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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 27-13 loss to the Bears:
1. RB Adrian Peterson: Peterson had a 20-yard run on an inside zone play but otherwise was contained fully. The Bears clearly aimed at taking him out of the game, and the Vikings responded early with a series of passes towards the edges. But even that couldn't loosen up the Bears, who blitzed only a handful of times and mainly played their cover-2/Tampa-2 schemes. Peterson also dropped a few passes, but he wasn't given much of a chance. The Vikings had only 54 offensive snaps, and Toby Gerhart was on the field for about a dozen of those, including one entire red-zone possession.
2. WR-KR Percy Harvin: Without Sidney Rice or Randy Moss out there, Harvin is shorthanded and yet is still the one difference-maker. Playing on a sprained ankle, Harvin gutted through most of the game (though he had to miss the final few offensive series) and made the one explosive play: a 53-yard TD pass from Brett Favre. Harvin got a clean release off the line and beat the safety to the soft spot in the cover-2 defense before he could help out. Although Harvin lost the ball on the play that knocked him out of the game, the fumble call was overturned. On special teams, Harvin averaged more than 25 yards on his six kick returns. He also had two key plays that don't show up in the fantasy stats: He earned a long pass-interference call (although a well-thrown ball would have given him a TD) to set up a field goal and made a crucial tackle on Favre's third-quarter interception that would have been run back for a score by D.J. Moore.
3. LB Chad Greenway: Greenway once again was active (nine tackles, two of them for losses, and one QB hit), but he also overcommitted to the run on the Bears' "K4" play in which everyone bit on the run and Jay Cutler dumped it over the top to TE Kellen Davis for a TD. It was a well-executed play, nice design, but Greenway overplayed it. He also struggled covering receivers on a few plays but earned one of those tackles for loss on old teammate Chester Taylor, sniffing out a screen well. The reason Greenway has dropped is less about his play and more about the fact that Harvin is clearly the team's second-best skill-position player, and his special-teams value gives him a boost.
4. CB Antoine Winfield: Winfield was a big factor again, and though he was not credited with any passes defended, it appeared he got his hand on a pass as the Bears were deep in Vikings territory. He's excellent at playing the ball in front of him, both in the run game and against screens. He's not the best one-on-one cover guy, but the Vikings don't ask him to do that. Winfield has played very well all season long, and with the injuries/inexperience at the RCB spot this season, why would teams throw to his side?
5. QB Brett Favre: More because of his position and the big game he had against Arizona, Favre remains on the list. It should be noted that on all three of his interceptions, there was a worthy excuse: The first one was tipped, and the intended receiver fell down on the last two as the Vikings were attempting to come back. Favre is guilty of losing a fumble, trying to do too much on the play, but he had a decent game when you consider the other miscues and the fact that Bernard Berrian (hamstring) couldn't play and that Harvin missed a chunk also.