So, earlier on today I gave everyone my take on who I thought the midseason Most Valuable Player for the Minnesota Vikings was, giving my nod to wide receiver Adam Thielen. But, there’s really no shortage of potential candidates, so I’ll give everyone an opportunity to have their say on who they think the award winners are for the Vikings at the midway point of the season.
Since there are a whole lot of potential candidates, I’ll break things up into offense and defense. Here are the players that I had considered on the offensive side of the ball, in alphabetical order.
Case Keenum, QB - If you had told anyone going into the season that, at the halfway mark, the Vikings would be 6-2 with Keenum starting six of the eight games (and leading a comeback win in one of the other two), they likely would have called you a liar. But, that’s where things stand as of today. Keenum is playing the best football of his NFL career right now. He’s completing about 64% of his passes, and has thrown seven touchdown passes to just three interceptions thus far. While he’s not necessarily lighting up the stat sheet like Sam Bradford did in the season opener (with the exception of one game against Tampa Bay), he’s not killing this team like backup quarterbacks have a tendency to do, either. He’s avoided sacks, avoided any truly back-breaking turnovers, and has made some pretty great throws when the team has needed him to. Keenum was an unheralded signing this offseason, but it’s tough to imagine the team being 6-2 with many of the other backup quarterbacks in the NFL behind center right now.
Jerick McKinnon, RB - Many people assumed that the Vikings’ run game was. . .ahem. . .”cooked” when rookie running back Dalvin Cook went down for the season in Week 4. However, thanks in large part to the play of McKinnon, that hasn’t been the case. McKinnon hasn’t been running the ball at the level that Cook was, necessarily, but he has shown his versatility in catching the ball out of the backfield and churning out the tough yards when asked. McKinnon is in the last year of his rookie contract, so he’s playing for either an opportunity to share time with Cook next season or to get an opportunity somewhere else. His versatility and toughness have been a big part of the offense the past few weeks.
Riley Reiff, OT - When the Vikings decided that they were basically going to throw all of last year’s offensive line starters out on their ears and go with a whole new group, people were skeptical. They were also skeptical when Rick Spielman backed up the Brinks truck for Riley Reiff, as he was sort of viewed as an “average” tackle coming off of his rookie contract with Detroit. Well, through the first eight games his season, Reiff has been far from average. . .and that’s in a good way, not in the T.J. Clemmings/Matt Kalil way. Through eight games, Reiff has not allowed a sack, and has been a real stabilizing force for a re-tooled offensive line that has played a big role in the way the offense has stepped up so far. I know that I made Thielen my pick, but it was a really, really tough choice for me between him and Reiff.
Adam Thielen, WR - I laid out my case for Thielen earlier. I won’t bore you with it a second time.
Honorable Mentions - I wanted to put Stefon Diggs on this list, but missing a couple of games kept me from doing so. Pat Elflein and Mike Remmers merit a mention as well, but I’m not sure if either of them have had the impact that Reiff has on the offensive line so far. If Dalvin Cook was still healthy, he’d probably be the easy choice, but he’s not. Frowny.
So, now it’s your turn. Who do you think has been the Vikings’ Offensive MVP at the halfway point of the season?
Who do you think is the Minnesota Vikings’ Midseason Offensive MVP?
This poll is closed
QB Case Keenum
RB Jerick McKinnon
OT Riley Reiff
WR Adam Thielen
Other (please specify)