The Vikings played superbly this afternoon. In my opinion, the heroes and game ball recipients are...
...Firstly, Adrian Peterson had a fantastic game. He was relentless with his bruising running style while setting a MN Vikings team record for yards in a season. He is first and foremost the catalyst for success and sets the tone week in and week out.
Secondly, Tavaris Jackson stepped up like he'd been playing for the last 11 weeks. The benching of young players, especially quarterbacks, threatens to do damage not only to their egos, but also their confidence. Tavaris was having none of that! His play should have caused Childress to second guess his decision to bench him in the first place and ought to give the coaching staff reason to make a change at the position for the final run at a championship. He completed all of the passes required in the offense, smartly took an early sack and protected the ball without error. He was accurate throwing passes Gus Frerotte has struggled throwing. He truly gives the Vikings the best chance to win.
Lastly and most surprisingly, Head Coach Brad Childress deserves a game ball. Coach Childress did more than just stay out of the way of his teams success, he participated in it. The game plan was wise and he did a fantastic job in the second half controlling the clock (a 2:1 advantage I believe). Aside from the first two minutes of the second half, the team maintained its poise and composure. The team will need to score more second half touchdowns and limit mistakes, but this was a great building block game at this point in the season.
The Defense deserves an 'Honorable Mention' for its outstanding job. Limiting the Cardinals to one offensive touchdown, albeit the result of two missed tackles and a bad angle, was unexpected and warmly welcomed. Though they gave up more than 250 yards passing, the secondary was respectable - they saw more than 40 passes! Individuals who deserve mentioning are: Griffin, Sapp and of course Winfield
Would you have given a game ball to anyone else? Let me know who and highlight why!