With their victory on Sunday over the Houston Texans, the Minnesota Vikings ended Week 5 as the NFL’s lone undefeated team. This one was a pretty dominant performance by the entire team, but now it’s time to decide who gets the game ball for this week for the purple and gold.
To change things up for this week, I’m going to present five choices rather than the usual four (because I didn’t know who to leave out), and if you feel there’s anyone that I missed, you can always talk them up in the comments section. For now, here we go!
Sam Bradford, QB - Bradford is on the verge of becoming a permanent part of this list, which damn sure isn’t a bad thing. Once again, Bradford displayed the talent that made him worthy of being a #1 overall draft choice, completing 22-of-30 passes for 271 yards and two scores against what had been the NFL’s top-rated pass defense. More importantly, he. . .and the rest of the Vikings’ offense. . .didn’t turn the ball over, making it four straight games for Bradford without a turnover and five games for the Vikings’ offense. (Remember, the only turnover this team has committed all year was a fumble by Andrew Sendejo in Week 2.) Sam Bradford continues to make Rick Spielman look more like a genius every day, and he might be just getting warmed up.
Cordarrelle Patterson, WR/KR/whatever - Seriously, I don’t know where this is all coming from. Patterson was a big part of the Vikings’ offense for the second straight week, as he caught four passes for 39 yards and his first offensive touchdown in nearly two calendar years. He just looks like a totally different player. . .watching him lower the shoulder into people on some of his receptions is a thing of beauty. He also continued to do an outstanding job in punt coverage. This is a better football team when Cordarrelle Patterson is contributing to it, and he’s playing like he’s playing for a job. . .most likely because, well, he probably is.
Brian Robison, DE - Every week we could probably pick three or four different representatives from the Minnesota defense to give a game ball to, but Robison is being chosen to represent them this week. Robison picked up two of the Vikings’ four sacks of Brock Osweiler on the afternoon (and should have had a third). As one of the elder statesmen of the Minnesota defense, he’s still playing a big part in the defensive line rotation and causing havoc. Good to see from the guy who, along with Chad Greenway, has been a part of this Minnesota defense since all the way back in 2006.
Marcus Sherels, CB/PR - I don’t know what you can say about this guy that hasn’t already been said. His punt return in the second quarter basically put the last shovel of dirt on top of Houston’s afternoon, and put him into the Vikings’ record books several different times. For a guy that played his high school and college ball in the state of Minnesota, and that we endlessly speculate is going to get cut every year, he’s become an invaluable part of this football team.
Adam Thielen, WR - Speaking of local guys that are making themselves invaluable, I bring you Adam Thielen. It’s hard to verbalize just how huge a story he’s been, clawing his way up from the practice squad to the main roster, and basically serving as the #1 receiver on Sunday in the absence of Stefon Diggs. His 127 receiving yards nearly matched his total for each of his first two seasons in the National Football League (he had 137 receiving yards in 2014 and 144 in 2015). He also scored the Vikings’ first points of the afternoon on a beautifully thrown ball by Bradford. If he doesn’t get the game ball, though, he’ll be alright. . .he got a pretty nifty consolation prize this week.
So, there are the nominees for this week, folks. Who do you think is worthy of the award?