Vikings players of the week: Week 14

Posted Dec. 12, 2011 @ 10:55 a.m.
Posted By Eric Edholm

Here are the offensive, defnesive and special-teams players of the week in the 34-28 loss to the Lions:

Offense: QB Joe Webb

Webb was phenomenal as a relief pitcher in the second half, coming in for an injured and ineffective Christian Ponder and nearly stealing a win for the Vikings in Detroit. The Lions' coaches were screaming at their defnesive players for consistently losing contain on Webb, who led scoring drives of 88 and 60 yards. The first score was capped by Webb's 65-yard TD run and the second was a TD pass to Toby Gerhart. Webb misfired on some passes, but most importantly he avoided turnovers and nearly pulled out the stunner, coming one yard short at the end.

Defense: DE Jared Allen

Allen continues to crank out the pass rush despite the team not playing well around him. His three sacks Sunday give him 17½ on the season and keep him within reach of the record: Michael Strahan's 21½, set in 2001. Allen notched all three in the first half when it appeared the Lions might run away with the game and helped keep the Vikings close with two second-quarter takedowns of Matthew Stafford as the Lions marched deep into Vikings territory. Allen was quiet in the second half, but that was after the Lions devoted more blocking help to him.

Special teams: RS Percy Harvin

He only touched the ball once on special teams, but Harvin made it count. His 47-yard kickoff return jump-started a Vikings drive after the Lions had made it a 34-21 game with just over 12 minutes left in the fourth quarter. That set up a short field and put Webb in good field position for a drive that would end with the Gerhart TD and keep the Vikings in striking distance. That's the effect Harvin can have on the game: Even hurt, he's the best playmaker the Vikings have.