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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 31-3 loss to the Packers:
1. RB Adrian Peterson: On the 14 carries he did have, Peterson ran hard and effectively. He averaged 5.2 yards per carry and had a couple of key gains when the game still was close, including a 15-yarder on 3rd-and-short and a great cutback for 25. But with the Vikings falling hard in the second half, they went pass-heavy and Peterson received only three handoffs.
2. WR-KR Percy Harvin: It was a trying game for Harvin, who was mostly contained in the passing game. He had only two catches as Brett Favre threw his way a mere five times. Harvin had a pretty nine-yard catch along the sideline, breaking a Charles Woodson tackle along the way, but the game was mostly over by then. The Vikings tried to get Harvin involved as a runner (why don't they do this more often?), which netted a pretty inside run for 16 yards. He gets very low, runs hard and is tough to tackle amid the bigs. In the return game, Harvin almost broke the opening kickoff but was a nonfactor when the Packers started pooching their kicks.
3. LB Chad Greenway: He suffered a bruised eye, which probably hindered his effectiveness greatly, and as a result it was one of his less memorable performances of the season. Greenway blitzed a couple of times, something we are seeing more of, but didn't get close to Aaron Rodgers. There also were a few tackles he should have made, plus two clear lapses in coverage. He has had a great season, but Greenway struggled by comparison on Sunday.
4. CB Antoine Winfield: It's hard to say how well Winfield is playing because the right corners have been so bad. Sunday was a complete and clear demonstration of this. There was no need for the Packers to even test Winfield (or Frank Walker, for that matter) with Chris Cook and Asher Allen struggling mightily. Winfield still comes up and supports the run and he broke up one pass.
5. None: This is not a copout, but rather a statement of fact. The Vikings do not have five players worthy of MVP consideration on their team right now. MLB E.J. Henderson is playing OK, OLT Bryant McKinnie has battled back from a tough season and DEs Jared Allen and Ray Edwards have turned up the juice a bit. But none has done enough to warrant this mention. Think of it has a four-way tie for fifth if you will, but we'll hold this spot empty for now until something else happens. The guess here is that one of those defensive players, fired up by the Leslie Frazier hiring, will have a big game against the Redskins. The smart money is on Edwards, who will face the Redskins' troubled ORT spot Sunday.