WEEK FIFTEEN: Player of the Game
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.