Thursday, July 30, 2015

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In Adam’s absence, I forgot to do a player of the game poll! Once again, the defense did more than enough to put the offense in a position to win, regardless of the final drive, and they didn’t quite execute. Regardless, a win feels better than a loss, and there are definitely a lot of performances to celebrate, mostly on the defense.

Past Winners:

WEEK ONE:  Cordarrelle Patterson

WEEK TWO: Harrison Smith

WEEK THREE:  Harrison Smith

WEEK FOUR: Teddy Bridgewater

WEEK FIVE:  Harrison Smith

WEEK SIX:  Linval Joseph

WEEK SEVEN: Everson Griffen

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Another week, another set of power rankings. Like always, we start with point differential. All of the power rankings below the jump, as well as picks against the spread and the general record each statistical system has against the Vegas spread thus far.

Spoilers: beating the worst team in the NFL (at least according to the models) didn’t help the Vikings all that much, who still look like they are a poor team.


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Shortly after Anthony Barr’s award for NFC Defensive Player of the Week was announced, Everson Griffen won the Defensive Player of the Month for October. In that time, Griffen notched 6.0 sacks, eight tackles for loss and a forced fumble.

Everson has been discussed a lot, and the fact remains that he’s emerged both as an effective pass rusher and deadly run defender in his time with the Minnesota Vikings. As a starter, he’s well on his way to proving his detractors wrong for his healthy (but not large) contract. If having two of these awards come in quick succession isn’t a good sign for the defense, I don’t know what is.

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The NFL has named Anthony Barr the NFC Defensive Player of the Week (the AFC player was former Lions safety Louis Delmas, now with the Dolphins). While I was a little more critical of Barr’s performance in my postgame review, it’s not as if he doesn’t deserve the award. Giving up the final touchdown was bad, but that is closer to par for the course than the positive performance it takes to strip, scoop and score in overtime—which is to say that though he gave up a touchdown, he did it on a routine play with a routine mistake, and he more than made up for it with an extraordinary play to seal the Vikings’ victory.

Barr is the 6th rookie linebacker to be named NFC defensive player of the week in the past ten seasons, with DeMarcus Ware, Clay Matthews, Brian Orakpo, Sean Lee and Luke Kuechly all earning those honors their rookie years. This is the first Vikings performance to get there since Antoine Winfield won the award in 2010 for his absolute dismantling of the Michael Vick-led Philadelphia Eagles.

It was a strip, scoop and score in the final seconds of the half to put the Vikings ahead that won him the award.

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Shortly after the game against Tampa Bay, I was invited onto a panel to discuss the Vikings’ game and what it means for the season. We aired six minutes of it live, with much more hosted online, below the jump.

For a much more thorough review of the game, including an analysis of all the starters, check out my analysis at Vikings Journal, that attempts to break it down position by position.


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