Teammates Of The Week: Fred Evans And Brandon Fusco

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

For these "Teammates of the Week" posts so far, I've been trying to keep it to guys that have a connection. However, with as bad as the Minnesota Vikings performed against the Seattle Seahawks last Sunday, there really aren't a lot of those sorts of duos to be had. So, we're going to go with one guy on each side of the ball that did fairly well while not getting a whole lot of recognition for it.

Going into this season, one of the big question marks along the Vikings' offensive line was right guard Brandon Fusco. He had his struggles in 2012, and was considered by many. . .myself included. . .to be one of the weak links along the offensive line going into 2013. However, as the season has moved on, Fusco has shown to be one of the more consistent pieces on the Vikings' offense. According to the folks over at Pro Football Focus, he is not only the highest-graded offensive lineman, but the highest-graded player on the entire Minnesota Vikings' roster, sitting at a +12.9 for the season. (By comparison, running back Adrian Peterson is at a +9.6.)

Overall, by PFF's grades, Fusco has had six games this season where he has graded in the "green," and only two where he has graded in the "red." He had a grade of a +4.1 against the Seahawks, making him the highest-graded player on either side of the ball.

On defense, it's time to recognize a guy that's really been getting it done all year when he's been asked, and that's defensive tackle Fred Evans. He's had some issues with injuries this season, and has only played 212 of the team's 580 defensive snaps (in the games he's been active for), but he's done enough on those snaps to be the Vikings' second-highest graded defender for the season. Overall, Evans is at a +5.8 for the season, which trails only Brian Robison's +6.0. Robison has played nearly three times as many snaps as Evans has (607 to 212 in Robison's favor). Evans has actually played fewer snaps this season than every Vikings' defensive lineman except Chase Baker, who has spent a lot of weeks inactive.

Evans was the team's highest-graded defender against the Seahawks with a mark of +3.5. He was making an impact from the second defensive play of the game, as he blew past center Max Unger and forced a fumble in the Seattle backfield. The Seahawks eventually recovered the fumble, but the result was a 12-yard loss that forced Seattle to settle for three points.

Brandon Fusco and Fred Evans generally don't get a whole lot of recognition, but they both certainly did enough against the Seahawks. . .and, really, for most of the season. . .to get recognized as our Teammates of the Week for Week 11.

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