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adrian peterson

I’m a little late getting this week’s Links segment kicked out to you all, but there are still plenty of great articles to point you towards as you wait for tomorrow’s kickoff.  Read them, tell the author what you think, and tell them who sent you:

  • The Vikings passing offense is going to be a main sticking point in almost every game preview from here on out.
  • Allen the Entertainer went on Jim Rome’s new show and had quite the fun time blasting recent changes to the game of football.
  • When building this Vikings team the front office has to be aware that they will most likely be playing their home games outdoors for two years.
  • Anyone that still clings to the idea that the NFL is not a quarterback driven league need not look much further than the 2012 Minnesota Vikings.
  • Here is a dream that just seems incredibly too pleasant to ever come true.
  • Chris Kluwe got fined for his uniform infraction on Sunday, and his special teams coach has just about had it with his punter.
  • I found a Bill Musgrave supporter!  Take that Sasquatch hunters!
  • Todd McShay put down the self-tanner long enough to release his first mock draft and he has the Vikings using their pick on a defensive tackle with the last name “Williams.”  That has worked well for us in the past.
  • A.J. Jefferson’s concussion last Sunday shouldn’t hold him out this week, but he was plenty scared following the injury.
  • Scroll down past the game recap (unless you want to read it, of course) to the table that compares Christian Ponder to Tarvaris Jackson.  Then, drink heavily.
  • Bill Musgrave says that Christian Ponder’s footwork “needs to be more refined.”  He also contends that books have pages and that cows say “moo.”
  • Leslie Frazier has told defensive end D’Aundre Reed, who hasn’t been active for two weeks, to be patient.
  • The question of whether or not Minnesota can afford their new Vikings stadium is not yet answered, and won’t be for a long time.
  • How this offseason goes for free agents Dwight Freeney and Osi Umeniyora could tell us a lot about Jared Allen’s potential future, or lack thereof, in Minnesota.
  • Some really fun conceptual pictures of the future stadium in Mineapolis.
  • Jerome Felton has been a very solid fullback paving the way for Adrian Peterson, but rookie Rhett Ellison might be even better in that area.
  • Everson Griffen avoided a fine for his hit high on Jay Cutler last week.
  • Bryant McKinnie used to look like an All Pro against lesser talents while looking like a clown against the better pass rushers in the NFL.  Rookie Matt Kalil, however, looks like an All Pro no matter who lines up across from him.
  • A lot weird things can happen on any given Sunday, but Vikes Geek points out three things that he considers to be ludicrous from last week.
  • Rookies Harrison Smith and Josh Robinson have proved to be just what the doctor ordered for an annually disappointing Vikings secondary.
  • Don’t click this link unless you are prepared to buy yourself the greatest Christmas present ever.

Adrian Peterson has already made history this season, coming off of a gruesome knee injury in a way that no other player ever has, but is now approaching a point in the year that could potentially see him make records fall left and right.

Peterson currently leads the NFL with 1,600 yards.  Over the next three games he only needs 160 more to break his own personal best achieved in 2008.  He needs 400 more to become only the seventh player in NFL history to rush for more than 2,000 yards.

He also needs 506 yards, an average of 169 yards per game, to best Eric Dickerson’s all-time rushing record for a single season.

Heck, he may even shock the world and beat out Tom Brady and Peyton Manning for the league MVP award.

With the Vikings playoff chances very much in doubt, Peterson’s record busting pace is providing quite the excitement, and Peterson has been willing to talk about it.  He has expressed interest in both winning MVP honors and toppling Dickerson’s high water mark.

While Peterson always has lofty goals, only some of which he shares publically, but he is the type of guy that always seems to put the team ahead of his own personal goals.  The type of guy that would rather rush for three yards and get the win than go for 300 and lose.  The type of guy that ridiculously shoulders blame for a Lambeau loss in which he gained 220 yards.

When reading some comments about Peterson’s recent media blitz I noticed that plenty of readers of other sites, including Vikings fans, felt that Peterson’s public statements regarding his desire to shatter records this season undermine the team goal of making the playoffs.

I think those people are preposterous.

First off, if Peterson gains 506 yards over the next three games then the odds are pretty darn good that the team is qualifying for the postseason.

Second, Peterson has already been credited by Vikings coaches for being an inspiration to every other player in the locker room this season, a leader of men.  If he wants to demand only the best of himself, then perhaps that attitude will be contagious and we will see only the best come out of numerous others on the roster down the stretch.

Third, the effort that Peterson puts forth when it isn’t game day is what obviously sets him apart from every other player on game day.  His work ethic and dedication, by most accounts, is second to none.  I have a sneaking suspicion that Peterson was not satisfied with “only” drawing nine Bears defenders to the line on Sunday and places part of the blame for only 91 passing yards on himself.

Maybe Peterson is simply hanging a giant “kick me” sign on his back for the next three weeks with hopes of drawing even more attention his direction in an attempt to provide Ponder and company with even more of a chance to succeed.

Peterson is a treat to watch and I hope he meets all of his personal goals, that the team meets their collective goals, and that we get to see the whole team pursue even more goals after the regular season concludes.

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[NOTE FROM ADAM:  After thoroughly enjoying the first installment of “Garbage Time” two of our favorite readers/writers are now back for some more.  Enjoy!]

B. GRANT

Well, Tomb, the Vikes won a big home game this week over the Bears and are still in the playoff hunt.  Granted ( :-) ), it was accomplished with, for all intents and purposes, two defensive scores, and another Adrian Peterson symphony.  But a win, nonetheless.  So, what about their playoff chances?  It might be asking a lot for them to go 3-0 to finish the season, but if they could win 2 and finish 9-7, could they be in?  Regardless of the answer, I think Leslie Frazier has done a pretty darn good job this year.  How many of us would have given this team a chance to have a bona fide shot at the playoffs with 3 weeks to go?  Surely you have some sort of warped perspective on this whole situation, don’t you?

TOMB

Easy there, Pollyanna. By all means, savor the flavor of a victory, but playoffs? I haven’t seen this kind of denial since Aaron Rodgers proposed to a woman. Let me be clear: I am a stalwart Vikings fan who vastly enjoyed this particular win, but we will not–I repeat–NOT make the playoffs this season. It’s interesting that after gushing about bona fide playoff potential for this team, you ask ME for a ‘warped perspective.’ Sure, it’s ‘mathematically possible’ for the Vikes to make the playoffs, but it’s also ‘mathematically possible’ Tomb ends up on the business end of a Mrs. Tomb/Salma Hayek group tryst. Sure, I may occasionally dwell on the possibilities fondly, but I’m not holding my breath on either delightful event occurring.

This entire Vikings Territory site, authors and commenters alike, have covered the Big Reach Ponder situation ad nauseum, but with him at the helm, we seriously have no prayer. He almost makes Tebow seem like a legitimate QB threat. IMPROMPTU FUN FACT ALERT: on the same weekend, Cam Newton threw for 287 yards, and ran for 116 that Ponder threw for 91 yards, and ran for zero (on 4 attempts). That’s right, QB Cam Newton RAN for more yards than QB(?) Big Reach threw. When I first heard that stat, I blinked way too rapidly, then slunk quietly out of the room. With this rascal piloting our offense, we’ll never be more than an Adrian Peterson sideshow. Such a shame.  AD is not human. What he’s doing is just not human. Absolute beast. I am in awe.

This credit you’re giving Leslie Frazier is a little baffling. I don’t necessarily see what he’s bringing to the table. He plays everything so close to the vest, I’m finding it impossible to figure out what role he has in any success or failure on any given day and/or play. He reminds me of a skinny Art Shell, standing on the sidelines worrying that either smile or frown may crack his face. He portrays as much genuine emotion on the sidelines as Keanu Reeves in, well, pretty much any movie he’s ever been in. Zilch.

An earlier comment of yours caught my eye and furrowed my brow. “Leslie says ‘we won the way we were designed to win.’ What in the name of Shanahan’s freaky bug eyes does that even mean? More to the point, does that imply the inverse ‘we lost the way were designed to lose’ also holds true? Seems about as goofy as your one man wrong-a-thon that’s supposed to serve as an opening statement.

Mmmm…Salma.

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Following Sunday’s win it seems that we once again (thank goodness) get to place some votes for who we think gets the game ball.

Here are a few options to choose from:

ADRIAN PETERSON:  31 rushes for 154 yards and 2 touchdowns.  2 catches for 16 yards.

CHRIS KLUWE:  7 punts with 37.4 yard average, 2 inside the 20, and the “Ray Guy” sticker.

JASPER BRINKLEY:  9 tackles, 3 assists

JOSH ROBINSON:  5 tackles, 1 interception

HARRISON SMITH:  4 tackles, 2 assists, 1 interception, 1 touchdown

BRIAN ROBISON:  2 tackles, 1 assist, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble

Consider this statistical analysis for a second.  Christian Ponder completed 11 passes to Vikings receivers during Sunday’s win.

These 11 passes were good for 91 yards and no touchdowns.  Jay Cutler, on the other hand, completed two passes to Vikings cornerbacks and those interceptions were good for 100 yards and a touchdown.

So, to be clear, Jay Cutler was a better Vikings quarterback on Sunday than Christian Ponder was.

Leslie Frazier and his staff decided to go “all in” utilizing a formula many of were calling for weeks ago, and it led to a fairly impressive victory over a divisional foe.  The Vikings fully embraced the idea of having to run the football (accompanied by solid defense) to win football games, and even if it seems they figured it out a little too late, they are still in the playoff hunt because of it.

Against the Bears on Sunday Adrian Peterson had a career high of 31 carries while Christian Ponder tied his season low of 17 passing attempts.  If you throw in some Toby Gerhart and bootlegs, the Vikings ran the ball 21 more times than they threw it.

The Vikings have once again proved that they can win with Christian Ponder at quarterback, but once again it is obvious that they can really only do it if Peterson continues to play out of his mind and the defense continues to come up with big plays.

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