This game saw a welcome return to form for Phil Loadholt (+4.7) who put in the highest graded display of his three year career. Against the pairing of Darnell Dockett and Clark Haggans, a duo who have started the season strongly makes the performance by Loadholt look all the more impressive. He yielded only one pressure to Haggans late in the second quarter and had the measure of Dockett all day in the running game. Whilst he never had that one special highlight reel play, the consistency with which he was able to seal and control Dockett was impressive. Loadholt graded positively whilst blocking Dockett five times, with Dockett only getting the better of Loadholt once. The Vikings averaged 7.0 yards per carry on eight rushes either side of Loadholt, rushes off right guard and right tackle.
It would be nice if Loadholt could turn into the kind of right tackle he appeared to be on track to becoming during his rookie season. Now, you could say that it's only Arizona or what have you, but Darnell Dockett is a damn fine defensive lineman, and for Loadholt to have gotten the better of him the majority of the time is pretty impressive.
Speaking of that, I remember mentioning this during one of the Game Threads yesterday, but I'll throw it out there again. After Peterson had 23 carries for 105 yards, Fox showed a breakdown of where his carries were going and what kind of yardage he was getting.
To that point in the game, Peterson had 4 carries for 45 yards when running to the right, and 17 carries for 58 yards running up the middle. He had just 2 carries for 2 yards running to the left.
Remember when the left side of our offensive line was a huge strength? I mean, I know that Bryant McKinnie is gone now and that Charlie Johnson has had his struggles and everything, but that's still a pretty precipitous drop-off from the way things were not too long ago, and more reason to think that the Vikings' first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, wherever it ends up being, is going to be spent on the left tackle spot.