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VT Post-Season Awards: Readers Decide!

If there’s one thing Minnesota Vikings fans can agree on, it’s that the 2015 season didn’t end as well as we all hoped (or thought) it would. At 11-5 and atop the NFC North, Mike Zimmer’s team surprised the NFL world, knocking off the Green Bay Packers to storm into the playoffs for the first time since 2009. But Blair Walsh’s missed last-second field goal ended what had been a promising campaign in Minnesota.

Fortunately, it was a season to remember, and a season to build upon in the coming years. With one of the league’s best coaches at the helm and a young roster built to last, the Vikings should stay competitive in 2016 and beyond. Before we jump too far into the offseason though, now presents the perfect opportunity to reflect on a memorable 2015.

We saw rookies outperform their draft positions and 30 year-old running backs lead the league in rushing. We saw a second-year quarterback shine, and often struggle behind a leaky offensive line. More importantly, we saw a team realize it’s potential and exceed expectations. To celebrate the successful season, we’re asking you to hand out awards to the most deserving Vikings. From the Most Valuable Player to the Rookie of the Year, the power to choose is in your hands. Without further ado, here are your VT post-season awards nominees:

MVP

Adrian Peterson‘s 2015 performance powered Minnesota to the postseason, but he wasn’t the only bright spot on Norv Turner’s offense. Teddy Bridgewater did everything he was asked to do this season and flashed the promise of becoming a franchise quarterback for the Vikings. On the other side of the football, a few players were truly the “most valuable.” Harrison Smith, Anthony Barr, and Linval Joseph give the Vikings elite defenders at every level, while Everson Griffen continues to prove he’s a top-tier defensive end.

OPOY

The offense may not have been as explosive as Zimmer would’ve liked, but the Vikings have the pieces to become a dangerous unit. Aside from Bridgewater and Peterson, Jerick McKinnon, Stefon Diggs, and Kyle Rudolph round out a core of young talent. McKinnon was an asset late in the year, while Diggs and Rudolph proved to be Teddy’s favorite targets. And without Joe Berger anchoring a shaky offensive line, things could’ve been worse for Bridgewater and Co. in 2015.

DPOY

A Mike Zimmer-led team is always going to be built around defense, and that was definitely the case for the Vikings in 2015. Take your pick; you’re sure to make a good choice no matter who you select. Each player, from Joseph in the middle to Smith in the secondary, is deserving of this award.

Rookie of the Year

Rick Spielman continues to draft extremely well. His latest class is one to remember, with contributors in all three phases. Diggs has the potential to become Minnesota’s No. 1 receiver, while MyCole Pruitt showed a natural ability to catch the ball in Turner’s scheme. Though he struggled, T.J. Clemmings survived the duty of replacing a Pro Bowl right tackle. And on defense, Eric Kendricks rose to the top, finishing the season as the team’s leading tackler. Danielle Hunter eclipsed his athleticism with a strong rookie showing, while Trae Waynes came on late in the season for a banged-up secondary.

Special Teams Player of the Year

Despite his unfortunate miss last Sunday, Walsh was the league’s leading kicker this season. The addition of long snapper Kevin McDermott may have played a factor in his general consistency. Unfortunately, Jeff Locke wasn’t as successful; we just needed a sixth nominee for this category. In the return game, both Marcus Sherels and Cordarrelle Patterson made significant contributions that directly contributed to Vikings wins. Adam Thielen, everyone’s favorite training camp star, is one of the team’s most important special teams players. His fake punt helped the Vikings score first against the Green Bay Packers in Week 17.


Voting closes exactly one week from today. Be sure to cast your vote and check back for the results very soon!
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Austin Belisle

Austin Belisle is the West Coast's biggest Vikings fan, a football diehard cheering on the purple and yellow from sunny California. After graduating from San Jose State University in 2014, he began working full-time in corporate marketing and blogging on various sports websites. Austin's passion for the Vikings led him to Vikings Territory, where he hopes to share his lifelong enthusiasm for the team with readers on a daily basis. You can follow him on Twitter @austincbelisle

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5 Comments

  1. I know Adam Thilen played good on special teams, but cmon. This is the love of the man, not the player. Cordarrelle Patterson played much better and was one of (if not the) best kick returner in the league.

  2. Patterson continually failed to reach the 20 when bringing the ball out of the end zone, and his kick return in the Seattle game padded his stats. He is dumb and makes poor decisions more than good ones he also only does one thing so to vote for him is ridiculous if you really think about it. Both Thilen and Sherels play on all special teams units. I think it is a toss up between the two.

    1. yet he was also the most scoring kickoff returner, had severel big returns, made teams kick shorter at times.. Also he changed the Oakland game with a huge momentum changed just before half.
      You can hate on the mans attitude, but he is a good kickoff returner..

  3. I think if Blair hadn’t missed, he would be a lock for STPOY. I am not going to let one miss sway my decision, because as Arif said in a recent podcast, all kickers strive for perfection, for 100% accuracy, but it is completely impossible.

    Blair it is!

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