Yes, we know that the Minnesota Vikings suffered their first loss of the season this past Sunday, falling 21-10 to the Philadelphia Eagles in a game that can charitably be described as "bad." However, as we’ve done every week, we’re still handing out a Game Ball for the Vikings for the game.
There won’t be very many nominees for this week, because there aren’t going to be a lot of standout performances in a game like this one. However, I think I’ve managed to find a couple.
Jeff Locke, P - Yep, the performances were lacking to the point where we have to put the punter on the list again. The stat sheet says that Locke punted four times on Sunday for an average of 45.3 yards. There was also one punt that got taken off the board, and it would have netted 60 yards (thanks to a zero-yard return) if it hadn’t been for the Academy Award-worthy performance by Locke that drew a running into the kicker penalty, giving the Vikings a first down. Of his four punts that counted, three of them were downed, and the other one was fair caught.
Cordarrelle Patterson, WR - Lost in the disaster that was the Vikings’ offense for most of the afternoon was the continued renaissance of the former first-round pick. Patterson was the most productive member of Minnesota’s offense this past week, bringing in seven catches for 67 yards and a late touchdown. On that touchdown catch, he took a pretty hellacious shot. . .one that resulted in a personal foul on Eagles’ safety Rodney McLeod. . .and still managed to hang on for the score. In the big picture, it might not be a huge deal, but it could be another block for Patterson to build on going forward.
Xavier Rhodes, CB - The entire Vikings’ secondary played a very good game against the Eagles, as they played a big role in keep the Philadelphia offense largely grounded for most of the afternoon. Rhodes was responsible for forcing two of the four turnovers generated by the Minnesota defense, making a very nice diving interception in the first quarter and stripping Ryan Mathews for a fumble in the fourth quarter. I understand that the Eagles don’t have an elite receiving corps or anything, but any time you hold a team’s receivers to 11 catches for 67 yards, someone deserves to be highlighted.
Honestly, that’s pretty much it for this one, folks. So, who do you think is the most deserving of this week’s Game Ball? Was there someone I missed? Then you can mention them in the comments section.