WEEK SEVENTEEN: Player Of The Game

Well, that’s a wrap, folks.

Mike Zimmer got his first NFC North victory and the Vikings were able to end the 2014 season on somewhat of a positive note.  Teddy Bridgewater has left us all pretty excited about the future and it appears like the Viking Ship is finally headed in the right direction.

We’ll soon get into our own little version of post-season awards here at VT, but for now you all have one more duty to fulfill.  Vote for your Week Seventeen Player of the Game below, but first here is a look at this season’s winners:

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

WEEK SIXTEEN:  Teddy Bridgewater

The nominations for our final week of voting are…

TEDDY BRIDGEWATER:  It wasn’t the most exciting game in the world for our rookie quarterback.  It wasn’t mistake-free quarterbacking.  It wasn’t statistically eye-popping, either.  But it was another good day for a young quarterback that has now strung together five of those in a row and has given a fanbase the optimism they so desperately wanted.  Against Chicago, Teddy went 17 of 25 for 209 yards.  He threw a nice 44 yard touchdown pass and hit on a number of other beauties.  His pick was only partially his fault, at worst, and if Greg Jennings had secured that touchdown pass early on then Bridgewater would have another highlight to permanently add to his highlight reel.  He ran six times for 18 yards and took three sacks.

MATT ASIATA:  The lackluster running back turned in one of his nicest performances of the season and, despite a costly drop in the passing game, deserves a lot of credit for today’s win.  He carried the ball 19 times for 91 yards (4.8 yard average) and showed some moves that seemingly came out of nowhere.  He also had two catches for 17 yards and returned two kicks for an average of 15.5 yards.

ADAM THIELEN:  Mr. Mankato managed to make his presence felt once again and he just continues to impress.  This time his production wasn’t limited to special teams, where he had two tackles including a touchdown saver, as he made an impact on offense in place of Jarius Wright.  In fact, it was Thielen’s 44 yard catch that would end up being the only touchdown of the game, for either team.  Thielen ended up tied for a team leading three catches, led both teams with 68 receiving yards, and further proved his worth to this Minnesota coaching staff.

AUDIE COLE:  Another “next man up” situation led to Audie Cole once again gaining the hard-to-earn respect of Vikings fans.  Cole was flying around the field today on his way to a team-leading 14 tackles (11 solo), one of which was for a loss, and a punctuated pass deflection.  He also had a heads up interception that was called back due to a penalty.  Cole has once again made a case for becoming a full time starter in Minnesota and it’ll be interesting to see if Rick Spielman and the coaching staff agree.

JOSH ROBINSON:  According to ESPN, Josh Robinson didn’t register a single statistic, and I’m going to say that is a freaking great thing.  Considering what happened last time we played the Bears, and considering the longest reception by a Chicago receiver was only 19 yards, I’d say he did a hell of a job improving and showing up to this one.

XAVIER RHODES:  The passing woes for Chicago might have had more to do with us than them, but this was almost Alshon Jeffery’s worst game of the season and you know that was mostly due to Rhodes playing at an elite level (right, Pro Bowl voters?).  Rhodes had two tackles and a pass deflection on a day when Chicago’s passing attack was just a shade shy of being invisible.