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xavier rhodes

Photo courtesy of Vikings.com

A seventh round rookie is normally fairly expendable in today’s NFL.  Cornerback Jabari Price was looking like an exception, however, as he impressed coaching staff during training camp, preseason, and even in some very limited regular season action.

For the first time in a long time, Minnesota’s squad of corners was able to stay relatively healthy in 2014 and Price was not pressed into extensive playing time (46 defensive snaps).  He recorded 10 tackles on the season and played decently on special teams.

Almost a week ago, however, Price made a decision that could greatly impact his future with his current employers.

Price was arrested in Minnesota last Monday after testing at 0.13% blood alcohol level.  The arrest was for suspicion of DWI and has his first court appearance scheduled for February 9th.

The Vikings currently have Xavier Rhodes, Captain Munnerlyn, Josh Robinson, Shaun Prater, and Marcus Sherels on the depth chart with Price.  Assuming they add some legitimate talent at some point this offseason, then Price has put himself behind the eight ball in any competition for a roster spot by getting himself into off-field trouble.

Price is unlikely to be released anytime soon over this incident, but it will cast a shadow over his potential in 2015.

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The Vikings aren’t losing games in the same predictable fashion week-after-week like they did last year.  Still, finding exciting new ways to lose football games doesn’t feel any better.

The Vikings had to fight a losing battle in Miami against the Dolphins, the bounce of the ball, and the officiating crew.  They weren’t necessarily their own worst enemy in this one, but they were definitely in the top five as boneheaded mistakes certainly helped the Dolphins crawl out of an early 14-0 hole.

Past Winner’s of our weekly award:

WEEK ONE:  Cordarrelle Patterson

WEEK TWO: Harrison Smith

WEEK THREE:  Harrison Smith

WEEK FOUR: Teddy Bridgewater

WEEK FIVE:  Harrison Smith

WEEK SIX:  Linval Joseph

WEEK SEVEN: Everson Griffen

WEEK EIGHT:  Anthony Barr

WEEK NINE:  Everson Griffen

WEEK ELEVEN: Charles Johnson

WEEK TWELVE:  Xavier Rhodes

WEEK THIRTEEN:  Everson Griffen

WEEK FOURTEEN:  Teddy Bridgewater

WEEK FIFTEEN:  Xavier Rhodes

 

The nominations for Week Sixteen are…

The Vikings are no longer involved in any sort of playoff possibility, but this week’s matchup against the 7-7 Miami Dolphins presents a decent challenge and plenty of people will be watching this road game for continued progression out of Mike Zimmer’s young roster.  Here is the best of the best from around the internet:

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Well, we haven’t seen all 16 games of the 2014 regular season and the Vikings still have 120 minutes of football to play, but I think we have seen enough to start up the old Irresponsible Speculation Machine (I.S.M – trademarked!) and look towards the 2015 offseason and what we might expect.

I’ve already compiled an early list of the Vikings free agents potentially headed for the open market, while Arif attempted to project Minnesota’s cap situation, so now we get down to the task of identifying the top needs across the roster moving forward.  Obviously a team that has only won six of their first 14 games, none of which have come against teams with winning records, has plenty of room for improvement across the board.

Still, I’m going to attempt the dangerous task of narrowing it down to five, and in my most daring and harrowing feat to-date I will put them in order.  See you in the comments section, Vikings junkies!

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The Vikings jumped out to an early 14-0 lead and looked like they were well on their way to a promising upset win on the road.  Instead, the entire team seemed to stall out all at once, and the final three quarters allowed for 16 unanswered points from the Lions and few individual performances to hang our hat on.

The Lions overwhelmed a makeshift offensive line and rookie quarterback by mixing up the blitz packages.  Field goal misses ended three drives.  The defense couldn’t get a pass rush going.  And even the clock management was highly suspect.

Past Winners of this award:

WEEK ONE:  Cordarrelle Patterson

WEEK TWO: Harrison Smith

WEEK THREE:  Harrison Smith

WEEK FOUR: Teddy Bridgewater

WEEK FIVE:  Harrison Smith

WEEK SIX:  Linval Joseph

WEEK SEVEN: Everson Griffen

WEEK EIGHT:  Anthony Barr

WEEK NINE:  Everson Griffen

WEEK ELEVEN: Charles Johnson

WEEK TWELVE:  Xavier Rhodes

WEEK THIRTEEN:  Everson Griffen

WEEK FOURTEEN:  Teddy Bridgewater

I find it really difficult to nominate anyone for this award this week, so if you feel like I’ve overlooked someone, then by all means hit the “OTHER” button on the poll and write in your vote via the comments section.

MATT ASIATA:  Clearly not a game changing playmaker, the persistent use of Asiata can be quite frustrating, but he did his job fairly well throughout Sunday afternoon.  He rushed 11 times for a team leading 36 yards (3.3 yard average) and scored the first touchdown of the game.  More impressively, he hauled in all seven of his targeted passes and put up an extra 50 receiving yards (7.1 yard average).

CHARLES JOHNSON:  I’m starting to actually buy into the idea that this guy, especially with some offseason hands work, could be the real deal.  Johnson was once again the go-to guy for Bridgewater and caught five passes for 72 yards (team lead).

GREG JENNINGS:  Greg Jennings only caught three passes on Sunday, and only ended up with 43 yards, but one of those catches was a graceful touchdown and the other was a brilliant sideline performance that had to be reviewed in order for everyone involved to believe it actually happened.

GERALD HODGES:  Still playing in relief of Anthony Barr, Hodges is continuing his strong late-season showing.  HE led the Vikings in tackles on Sunday with nine and also led the team in defended passes with two.  He was caught out of position on a couple of occasions, but one could argue he was the most consistent defender this team had in Detroit.

XAVIER RHODES:  A guy like Calvin Johnson is eventually going to make plays, he just is.  Rhodes and the Vikings holding him to only four catches and 53 yards, however, could certainly constitute a moral victory of sorts.  In addition to keeping Johnson contained, Rhodes had three tackles, including a beautifully violent tackle for a loss.

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