Let's see how the Vikings' team MVP candidates for the season shape up following their 40-14 loss to the Vikings Monday night.
1. RB Adrian Peterson: You can't fault Peterson for missing Monday's game with a thigh bruise (not to mention his knee and ankle issues), and it was clear just how valuable he is by not being out there. Nothing against Toby Gerhart, who put in a fine effort, but Peterson has been the one consistent weapon all season. And yet, shutting him down if he can't play Sunday seems like the way to go.
2. CB Antoine Winfield: It's time to recognize just how good Winfield has been — and by contrast just how bad the other corners have been. Winfield rarely gets tested, but when he does he's not snoozing. In the handful of attempts Monday when the Bears threw his way, Winfield mostly held his own with only one real slip-up on a pass to Bears WR Earl Bennett. Winfield also is a big run supporter and has been consistently good at that for a decade now.
3. WR-KR Percy Harvin: I almost put Sidney Rice on this list, and really, you could make the case that in a handful of games, he has been one of the few difference makers. But in order to be smarter about it, I just slid down Harvin from his No. 2 position. Injuries have hurt him all season long, and the migraines just might be one of those things we talk about throughout his career. But all you needed to do was watch his 23-yard TD and a couple of hard hits he took after catches to see how special he is. Sure, Harvin had a false start and a few drops Monday. But everyone was awful. He's a dangerous threat when he's on the field and has been one of the Vikings' five best players this season, for what that's worth.
4. LB Chad Greenway: The legend has fallen off a little the past few weeks, not that there has been an inordinate amount of defensive help around him. It's just that after his monster start, in which he was making more than 10 tackles per game for about the first two months of the season, Greenway has fallen a little silent. Again, though, the body of work speaks volumes. That, and the fact that few others have stepped up.
5. OLT Bryant McKinnie: His attrocious game Monday coupled with E.J. Henderson's solid performance against the Bears almost made me flip-flop those two. But I just couldn't. I know McKinnie was schooled by an unknown rookie (Corey Wootton) whose hit likely ended a Hall of Famer's career (uh, that would be Brett Favre). And maybe it's just me, but I think McKinnie has been surprisingly solid this season. Maybe part of it was because of how poorly he played last season and the fact I thought he might have been done as any kind of front-line starter, but McKinnie has turned in a B-minus performance in 2010. This season, that's plenty high enough to get you into the Vikings' top five.