That time of the week is here, where you get to cast your vote for VT‘s “Player of the Week” award and anxiously watch the total results as the week goes on.
Last week, I thought Adrian Peterson was a hard sell considering his pass protection and football security issues, but he ran away with the voting anyways. This week, I’m thinking it is going to be an easy victory for him… but the results are, as always, totally up to you.
This process is always more fun after a victory, especially such a convincing victory like was the case against San Diego on Sunday. You can keep tabs of the weekly winners throughout the season by checking out our schedule page.
And the nominees are…
None of the bad parts of Adrian Peterson showed up against San Diego on Sunday (he held the football well) and finally found the endzone. His final rushing stat line was 20 carries for 126 yards and two touchdowns. His 43 yard touchdown was a new addition to his career highlight reel (you know, the one where on of the NFL’s best safeties was made to look silly) and his ability to gain yardage effectively masked the poor production seen from the passing attack. That 6.3 yard per carry average would certainly be welcomed in every remaining game of this season.
This guy is scary-good, everyone. Griffen is quickly becoming the vocal leader on this defense and his intensity and physicality makes him incredibly value at the right end position, making life much easier on everyone else out there. Griffen’s big day ended with him notching six tackles, two tackles for a loss, a sack and a half, five hits on the quarterback, and a beautifully deflected short pass.
I think neither Griffen or Barr will win this week simply because it is too difficult to choose between the two. Barr was flying around the defense which led to six tackles, a sack, and two quarterback hits. It was one of those hits, a perfectly clean and legal hit, that rattled Rivers enough to cause a timeout to be taken and something tells me Rivers will remember number 55 the next time these two teams face off. Really, considering the lack of a San Diego run game on Sunday, we could nominate the entire front seven this week. Barr won the VT voting in Week One.
Dear all Vikings players: If you want to be nominated for this weekly award (you know you do, it is heralded) then returning a game-sealing interception 91 yards for a touchdown is a fantastic start. Greenway’s interception and one tackle were great contributions to a great team victory, especially considering his role has been significantly reduced this season.
If the preseason version of rookie cornerback Trae Waynes had shown up on Sunday, things could have gotten really ugly. When Xavier Rhodes was forced out of the game, however, Waynes stepped in and played admirably against a dangerous passing attack. The Chargers entered the second half clearly wanting to target Waynes, and at one point I’m pretty sure I saw Philip Rivers with a smug smile thinking it was going to work, but he kept his man in front of him at all times and the Chargers never looked poised to mount a massive comeback. Waynes ended up being credited with five tackles and a batted pass (or dropped interception). According to Pro Football Focus, Waynes was targeted nine times and only allowed 32 yards on four catches. This actually got me excited all over again to eventually see Waynes and Rhodes starting in this defense.
The big hitting safety has yet to appear as a nominee here this year, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t playing at an extremely high level. It has more to do with it being a mostly “quiet” success he has found in Mike Zimmer’s backfield than anything else, but that elite level of play got a bit louder this Sunday. Harrison flew around the field and seemed to be in on every play. He ended the day with eight tackles, one for a loss, and a lone batted pass.
We have to give credit where credit is due, and Blair Walsh deserves credit for his performance at TCF Bank Stadium on Sunday. Walsh hit his 24 yard field goal attempt to give the Vikings their initial lead and then hit all four extra points as the lead continued to grow. Even more impressive, however, was that all-but-one of his kickoffs were mile-long touchbacks. The one that was returned only gained 19 yards. The Vikings were winning the field position battle all afternoon and Walsh’s ability to boot it out the back of endzone was a big reason for that.