Wednesday, March 4, 2015
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blair walsh

I can’t believe that we are this far away from the annual snooze fest that is the NFL’s Pro Bowl and that we already have four fun storylines to chat about.  The Vikings have four Pro Bowl players (at least) and each is in a unique situation.

ADRIAN PETERSON

Everyone’s favorite running back, Adrian Peterson, has been selected to his fifth Pro Bowl and gives us all a reason to watch.  Despite the risks associated with Peterson doing anything other than spending the offseason in a deep freeze like Han Solo, Peterson always plays at a high level in the annual skirmish.

This year, almost certainly to the dismay of any AFC defenders, Peterson vows to do now different.

“I’m going to play hard,” warned Peterson. “It is hard for me to play down because when you play down, you put yourself in jeopardy of getting hurt going through the motions. So I won’t be playing down.”

With how Peterson has played this season, coupled with the lackadaisical nature of this game, would anyone be surprised to see Peterson break 300 yards?  400?

500?

Peterson plans on having his abdomen, which had been bugging him near the end of this season, examined a little closer following the Pro Bowl.

JARED ALLEN

Some would argue that Jared Allen, who has been plagued by injury more than ever, was really only voted into the Pro Bowl based off of his name value and not his 2012 production.  That might be partially true, but he still played pretty darn good football this season.

Allen, who played with a torn labrum this season, plans to wait until after the Pro Bowl to have surgery on it, which will be the first surgery he has had during his football career.  Allen related making the Pro Bowl and not going to going to an ice cream shop and not getting to try any.

“I played the whole year,” he said. “I’m going to enjoy the Pro Bowl. I figure I’ll at least get some warm weather and a pseudo-free vacation.”

Unlike Peterson, however, Allen has said that going full speed at the Pro Bowl and risking an injury that could cost him millions is not worth it.  He said he will play down.  He also noted that he once played against Peterson in the Pro Bowl and knows the guy is incapable of performing at any lower level of play.

BLAIR WALSH

Rookie kicker Blair Walsh, also known as the best kicker in the NFL, also plans on making his first trip to the Pro Bowl after being elected to the honor.

What is more, Walsh is planning on paying all the costs for long snapper Cullen Loeffler to go with him and hopes to get him on the Pro Bowl roster.

“He obviously came through and he’s like, ‘Yeah, definitely. I’m appreciative for everything that you’ve done,'” Loeffler said of Walsh. “He’s just been a great guy.”

JEROME FELTON

In addition to making a trip to Hawaii, Jerome Felton’s offseason will consist of contract negotiations, and it sounds like he wants to remain a Viking.  After helping Adrian Peterson to a 2,000 yard season, it sounds like the Vikings want him back to.

“Obviously you never know how it’s going to turn out. I know it’s a business and all that,” Felton said of being a pending free agent. “I feel good about being here, so I hope that they get something done before that. That’s my goal.

With so many executives, scouts, coaches, agents and players in Hawaii at once, it might just present the perfect opportunity to get those talks rolling.

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The Chicago Bears are going through head coaching candidates like there is no tomorrow now that they have finally decided to end the Lovie Smith era.

Two of the guys they want to take a look at, according to reports, are currently employed by the Minnesota Vikings.  Assistant Head Linebackers Consultant (or something) Mike Singletary and Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer are now on the list to be interviewed in their exhaustive search.

While Singletary possesses a storied history in Chicago and some actually head coaching experience, Priefer is the intriguing name to take note of.  He is certainly a top notch coach and has turned the Vikings special teams into a premier unit during his stay in Minnesota, with reports that he hand-picked kicker Blair Walsh prior to April’s Draft, and Chicago certainly places a high value on special teams.

I was starting to feel offended, although pleasantly at peace, with the fact that no Vikings assistants were being considered for any of the current vacancies throughout the league.

Now we have a little bit of drama to monitor as other teams decide whether or not to scavenge ours.

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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.)

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Well, the increasingly irrelevant Pro Bowl voting process has concluded and the Vikings will be sending four players to this year’s “contest” in Hawaii.

Running back Adrian Peterson, fullback Jerome Felton, defensive end Jared Allen, and kick Blair Walsh have all been selected.  Peterson was an obvious choice, it is nice to see Felton and Walsh get the recognition they deserve, and Allen isn’t necessarily undeserving this year but was certainly aided by his name value.

An absolute abomination is that recently benched center Jeff Saturday received the honor over Vikings center John Sullivan.  In fact, the Vikings offensive line being snubbed all together despite Adrian Peterson’s historic season is kind of, well, wrong.

It could also be argued that Antoine Winfield and Chad Greenway’s absence just further proves how underrated they are in today’s NFL that undervalues the importance of plain, simple, sound tackling.

Congrats to our four guys, and we’ll keep you updated on who might drop out and who might be filling in as alternates.  All of that, of course, assumes the Vikings aren’t playing in the Super Bowl which is not totally 100% impossible.

Following a 28 yard run to Adrian Peterson, the Vikings called a toss to the left to Percy Harvin.

Harvin got stuffed for a loss, but what is worse is how Harvin went down writhing in pain and clutching his left ankle.  Earl Thomas laid his shoulder into Harvin’s ankle and it looked very bad, but Harvin was able to slowly walk off on his own power.

The Vikings chose to enter this game with only four wide receivers, so they now only have three.  Jerome Simpson, Michael Jenkins, and Devin Aromashodu will have to pick up the slack.

Once again, Toby Gerhart only has one carry so far in this game, which has to make one wonder.

After getting gifted a penalty and a first down, the Vikings sputtered on offense, setting Blair Wlash up for a 55 yard attempt.  Walsh nailed it, despite arguments from the Seahawks that the play clock ran out before the ball was snapped.

The Vikings got a few gifts from the refs here, and the Vikings are down by only seven points.

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