While not as difficult as last week, it still seems somewhat silly to try and select a highlight player from a game that featured so much bad.
Alas, we will try. For the second straight week, the Vikings suffered a difficult loss. Despite holding a Saints offense that is historically prolific at home to 20 points, the Vikings offense could not muster anything other than three field goals for 9 points. The biggest news from the game is that the Teddy Bridgewater era has officially begun. After Matt Cassel suffered multiple fractured bones in his foot during a scramble in the second quarter, Bridgewater was forced to take control of a struggling Vikings offense and attempt a comeback on the road in the Superdome. All things considered, he performed well and showed a lot of poise against a defense that smelled blood in the water and pressured the rookie hard in his first start.
I know who I’d pick for the Player of the Game, but we’ll leave the decision up to you. Vote below for who you feel deserves the “game ball.”
Harrison Smith: #22 showed once again that he is a special talent and could very well be the best player on the Vikings current starting roster. He had multiple pass break ups, some great tackles and generally just seemed to be all over the field. Unfortunately, there was one PBU that he most definitely should have taken the other way but couldn’t bring it in. Still, another great game from the Vikings young safety.
Teddy Bridgewater: The future is now. As far as I’m concerned the rest of this season is about watching one #5 take snaps under center. The situation was less than ideal, our offensive line looked like a sieve, our receivers couldn’t get any separation, our running game was atrocious, and yet, Bridgewater stood in the pocket (or ran from it) and looked like he belonged there. Not much more you could ask from a rookie QB in his first regular season action in the NFL. Teddy ended the game 12/20 for 150 yards, 0 touchdowns and 0 interceptions and ran for 27 yards on 6 attempts.
Anthony Barr: The rookie linebacker registered 2 tackles, 3 assists and 1 sack (his NFL career first) in this game. Not a stat line that’s going to knock anyone over but, in general, Anthony Barr looked good during today’s game. He’s been better than expected in his coverage and has shown flashes of greatness where his athleticism allows him to shine. Barr most definitely has some growing to do but has shown why he was worthy of a first round selection so far. (Of course, he could always pull a Kalil…)
Captain Munnerlyn: For sacking the quarterback of the cheatin’ Saints (even if it did result in a horrible call that very well could have cost the Vikings the game).
Cordarrelle Patterson: This is a reach. But, there’s still that feeling you get that he could go all the way anytime he touches the ball. So, Norv Turner, let Patterson touch the ball more! Patterson had 5 touches in this game: 4 receptions and 1 disastrous end around for a total of 54 yards. As far as I’m concerned, that’s about 10 touches too few. (Can we bring back the Randy Ratio? But, you know, for Patterson?)