This week’s edition is far more enjoyable than last week’s (where Anthony Barr ran away with the voting) as the 26-16 win over Detroit featured a much better on-field display from Mike Zimmer’s Vikings.
Once again, the Vikings appear to have escaped the game without any major injuries to fret about (apologies if that turns out to be untrue) and they got their first home win, first divisional victory and first overall victory all taken care of in Week Two.
This team looked very different from what we saw in San Francisco. Matt Stafford looked flat-out defeated by the fourth quarter. The Lions ran nowhere. Our offense wasn’t exactly high-flying, but it was efficient and productive. The special teams was mistake-free outside of the obligatory Blair Walsh miss that needs to be discussed in greater detail later this week.
For now, we focus on the positives, and want you to help us assign this week’s award for Player of the Game.
And the nominees are…
An efficient 14 of 18. A cool 153 yards with a touchdown. Six runs for 21 yards and a quick-dash score. Only one sack taken.
This was the cool-headed quarterback we all wanted to see open the season. We had to wait a week, but it was so great to sit back and watch a comfortable Bridgewater pick apart an opponents defense without any major drama.
Despite not having mind-blowing stats, Bridgewater did exactly what was needed to win this game, and he deserves a lot of credit for this victory.
Save for one moment of over-aggressiveness, which resulted in a 15 yard penalty, Kalil played a very stout game at left tackle. He was facing Ezekiel Ansah for a majority of the afternoon, no easy task, and fared very well in both phases of the game.
Once the biggest question mark on the paper roster, Kalil is playing at a high level so far in 2015, which is a much-welcomed surprise.
Statistically, you heard it all during the broadcast… and I won’t repeat it all here.
Yes, Adrian Peterson piled up more yardage than we’ve seen out of him in quite some time. The coaching staff adjusted their scheme a bit, after issues with the option during Week One, and Peterson was able to get things going against Detroit’s defense.
He carried the ball 29 times for 134 yards and caught two passes for a team-high 58 yards. Peterson’s nice outing, however, fell under some shade because of three fumbles (only two counted due to a penalty) and an inability to cross the goalline.
Xavier Rhodes was pretty darn good this week, as was Terence Newman. It was Munnerlyn, however, that stole the spotlight from the secondary in large part on Sunday even if it was the whole squad that deserves credit for keeping Detroit’s playmakers in check.
Munnerlyn led the Vikings with seven tackles, forced an important fumble that was recovered by the Vikings, and did a fine job matching up with whichever assignment he drew… including Calvin Johnson.
There was a moment there where Brian Robison looked like a guy capable of taking over the game. He was on fire, something we haven’t seen from him in a while, and he looked fired up.
Robison ended the game credited with six tackles, a hit on Stafford, two batted passes, and a beauty of a tackle for a loss. The Vikings did a nice job of getting to Stafford and stopping the run on Sunday, and Robison certainly played his part well in that success.
Let’s hear it for Linval Joseph’s best performance as a Viking so far!
Four tackles, one for a loss, and a quarterback hit are not the sexiest stats in the world, but Joseph was a disruptive force in the middle of the defense. Upstart running back Ameer Abdullah managed only nine yards on six carries against this Vikings defense, and he was the leading running back for the Lions.
In the end, the defensive line harassed Stafford and never got the running game going (Stafford gained 20 of their 38 total rushing yards) and Joseph played a huge part in that.
The above nominations are from my own personal observations and opinions. Certainly, there are other Vikings players worthy of consideration. The offensive line played well as a whole, Kyle Rudolph scored the first touchdown of the season, Xavier Rhodes and Harrison Smith played very well, Justin Trattou and Marcus Sherels both made the most of limited playing time… I wouldn’t mind in the slightest if you decided to check the “OTHER” button and cast your vote in the comments section.