The Vikings are facing off against the Dolphin who are looking forward to the playoffs, but can the Vikings destroy their chances to make them?
This week was extra hard writing the player of the game article, given how hot the Vikings started off, and then just fizzled offensively after the first quarter and couldn’t do anything for the rest of the game.
Teddy Bridgewater: Despite throwing two interceptions, Teddy had some respectable stats for the day. He completed 31/41 attempts (75.6%) for 315 yards and a touchdown. Granted, both interceptions were bad throws, one of them still required a very good play by Detroit’s secondary in order to reel in the turnover. However, Teddy was not able to get the team into the endzone for the final 3 quarters of the game.
Greg Jennings: The only offensive player that seems deserving of consideration is Jennings, who while only catching 3 passes, they went for 43 yards (14.3 avg) and a TD. Also, one of them was another great toe-tapper on the sideline for a long first down that was confirmed after Detroit challenged.
Gerold Hodges: Filling in for an injured Anthony Barr for the second week in a row, Hodges had another very good performance. No turnovers this week, but he led a very good defensive unit in tackles with 9, and added 2 pass deflections to those numbers. His performance in these last two games is going to make off-season decisions for the LB corps very interesting.
Xavier Rhodes: Following Megatron around the field, whether he lined up left or right on most snaps, Rhodes had another great day. Megatron only was able to get open 4 times for 53 yards – pretty mediocre numbers for the same guy who owns the record for most receiving yards in a single season. A bit out of character this week, Rhodes was unable to notch any pass deflections, but he did get in 3 tackles, including one for a loss.
Harrison Smith & Andrew Sendejo: No offense to either of these two, but given how things played out in Detroit, it seems fair to group them together in the vote for this week. As the starting safeties in the game, they both got 6 tackles (2nd most behind Hodges), and undoubtedly deserve much of the credit for holding the Lions out of the endzone for the entire game, save for the one drive that started inside the redzone after Teddy’s first interception.
Cordarrelle Patterson: He’s been hard to find this season, but the Flash came close to getting us the win at the end of the game. With 2 kick returns, he notched 74-yards, including the 51-yarder setting up the last drive. With the game on the line and Wright injured, Patterson came in and caught 2 passes for 16 yards as well. So he was able to make the most of his opportunities this week, even though they were very limited.
With no sacks, turnovers, or other huge performances, it’s hard to justify putting any one else on this list, even though the defense as a whole put up a great performance, keeping the score extra low even with a 2-turnover deficit. Once we are able to get an offense capable of scoring back on the field, this team is going to be scary good.
It’s been a couple weeks since the last power ranking was put out, but there hasn’t been much change in that time, as we get closer to the end of the season and most teams are reminding us that they belong where they are. One exception is the Rams, who after two big shutouts – totaling a 2-game score of 76-0 – have moved up 8 spots. Unfortunately that means little to them, as they are still stuck at the bottom of the toughest division in the league.
The Lions are the next biggest movers, going up 4 after convincing wins at home against Chicago and Tampa Bay. They’ll look to continue their surge today against the Vikings in the 3rd of a 5-game stretch against NFC Central opponents.
Meanwhile, the Bengals are the biggest losers over the past two weeks. While they beat the Buccs, their offense still severely underperformed in that game, and it took an amazing performance by the defense to sustain a one point victory. The next week the Steelers rolled into town and demolished them pushing their rankings down even further.
Today’s game had a lot of ups and downs on both sides of the ball. Offensively, the team was performing great in the first half, but once again disappeared in the 2nd. Defensively, the team seemed to be letting the porous Jets offense, (ranked 28th in the NFL) walk all over them, but they were still able to come up with some huge stops and do just enough to let an improving offense come up with the play in overtime to win the game. Here’s the players that I’ve compiled for today’s game that are worthy of consideration for the player of the game award.
Teddy Bridgewater: Teddy had another good game, showing improvement in his awareness of the field and improved stats to go along with it. After getting pummeled on the first drive for a safety, he piled up 309 yards of passing on 19/29 attempts in just over 4-quarters of play that also included an interception and 2-TDs (which really should be 3). His rating today was an impressive 117.7. Teddy also deserves props both for hanging in there with the constant pressure being thrown at him by a depleted and severely under-performing offensive line, and for making the last-second adjustment in the final play of the game, recognizing the cover-0 attack and calling and executing the play that allowed his teammates to win the game.
Jarius Wright: Making 3 catches for 45 yards and one rush for another 23 in regulation isn’t much to warrant consideration for player of the game honors. Luckily for Wright, this game didn’t end in regulation. On what turned out to be the final play of overtime, Jarius caught a screen pass a couple yards behind the line of scrimmage, danced between his blockers and around another defender and then raced 87-yards to the endzone for the TD, making a gigantic play in the most crucial time of the game that he could have, leading his team off the field for the victory.
Charles Johnson: Charles has quickly become what appears to be Teddy’s favorite target. He’s frequently getting open downfield and helping the rookie to build confidence in his deep throws. Charles only caught 4 of the 8-balls thrown his way, but did so for 103-yards and a TD. Granted he dropped another would-be catch in the endzone, there’s some controversy about whether or not interference should have been called to negate that drop. Also, had he not dropped the ball as he was crossing the endzone, Felton’s TD would have been another one for Charles’ stats today, but instead Felton got credit for a fumble recovery in the endzone while Johnson gave away credit for a receiving TD and Teddy lost credit for what should have been a passing TD.
Gerald Hodges: Hodges got his second start of the year, this time filling in for rookie OLB Anthony Barr. Tied for 3rd on the team in tackles with 8, he also notched two pass deflections and that AMAZING pick-6 on the first play of the game! This kid looks like a solid play-maker, and may be a great replacement for Greenway once he and the team eventually decide to part ways.
Harrison Smith: In a game where your safeties have the 2nd and 3rd most tackles on the team, that generally says a lot about the under-performance from the rest of the defense. Nonetheless, the safeties were able to make tackles and not let the Jets playmakers past our last line of defense often enough to keep them out of the endzone for most of the game. Harrison Smith makes the list not only because he had the 3rd most tackles at 8, but also because he was able to blitz in and take down Geno Smith for a huge 3rd down sack early in the game on a drive that was looking very promising for the Jets up until that point, but that ended in a punt after this big play.
Captain Munnerlyn: While Captain only came up with one tackle on the day, he was able to get a big turnover for the team. The Jets were driving hard with a relentless running attack that the Vikings appeared to be completely incapable of stopping. Then by some miracle, as a player was pounding it up the middle with his eye on the endzone, Captain was able to pick up a fumble and stop a drive that almost seemed guaranteed to add 7-points to New York’s score.
That’s today’s list. Honorable mention goes out to Xavier Rhodes who was credited with 4-tackles and 3 pass deflections, Andrew Sendejo for forcing the fumble that Munnerlyn picked up after coming in for an injured Blanton, Greg Jennings who tallied up 5-catches for 52 yards including a Cris Carter-esque toe tapper that was upheld on the challenge, and to Everson Griffen and Brian Robison who both came up with a sack. Place your vote!
It what is likely to cause historical confusion the Vikings are about to be invaded by mechanical birds. Not just any mechanical birds though, birds that have not been able to properly fly for years. Now the question is will the Vikings be able to withstand the suicidal dive bombing techniques of these sad little avian monstrosities?
Vikings Territory has been electing a player of the game, win or loss, for every game we’ve had this year. I liked the idea, so figured we could try it out here and see how it goes. Luckily, we’re starting it out after a big win, so it should make our first go at it more fun.
There were a lot of players worthy of consideration for this week. Teddy had his best statistical performance yet, the defense stood strong thanks to guys like Griffen, Robinson and Rhodes, and special teams stood out BIG thanks to Griffen, Brinkley and Thielen. We need to look at their individual performances and choose which one was the most deserving of this week’s game ball.
Teddy Bridgewater: Teddy came out and started strong. He commanded the first drive of his offense with a short field thanks to a poor punt by Carolina. He completed all of his passes including a floater in to a wide open Rudolph for a TD. Teddy showed some good improvement with his deep ball today too, hitting Jarius Wright in stride on a go route along the left sideline, and placing it well along the right sideline on another attempt that was just defended well enough for a green Charlie Johnson to be unable to pull in the completion. He finished the day 15/21 for 131 yards and 2-TDs, adding up to a rating of 120.7.
Greg Jennings: Greg was the next closest thing to a standout player on offense. He caught 5 of his 6 targets for a respectable 45-yards. He also was able to dance around some defenders after a catch late in the 2nd-quarter to pound in the team’s final TD with just a few seconds remaining on the clock.
Adam Thielen: Thielen – AKA the Mankato Flash – scored his first ever NFL touchdown today at the end of the Panthers’ 2nd offensive drive, where he bolted up the middle on an attempted punt, blocked the kick, kept it trapped inside his gut as he went to the ground, and then jumped up off the ground with ball and darted into the endzone for the team’s first blocked punt-TD since 1985! Even though this is the only play in the game that he factored in, (okay, he was credited with 2 tackles, but I didn’t notice him any other time) it meant A LOT and was a big factor in setting the tone of the game early.
Everson Griffen: Griffen was the second player in today’s game to return a blocked punt for a TD. He was in the right place at the right time when the second block occurred, and he used his amazing instincts and speed to pick the ball up and run it in for a score. He also finished the day with 2 sacks, and 5 tackles.
Jasper Brinkley: Yes, Jasper deserves some consideration this week too. If it weren’t for him, Everson would have never had a chance for his TD. Brinkley was the man who broke through to block the second punt. He was also #3 on the team in tackles, totaling 7.
Xavier Rhodes: Rhodes didn’t log any tackles on the day, but still stood out in large part due to his great coverage of Carolina’s #1 WR. He bottled up Kelvin Benjamin for only 5-catches on 12-targets, and was able to knock down 3 passes, while almost coming up with an interception on one of them.
Josh Robinson: As a player who was considered a liability in the Nickel under Frazier’s cover-2 defense, Robinson has been much improved this year and had another good game today. He did get beat deep on the 4th down conversion that resulted in a TD, but he was able to grab the team’s only interception late in the 4th quarter to seal the victory, and he logged 1 tackle on the day as well.
So who’s your vote for today’s player of the game? Let us know with your vote!
As we get closer to the end of the season, teams are starting to settle in where they truly belong, and very little has changed this week. The Raiders had a big move from the bottom of the pack at the expense of the Chiefs, while the Bills came out strong after a weather delay moved their game to Detroit, and slapped the Jets down to last place.
DT Leonard Williams USC
The Raiders have a good QB in Derek Carr, so instead of picking up one of the top QB prospects they should decide to fix their DLine. Williams is a destructive force of nature similar to Suh minus the douche bag tendencies. He will demand double teams therefore opening up more options for Mack and the other pass rushers.
DE Randy Gregory Nebraska
Gus Bradley loves attacking QBs, but he lacks the pass rushers need to do that and therefore he should select the best QB killer available. Unlike most other pass rushers Gregory likes playing the run as well.
QB Marcus Mariota Oregon
The Bucs are the only team in the NFC South without a QB and while they do have a good defense it will mean nothing if they cannot go score for score against the others. Mariota unlike the other top rated QB prospect has a good head on his shoulders to go along with his on field skills; basically he has the personality the Lovie Smith can get behind.
WR Amari Cooper Alabama
The Titans OLine is pretty solid and they have a promising QB in Mettenberger, but while they do have decent pieces to go with him none of them are elite. That is where Cooper comes in, he is a very explosive WR in the same vein as Julio Jones except with better hands.
QB Jameis Winston FSU
It looks as if Geno is not the answer for the Jets, so they will be looking for a new signal caller. Winston is the best QB prospect in the upcoming draft if you discount his off the field issues. The reason he is the pick here is because if Sexy Rexy is still the HC he will want to win no matter what and that means bringing in a brash D-Bag to pair with himself.
QB Connor Cooks
The Rams need to give up on the always injured Bradford and find someone who can actually play more than a game or two a year. While this is fairly early for Cooks, he is probably the best pure passer in the draft. He may be more of a gunslinger than Fisher usually likes with proper development he could be the best QB in the NFC West in a season or 2.
S Landon Collins Alabama
The Redskins always seem to need help in the secondary, so why not add the supposed best Safety in the draft?
- Browns (Bills)
WR DaVante Parker Louisville
The Browns WRs outside of Josh Gordon are pretty shitty and if they want Hoyer to succeed they should find him another option. Parker can be the reliable go to option and allow Gordon to be the game breaker that he is.
OLB Shaq Thompson Washington
Lance Briggs is moving on after this season and while the Bears have been collecting LBs none outside of Bostic are really establishing themselves. That is where Shaq comes in, the Bears can move him around wherever they want to attack QBs or drop him in coverage without trouble.
OT Brandon Scherff Iowa
The Vikings OLine is crap, whether it is because of Kalil’s confidence issues or Johnson sucking balls something needs to change. While it is more likely that they would give up on Johnson than Kalil, Scherff could play either position.
WR Kevin White West Virginia
Andre Johnson wants out of Houston and if he departs that leaves only Hopkins as a decent option for whoever the Texans QB is going to be, so that is why they should add the human football magnet Kevin White.
DE Shawn Oakman
Oakman is a monster pass rusher and well the Falcons lack any young pass rushers, so this could be a match made in heaven.
OLB Vic Beasley
The 9ers are supposedly failing apart. This rumor spread even farther when Jim Harbaugh and Ahmad Brooks had a disagreement, so this pick will likely depend on if Harbaugh or Brooks stays. I going with the 9ers stick with the HC and replace Brooks’ pass rushing ability with Beasley.
OT Cedric Ogbuehi Texas A&M
The Panthers OLine is old and becoming unreliable, so it would make sense to add some young blood. Newton will likely love this pick even though he’d prefer a new weapon to pair with Benjamin.
HB Melvin Grodon
Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch hasn’t really been himself this season and he is likely moving on this off season anyways, so adding one of the most dominant HB in college could help mitigate his loss and take pressure off Wilson.
CB Trae Waynes Michigan State
The Charger have a fairly good team and could go in many different ways, so as of now they will take the BPA. Thankfully the BPA also will help them deal with Manning and the Broncos growing armada of weaponry.
OT Andrus Peat Stanford
Eli Manning can be a great QB if protected well enough and good weapons. Currently he has some good weapons in Beckham and Cruz (if healthy), so the best option would be finding a prospective LT.
WR Jaelen Strong Arizona State
It was quite evident when AJ Green was injured that the Bengals offense relies way too heavily on him, so adding another WR could help get Dalton back to being better than average.
CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu Oregon
Earlier this season the Chief parted ways with Brandon Flowers and while he no longer fit their defensive scheme he was one of their better CBs, so they likely will target a young replacement for him early in the draft.
LB Benardrick McKinney Mississippi State
After adding Parker the Browns have filled most of their needs, but they could add talent to their LBing core. McKinney could very well be the defensive leader they need to take the next step into becoming the best defense in the league. Another option could be some OLinemen seeing as their Center Mack will be coming off injury.
DT Danny Shelton Washington
The Lions DLine is pretty solid, but with the questions of whether or not they will resign Fairly or trade/release Suh. Depending on what happens they may need to draft a replacement.
DE Dante Flowers Jr. Florida
The Saints change to a 3-4 has been slowly coming along, but they could really use another rush LB.
OT La’el Collins LSU
The Steelers could use some youth along the OLine.
CB P.J. Williams FSU
The Broncos have no real needs, so they will go with BPA and therefore they land the top CB available.
OT T.J. Clemmings Pittsburg
Nick Foles busted his collarbone, which can be blamed on injuries throughout the Eagles OLine. Clemmings likely could shift inside if needed or easily play RT when Lane Johnson moves to LT.
HB Todd Gurley Georgia
The Colts have a very good offense, but lack any semblance of a running game. They seem to be more willing to take a chance on Gurley recovering from his ACL tear than any other team.
DE Shane Ray Missouri
The Cardinals could use another rush LB.
WR Dorial Green-Beckham Oklahoma
DGB is a highly talented WR, but tends to act like a dipshit and the Ravens take pride in selecting derelicts and turning them around, so it could be the perfect landing spot for him.
DT Eddie Goldman FSU
The Dolphins are a pretty solid team, so they could easily go BPA. Goldman would help keep their DLine rotation fresh leading to more QB pressures.
DE Nate Orchard Utah
The Cowboys switched to a 4-3 defense recently and add to the fact they released Demarcus Ware, so finding a replacement should be found.
OT Ty Sambrailo Colorado State
The Packers go BPA in this case adding a potential LT who could play RT if needed. This versatility could come in very handy seeing as Bryan Bulaga is almost always injured.
CB Marcus Peters Washington
Revis likely will not be with the Patriots for very long, so they could target a replacement.
Another week has passed and another round of power rankings are out. While the Packers continue to make a strong push for the top, the Patriots performed well enough Sunday evening to keep ahead of them and regain possession of the #1 spot. Meanwhile, the Raiders have bypassed the Buccs on the other side of the scale, taking over the title of worst team in the NFL. They must have taken some offense to that knowledge, as they were able to turn things around for week 12, and get their first win in over a year, beating the #3 Chiefs in a game that Kansas should have been able to dominate. That will likely help to push Tampa right back down to the bottom for week 12, unless they too perform much better than they have all year.
In the last 2 weeks, we’ve seen some surprising upsets. First with the Rams beating the Broncos, who at the time were #1, and then with the Raiders beating the Chiefs who rank in at #3. It brings some hope that maybe the Packers too are due for a loss against a team that has performed significantly worse all season long. We’ll have to wait until tomorrow afternoon to find out if that’s the case.
Here’s this week’s rankings.