AnalysisPoll Of The Week

WEEK THIRTEEN: Player of the Game

When it comes to firing on all cylinders, this week’s win over the Carolina Panthers may have been the best of Mike Zimmer’s young head coaching career in Minnesota.  With efficient play on both offense and defense, and a huge boost from Mike Priefer’s special teams, the Vikings sent Cam Newton packing to the tune of a 31-13 final score.

Before we attempt to crown a player from this week, here is a look at previous winners as voted on by the readers here at VT.

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

And this week’s nominations are…

TEDDY BRIDGEWATER:  Despite rumors of illness and fevers, Bridgewater turned in a polished performance against Carolina, showing off that calmness that Vikings fans are quickly growing fond of.  His efficient passing (15 of 21) earned him a modest 138 yards and two scores.  He also added 12 yards on two running attempts.  Considering the quality and health of this offensive line, and the issues we’ve witnessed at the receiver position, this was a particularly noteworthy performance from Bridgewater.  Seeing him connect on a deep route to Jarius Wright was certainly a welcomed bonus after his numerous struggles throwing the long ball.

GREG JENNINGS:  Despite the many Vikings fans that are underwhelmed by Jennings, I really love watching the guy play.  He is a savvy veteran that just plays smart football and does so many of the little things right.  On a day when the Vikings didn’t have to play much offense early on, and simply guard their lead later on, Jennings quietly had one of his best performances of the season.  He caught five of his six targets for 45 yards, a sly juke, and a score.  He may very well be the main reason cornerback Antoine Cason is now unemployed.

EVERSON GRIFFEN:  Can this guy get anymore beastly?  Griffen added five tackles and two sacks to his season totals, which alone is enough to gain him consideration here.  Add to that his 43 yard return off of a blocked punt and you have the makings of a bona fide “Player of the Week” candidate.  Anybody else want to see Griffen line up at tight end, catch a touchdown, and become our own little version of J.J. Watt?

JASPER BRINKLEY:  He had the aforementioned punt block that allowed for Everson Griffen’s touchdown, but he also turned in a nice day on defense.  He ended up third on the team with seven tackles.

CHAD GREENWAY:  He didn’t block a punt or score a touchdown, but Chad Greenway played one of his better games in recent memory.  He led the Vikings in tackles (10), including one for a loss, and even had a defended pass that showed some awareness that we could have used out of him earlier this season.

XAVIER RHODES:  The latest evidence that Xavier Rhodes is a shutdown cornerback in the making?  How about seven passes thrown his way with zero catches allowed?  That’s right, primarily tasked with blanketing rookie standout Kelvin Benjamin, Rhodes allowed no production at all.  Three of those targets were skillfully batted away by Rhodes and he nearly came up with an amazing interception.

ADAM THIELEN:  Even though it was just one play, Thielen’s all-in-one punt block and return for a touchdown gave the Vikings an early cushion that gave them the upper-hand for the remainder of the game.  It is rare that a Mankato standout plays on the active roster, let alone makes a huge impact on a game, but Thielen just continues to surprise us in positive ways.  Thielen’s score went for 30 yards.

OTHER:  Plenty of other players did their jobs well on Sunday.  Kyle Rudolph, John Sullivan, Jarius Wright, Linval Joseph, Sharrif Floyd (before injury), Josh Robinson, Marcus Sherels, Harrison Smith and even Jeff Locke all come to mind.  I narrowed the list down as best as I could, but that doesn’t mean you have to.  Click “other” and let us know who your vote is for in the comments section if you find my nominations to be lacking.

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Adam Warwas

Adam Warwas (Founder) has been writing about the Vikings for a total of eight years. Five of those years have been here at Vikings Territory where he continues to surround himself with enough talented individuals that people keep coming back. As proud as he is of what Vikings Territory has become, his real treasures are in his home... a beautiful wife and three amazing children (and a dog named Percy).

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  1. Had to go with Thielen.
    Come on, the guy played ball for Minnesota in College and now plays for the Vikings. Who else can say that?
    Plus, his blocked punt, that he ran back for a TD, was the longest punt return for a TD in Viking history. . .Until Griffin returned HIS and broke the record. Bastard.
    Just kidding Everson.

    Come on guys, lets get Thielen a much deserved player of the week!
    (Everson already has 2!)

  2. I voted for Erin Henderson

    Clearly, this was his best game as a Viking. His greatness was dang near invisible.

  3. Adam Thielen no doubt. Adam made a historical play and basically ended the game at the same time.

      1. I really like the way the Xman is playing right now. I like him much better than Smith.

        1. “Much” better than Smith??
          Man, not me. I dig Xman and he’s probably going to be a keeper but agent Smith ALWAYS has a good game.

  4. Uh, Fran? You’re forgetting Marcus Sherels; that’s who. Not to diminish Thielen’s exceptional game on Sunday.

    Personally, I went with Teddy, though it was hard to choose over Griffen and Rhodes. While his performance may have appeared underwhelming on the stat sheet, he did made some very good plays and no notable mistakes. As a rookie in his what, eighth start? He is showing definite progress and an admirable steadiness. All the more impressive for playing a day after a 104 fever, from what I read somewhere.

    Although, arguably, you could make the case that the 12th man was the best player, after having to sit through so much painful on- and off-field drama and periods of truly bad football over the past several years and still watch this team. It’s nice to have such a complete win and realistic hope that things will get better in the future.

    1. Ok, ok! I forgot about Sherels. Like I said above, has Sherels ever forced a fumble and returned it for a TD??
      Also, This just in;
      Thielen was just awarded NFC Special Teams Player of the Week.
      Proof that he should be VT’s player of the week!!

  5. I gave it to Griffin. Two Sacks and a touchdown. Hard to argue with those numbers. However, it could have gone to Rhodes too, because when you have a corner who can blanket the other team’s best receiver the whole game, it allows room for others players to make plays and allows the coaches to be more aggressive in their play calling.