Here's a look at the Vikings' MVP candidates through three games.
1. RB Adrian Peterson: He's the clear MVP of the team right now, carrying the offense on his back as the passing game continues to improve, albeit slowly. Against the Lions in Week Three, Peterson rushed for 160 yards and two TDs, one of them an 80-yard romp (longest of his career) that displayed his speed, power and tackle-breaking ability. He'll get his rest this week during the bye and get ready for another heavy workload in Week Five against the Jets on Monday night. Peters also leads the team with 13 receptions after setting a career high with 43 grabs a year ago.
2. CB Antoine Winfield: While the team struggled to find solutions opposite him and played with only three corners in Weeks One and Two, Winfield stepped up with some strong play. It has been very encouraging that coming off an injury-plagued season, Winfield has not been tested often or effectively, for that matter. The Lions tried a few times on Sunday but were unsuccessful for the most part. Winfield had nine tackles, all of which were within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage, and effectively ended any threat of a comeback with an endzone interception in the waning minutes.
3. SLB Chad Greenway: The man who led the Vikings in tackles the past two seasons is at it again, with his 29 stops seven better than any other teammate. Greenway is setting himself up nicely in his final year before free agency with some stout play on defense for a team that remains tough to run on, even if it's not the elite group of yore. But Greenway made his biggest play in Week Three on special teams, falling on Stefan Logan's muffed punt to help turn the game around. The Vikings trailed by seven to the Lions at the time, but the fumble recovery was followed on the next play by a Brett Favre-to-Percy Harvin TD pass.
4. MLB E.J. Henderson: For the mere fact that he returned so quickly, Henderson earns points from us. But that he's playing at such a solid level makes his comeback all the more impressive. Henderson might not be quite the player he was pre-leg injury, but he has been active and effective early. Although the Vikings lost the game, Henderson's forced fumble against the Dolphins in Week Two was a momentum changer. He had only three tackles against the Lions in Week Three but helped hold them to a collective 63 yards rushing.
5. QB Brett Favre: His 60-something passer rating and six interceptions would suggest otherwise, but Favre actually isn't playing that poorly. Sure, his two picks in Week Three were not terribly pretty, but Favre is starting slowly to make more plays with each game and could benefit from extra work during the bye. He has been handcuffed without Sidney Rice and with Harvin banged up. Favre has been far from perfect, but as the saying goes: Quarterbacks get too much credit when they win and not enough when they lose.