Live from Phoenix, Arizona. . .where the free wi-fi in the airport drops only slightly less frequently than Charlie Sheen's trousers at a "hookers and blow" convention. . .it's time to have another go at the Sprint Game Ball of the Week! After a big victory like the one the Vikings had on Sunday, there are no shortage of candidates for such an honor. So, let's run through them, shall we?
Jared Allen - Apparently #69 figured out that he was tipping his intentions at the line of scrimmage early on in the season. . .you know, the part where he only had one sack in the first seven games? Well, he's changed things up a bit, and now he looks a whole lot like Jared Allen again, as he's put together 7.5 sacks over the last five games, and has had at least one sack in each of them. Allen had the lone sack of Ryan Fitzpatrick on Sunday and. . .wait a minute. The Vikings only got credit for one sack yesterday? Did it just seem like a hell of a lot more, or am I imagining? Anyway, he had a sack, forced a fumble that the Vikings recovered, and basically destroyed Bills' LT Demetrius Bell while the Bills inexplicably continued to not offer Bell any help against him.
Tarvaris Jackson - Yeah, generally a game where you throw three interceptions isn't going to get you any sort of rewards or anything like that, but give Jackson credit when it's due. This guy has been jerked around a lot by this franchise over the past three seasons. I mean a lot. Seriously, Willy Loman calls Tarvaris Jackson just to say, "Man, you just can't catch a break, can you?" And it would have been really easy for T-Jack to simply pack it in after the pick 6 he threw that gave the Bills a 7-0 lead. Instead, he completed his next eight passes for 109 yards and two touchdowns, and the rout was on. I don't know what Tarvaris Jackson's future is in the National Football League, whether it's with us or some other team, but I'll go ahead and say it. . .if Tarvaris Jackson is a Minnesota Viking going into the 2011 season, I have no problem with him being our starting quarterback. Give him a healthy Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin, Visanthe Shiancoe, and Adrian Peterson, and let him turn it loose.
Adrian Peterson - We've been over this. He's the man.
Sidney Rice - We're bringin' Sidney baaaaaaaaaack. (Yep!) These other suckers don't know how to caaaaaaaaaaatch. (Yep!)
Wow. . .gone from referencing Arthur Miller to referencing Justin Timberlake in the span of about five minutes. I'm not sure what to make of this. I may need a drink.
In any case, the old Sidney Rice is back, and he proved it with two outstanding touchdown catches on Sunday. The first one. . .where the officials completely blew the call and caused the Vikings to burn a challenge in order for them to get it right. . .is exactly what Brett Favre talked about last year when he always said "Even if Sidney's covered, he's open." Going up over two Bills' defenders to catch that pass was a thing of beauty. The second touchdown catch came on a perfectly thrown ball by Jackson, putting it where only Rice could get it, and get it he did, stretching out and hauling it in. As much as I hate to say this, I simply have to continue to wonder. . .how much different would this season have been with a healthy Sidney Rice for 16 games?
So, there are your candidates, ladies and gentlemen. Cast your vote, debate away, and we'll be back with more in a little while! (Yes, I'm saving the whole game day thing I got to do for when I'm back at home in the comfort of my own recliner instead of in an airport with a crappy wi-fi connection. Rest assured, though, it's coming.)