Our previous polls have awarded “Player of the Game” honors to:
WEEK ONE: Cordarrelle Patterson
WEEK TWO: Harrison Smith
WEEK THREE: Harrison Smith
After a Week Four team win against the Atlanta Falcons, we have some new names to throw into the mix, which is an encouraging development considering the injuries and other issues facing this roster. A lot to choose from here, so weigh your options carefully. The nominees are:
TEDDY BRIDGEWATER: Man, the kid looked sharp, didn’t he? Aside from looking the part, Bridgewater led the Vikings to one of their best offensive performances in recent memory, which ended in a 41-28 victory over Atlanta. He ended the day prematurely with an ankle injury that will also put his Thursday night status in jeopardy. Before exiting, however, he threw 19 completions on 30 attempts for 317 yards and a quarterback rating of 98.9. He didn’t throw for any touchdowns, but he had a beauty of a run that resulted in score. Bridgewater ran a total of five times for 27 yards/
JERICK MCKINNON: With Adrian Peterson on a couch somewhere, it was nice to see the offensive line and reserve running backs step up to the plate on a very productive afternoon. Jerick “Jet” McKinnon showed his athleticism on Sunday with 135 yards on 18 carries (7.5 yard average). He also had a single catch (on three targets) for 17 yards.
MATT ASIATA: This is a guy that may not have the home run potential that McKinnon does, but he did his job on Sunday, and did it well. Asiata carried the ball 20 times for 78 yards (3.9 yard average) and scored three times from inside the red zone. Asiata also caught three of his four targets and contributed 22 receiving yards.
JARIUS WRIGHT: If you are going to pick an offensive player for your vote, it is pretty tough to look past Jarius Wright. With attention being paid to Cordarrelle Patterson and Greg Jennings, Wright was the go-to guy as evidenced by his team leading eight receptions for 132 yards.
JOHN SULLIVAN: Maybe this option should read “the entire offensive line” after they dominated the Falcons front four all day long, but the group was led by their best player in center John Sullivan. Sullivan and company provided Bridgewater with a clean pocket nearly the entire time, with no sacks being allowed, and played a major role in the rushing production enjoyed by Asiata and McKinnon.
XAVIER RHODES: It is becoming increasingly clear that Rhodes is a liability against shifty route runners, like Julian Edelman, but is absolutely capable of containing the big, strong receivers that the NFL has to offer. Rhodes was all over the field, deflecting a whopping four passes, and adding a nice run stop behind the line of scrimmage. The Falcons gained plenty of yardage through the air, but it could have been much worse, as defensive backs of Vikings past can attest.
HARRISON SMITH: The Vikings have two wins this season, and in each of them Harrison Smith has delivered a “dagger” interception late in the action. After a 2013 season where the Vikings seemingly had no ability to close out a winnable game, this is so welcomed. Smith also had six total tackles, five of which where of the solo variety.