Wednesday, November 25, 2015

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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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The injury reports and inactive lists have been released for the Vikings game at Buccaneers

Injury and Inactives Report
Rudolph, Kyle TE Abdomen/Groin DNP DNP DNP Out Inactive
Hodges, Gerald LB Hamstring DNP LP LP Doubtful Inactive
Ducasse, Vladimir G Knee LP FP FP Questionable Inactive
Ford, Chase TE Foot FP FP FP Probable Inactive
Line, Zach FB None N/A Inactive
Yankey, David G None N/A Inactive
Crichton, Scott DE None N/A Inactive
Wootton, Corey DE Low Back DNP LP LP Probable Active
Sullivan, John C Concussion DNP LP FP Probable Active
Floyd, Sharrif DT Ankle LP LP FP Probable Active
Price, Jabari CB Hamstring LP LP FP Probable Active
Exum, Antone S Ankle LP DNP FP Questionable Active
Smith, Harrison S Ankle FP FP FP Probable Active
Robinson, Josh CB Ankle LP DNP Questionable Active

A lot of injuries that ended up being active and a number of non-injury inactives populate the list. The ostensible starter at right guard, Vlad Ducasse, will not play, meaning that Joe Berger, who was at center last week and practice this week at right guard, will likely be the starter at right guard. The backups are Austin Wentworth and Mike Harris, both of whom played tackle in college. Wentworth is likely the better option at OG as those are the snaps he took for much of training camp and that was his draft projection. Harris played at RG last week when Ducasse went down, but it’s likely the Vikings want him to stay at OT.

The good news is that it looks like John Sullivan is OK after sustaining a concussion during the Bills game. Also, the Vikings can have Josh Robinson as the nickel CB—something that was a worry after his injury. He’s been the best performing CB for the Vikings thus far and needs to be on the field in nickel packages on the outside.

It may still be troubling that David Yankey (and Scott Crichton) aren’t active yet again despite the depth at offensive line. He was a fifth-round pick for a reason and missed a significant portion of the offseason because of his school’s schedule, so that may play a part. The NFL was not as high on him as the general draft community was. As for the Buccaneers:

Injury and Inactives Report
Casillas, Jonathan LB Hamstring LP LP LP Questionable Inactive
Tandy, Keith S Hamstring LP LP LP Questionable Inactive
Magee, Brandon LB Knee DNP DNP Out Inactive
Kafka, Mike QB None N/A Inactive
Dixon, Brandon CB None N/A Inactive
Pamphile, Kevin G None N/A Inactive
Edwards, Kadeem G None N/A Inactive
Banks, Johnthan CB Knee FP FP FP Probable Active
Collins, Anthony T Knee LP LP LP Questionable Active
Goldson, Dashon S Ankle LP LP LP Questionable Active
Jackson, Vincent WR Ribs LP LP LP Questionable Active
McCown, Josh QB Thumb LP LP FP Questionable Active

Despite the heavy list of questionables, starters Collins, Goldson and Jackson are available for the Bucs, with Goldson and Banks rejoining the team. Goldson hasn’t played since the week four outing against the Steelers and Banks since Week 5 against the Saints. This is very good news for the Bucs and therefore a little disappointing for the Vikings, though this is still the team that allowed the Falcons to run up the score early. Still, given the fact that confusion was the biggest reason for their blowouts and that nothing is a given in the NFL, more time and better players only increase the Bucs’ odds—a pregame favorite, per Vegas.

Anthony Collins will be one to watch in particular, given that he was limited all week.

Regardless, the Bucs look better after their inactives were released than before.

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The motion to remove Judge Kelly Case from Adrian Peterson’s trial was denied this week, and it looks like Peterson’s trial can be set for December 1st again, according to the Star Tribune.

District Attorney Brett Ligon filed the protest in response to comments from the judge calling both parties “media whores”. The trial date is important for Peterson because an earlier date that resolves the legal battle is better for him in terms of returning to the field of play, assuming he’s found not guilty of the charges.

Ligon has had a contentious history with the judge in question.

Peterson reportedly refused plea deals and has entered in a plea of “not guilty” so as of this moment will have to wait until December before any resolution can be found. Even if Peterson is found not guilty, there’s a very good chance that Peterson will face suspension from the NFL—which could take him out of the season entirely. That reported looming suspension doesn’t take into account the admission of his marijuana use, which may tack on more (though that is unlikely given the new NFL drug policy).

A pretrial hearing is set for November 4th, and before that the Peterson legal team may want to resolve the issue of his admission to use marijuana and whether or not that is sufficient evidence to argue he violated bond and therefore should be re-arrested.

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