the MVP award? Also Denzel’s chances of coach of the year? (BJohnny)
Likelihood of AD winning MVP? I’ll say 35%. Denzel winning coach of the year? Not going to happen, unfortunately. The magic that took place in Indianapolis will keep that award out of Frazier’s hands. Frazier’s consolation prize? A contract extension. Not too shabby…
Q: Should AD be allowed to play on special teams? He’s asking to and was a great returner in 07 not to mention it’s giving him the ball in open space. (SKOL12)
It’s definitely intriguing. I wouldn’t put Peterson back there to return kicks though unless things get ugly and we really need a kick in the rear end. Otherwise, Marcus Sherels has been doing pretty good back there all by himself so I’d probably just leave it as is.
Q: We’re built around AD. What round do we pick AD Jr. so we are ready if he goes down with a major injury next year. (KRUGJR)
I really don’t think I’d use one of our draft picks to select another running back unless the guy had really fallen and was an outstanding value at that point. I just think there are so many other holes to fill that running back should be the absolute last thing on our list of priorities.
Q: Does this “run” guarantee Frazier and Spielman extensions? (KRUGJR)
Nothing is guaranteed. But if I was making the decision, I think both have definitely deserved it. Don’t you?
Q: Any word on the rumor of new uniforms? (KRUGJR)
There was a rumor floating around on Twitter a week or two ago that the Vikings might revert to the throwback uniforms in future seasons… Don’t know how legitimate that was, though. Nothing other than that.
Q: Who is your favorite architect and why?
I’d have to say it’s a toss-up between Mies van der Rohe and Tadao Ando. I really appreciate everything Mies did for architecture and really love his general philosophy he approached design with. Ando is also incredible. His use of light and concrete is stunning.
Q: What is your favorite building and why?
I’m going to give you two. (It’s so hard to pick one!) I know it’s cliche, but I really love Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water. It wasn’t one of my favorites until I had the chance to experience it first hand. Wright’s merging of indoors and outdoors and the way the house fits so perfectly in the surrounding forest is just perfect.
A few years ago, I had the opportunity to visit the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland. The inside of that cathedral is absolutely breathtaking, one of the most amazing things I’ve ever experienced. (I know, architecture nerd.) Definitely check it out.
Q: Who has better hair, Clay Matthews or Brian Robison? (SKOL12)
Tough one. I really love how Clay Matthews’ hair flows in the wind created by #28 blowing past him for a touchdown. With that being said, I gotta go with Robison here. Especially when he has it in cornrows.
Q: Same question but now you and Adam Warwas? (SKOL12)
Well, I have to be honest here. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen Adam’s hair. Every time I’ve seen the guy he’s wearing some sort of hat, beanie, headdress, vikings horns, etc. My hair is just buzzed, the same length all around. I’m going to go out on a limb here though and assume, under all the coverage, Adam’s hear is thick, gorgeous and smells amazing to boot. I wouldn’t expect anything less from the best Vikings blogger on the net.