The NFL Network continued their list of the Top 100 players of 2015 with the announcements of spots 71-80 last night. Contrary to what we've seen in past years, two member of the Minnesota Vikings not named Adrian Peterson found their way onto the list.
First, at #76, we had the Vikings' outstanding defensive tackle, Linval Johnson.
Just between us, I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that they meant Linval Joseph. Unless they managed to fuse Linval Joseph and Tom Johnson into one über defensive tackle or something. You'd think we would have heard about that.
In his second year with the Vikings, Joseph had the best season of his six-year NFL career. He nearly met his career high in tackles with 56 (his career high is 59) despite the fact that he missed four games with a foot injury. He was a dominant force in the middle of the Vikings' defense all season, and even collected an NFL Defensive Player of the Week Award for his performance in Minnesota's 21-18 victory over the St. Louis Rams.
How good was Joseph? In his video for the Top 100 on the NFL's website, linebacker Anthony Barr called Linval Joseph the Vikings' best player. Not best defensive player. . .best player.
Just above Joseph at #73 was safety Harrison Smith. Smith is finally starting to get some recognition as one of the best all-around safeties in the National Football League, and he had another outstanding season in 2015 despite dealing with injury issues of his own. He finished the season with three interceptions and a total of 66 tackles on the season. His pick-six against the Giants in the last regular season home game this season was the fourth of his career, tying him for the all-time franchise lead in that category.
Congratulations to both Linval Johnson. . .er, Joseph. . .and Harrison Smith on making the NFL Network's Top 100 list.