First off, allow me to apologize for the slow pace of stories here over the past couple days. . .yours truly is currently working a shift that isn't exactly conducive to getting things done on the site here and, to be honest, there really hasn't been a whole lot to talk about, what with the Vikings not having played last week and all that.
But, the show does, indeed, go on. So, we can use this time to look back at the first part of the Vikings' season, and determine who should get our "Game Ball" for the first half of the 2011 NFL season.
Now, with all due respect to the other 51 players on the Minnesota Vikings' roster, I think it's pretty clear that this award comes down to two people. When your team is 2-6, it's hard to imagine that there are a lot of guys that are worthy of a whole lot of recognition, but the two men that are up for this award are definitely exceptions to that rule.
DE Jared Allen - Allen had 11 sacks in 2010, but was said to have been coming off of a "down year." Isn't it great to see a guy so ridiculously talented that he can finish in the top ten in the league in sacks and have it be regarded as a "down year?" In any case, this year Allen has already surpassed his 2010 total by racking up 12.5 sacks through the Vikings' first eight games of the year, including being in on a sack in every game this season, extending his streak of consecutive games with a sack to ten, a new Vikings' record. He's also thrown in five pass defenses, an interception, three forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries. Just imagine how many sacks this guy could have by now if the Vikings had anything even remotely resembling a competent secondary.
RB Adrian Peterson - He's the best running back in football. He's been the best running back in football since about halfway through his rookie season, and though there have (allegedly) been some pretenders to the throne, the man they call "All Day" is still the guy. Peterson currently ranks fourth in the NFL in rushing behind LeSean McCoy (who is only 30 yards up on AP at this point), Matt Forte, and Fred Jackson. He has also found the end zone nine times on the ground, tying him with McCoy for the lead in that category. While he might not lead the NFL in every category, I think we can safely assume that none of the three running backs listed above there. . .nor any other running back in the NFL. . .receives quite the sort of attention that Adrian Peterson does.
So, both of these gentlemen are having outstanding years in an otherwise bad season for the Minnesota Vikings. They probably both deserve a game ball. . .but with game balls, much like the Highlander, there can be only one.