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Recent posts by Eric Edholm
Let's look at how the Vikings' team MVP candidates for the season shape up following their 27-24 overtime win over the Cardinals:
1. RB Adrian Peterson: He's certainly the Viking that most opponents game plan to stop first, and it was no different Sunday. It's one reason why Brett Favre threw for a career-best 446 yards. But the amazing part: Peterson still made the most of every carry he got and helped carry his team to victory. His forceful TD run inside the 5-yard line, trucking through FS Kerry Rhodes, was a key to keeping the Vikings in the game. Peterson also was a factor in the passing game, although both for good and bad reasons. On the positive side, he had three huge receptions for first downs, one that scored a touchdown and another he took 33 yards. But negatively, Peterson also struggled badly in pass protection when asked to pick up the blitz. Still, he was a huge factor in a (perhaps) season-saving win.
2. LB Chad Greenway: It is becoming cliché to say that Greenway had a busy game, as he once again filled up the stat sheet: nine tackles, three for losses and a sack. But he also dropped a potential interception and missed a few tackles he normally makes. Considering there were stretches where he wasn't on the field when the Vikings went to their dime package, Greenway made quite a bit of his chances. But it wasn't as clean a game as you'd expect from him given how he has played this season.
3. WR-KR Percy Harvin: What a week for Harvin, who had a spat with his head coach, no doubt frustrated that his new friend and security blanket, Randy Moss, was shown the door as if he were a special-teams rental. And all through it, Harvin was struggling to play through an ankle injury that would have sidelined a lot of players. But on Sunday, Harvin gutted out one of his finest games as a Viking, crucial fumble or not. Losing the kickoff (which was run back for a score) on the opening play of the second half was a gutshot the Vikings appeared unable to come back from at the time. And his other kickoff returns yielded little. But Harvin caught nine passes for a career-best 126 yards and played a major role in kickstarting the comeback.
4. CB Antoine Winfield: You might not find a better tackling corner in the NFL, period. He's as sure in that department as they come. And his coverage, well, it's hard to tell at times. That's because teams just haven't been testing him with any regularity. One reason for that is because the team's right corners have struggled much of the season. But another is because Winfield has bounced back to have yet another fine season. He played another clean game on Sunday in the win in all aspects.
5. QB Brett Favre: It's somewhat presumptuous to put Favre on this list when he really hasn't been at his best on a consistent level at all this season. But Sunday's win showed the power of a quarterback. Favre was the engineer, and even though his two early interceptions helped dig the 14-point, fourth-quarter hole the Vikings found themselves in, he was the biggest reason in the end why they won. His final seven passes all were completions and all going for at least 11 yards. In a week as tumultuous as last, and considering the deficit, Favre's work was magic. And if the Vikings are going to pull themselves out of this mess, Favre has to play his best football yet, like he did Sunday. That alone gets him on this list.