Posts about Adrian Peterson

Vikings hold off the Redskins; what to look for on Sunday

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What a good Thursday night game and what a good night for sports in general. The Redskins were in Minnesota to take on the Vikings but it wasn’t supposed to be a good game. The Vikings only had one win to date and questions loomed around the Redskins and RG3 about their consistency from game to game. By looking at the box score, you would think the Redskins came out on top. Washington had more possession, more yards both rushing and passing, didn’t have a turnover and so forth. Not the case as the Vikings not only rallied from behind but were actually able to hold on to their lead for the remainder of the game. It’s something that has been a problem for Minnesota all season but behind Peterson’s running (75 yds, 2 TDs) and their defense, they were able to do finish strong last night. Washington had a chance to send the game into overtime late in the 4th quarter but were unable to convert on three straight attempts from the 4 yard line. The only downside from last night’s game for Minnesota is that QB Christian Ponder had to leave the game late in the 3rd quarter due to a separated shoulder. I haven’t seen a credible report as to the extent of the his injury so i’m assuming he’s still getting test done by team doctors. It feels like that loss might have been one that Washington can’t recover from but since they’re in the NFC East, they still have some life this season.

Lots and lots of early games this Sunday. There are 8 total and since my Cowboys are playing at night, it’s definitely going to be a red zone channel afternoon for myself. But if I were to pick one game from the early slate to watch, it would definitely have to be Lions-Bears. Jay Cutler is back for the Bears and the division lead is on the line when they square off in Chicago on Sunday afternoon. The Eagles in Green Bay could get interesting but without Rodgers, it just doesn’t have the same potential. It’ll be interesting to see how Nick Foles does after last week’s performance. I also like Bengals at Ravens because for whatever reason the AFC North’s division game always provide some drama, especially in Baltimore. Game to avoid? I don’t know of a non-fantasy football reason for a neutral fan to watch the Jaguars in Tennessee. While there are only three games in the later slate, two of them are great and one has the potential to be great. The Broncos in San Diego always provides great entertainment while the Texans in Arizona should also be good. Case Keenum seems to have that football gene in his game that make any of his games interesting. Both solid games but i’m most interested in Panthers at 49ers. Both have teams have been red hot for the past few weeks, beating up on some bad teams in an impressive fashion. There’s also the “dual threat” capabilities for both QBs. Should be a great game and a solid test for both teams.

No mention of the Cowboys-Saints game? Well, I saved it for last because it’s my upset pick of the week. Call me a homer but I really think the Cowboys are going to win Sunday night. The Saints are dealing with just the right amount injuries that the Cowboys can take advantage of it. Cowboys over the Saints 31-28.

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Gaints get first win over Vikings; ranking the top 5 teams

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One thing was for certain last night: the Giants and the Vikings aren’t very good teams. In fact, they’re two of the worst teams in the league and it was very evident in last night’s game. Neither was convincing. There were dropped passes, fumbles, sloppy special teams plays, overthrown receivers, lack of running game and too many 3 and outs. The Giants were able to take advantage of the Vikings’ sloppy play to get their first win of the season. The Giants aren’t a good team but their game plan last night was excellent, daring newly acquired QB Josh Freeman to beat them. It was obvious that Freeman doesn’t know the Vikings offense very well yet and that he’s not on the same page as his receivers. It was also obvious that the Giants defense was not going to let Adrian Peterson beat them. They continually stacked the box and it worked, holding the league’s best running back to only 28 yards on 13 carries. I know it’ll never happen but is there a way that Peterson can play on a decent or good team? That’s a man that needs to be breaking tackles and long runs. So what’s next for these teams? Well unless the Vikings have a serious turnaround at the QB position, I don’t see their season heading in a positive direction. It’s looking like a high draft pick for Minnesota. As far as the Giants go, I don’t see the momentum swing at all. One win against a sloppy team isn’t going to turn the season around. Especially towards the end of the season when 5 of their last 7 are against teams that are .500 or better.

Enough about the bad teams. How about we discuss and try to rank the best five teams in the league? Even though they had a bit of a scare this past Sunday, the Chiefs remained undefeated and are the default #1 in any team rankings so far this season. Like some others, i’m hesitant to call them the BEST team in the league. They have had a favorable schedule but since these are power rankings, they stay on top. Then come the Colts at second place. Yes, I know they have lost two games but since they took down last week’s first place team, I feel they deserve to be here. Andrew Luck and the Colts are looking about as good as we’ve seen any team look this season. Here’s where it gets a bit tricky. The Saints, Broncos and Seahawks are all capable of taking this spot but i’m giving it to Seattle because they won their last game while Denver and New Orleans are both coming off losses heading into this week’s game. The Bronco’s defense seems to have a lot of holes and the Saints offense was very stale in their loss against the Patriots. If I were to bet my own money, i’d have to take the Broncos slightly over the Saints at this point.

Side note: Happy to hear the news from Packers’ TE Jermichael Finley that he’s out of ICU, up and walking with full feeling in his arms and legs.

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Taking a closer look at the wild card round: NFC

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Now it’s time to look at the better conference this round. No offense to the AFC but there’s a reason both of the NFC games were scheduled at the second game, they’re the match ups that are going to attract more viewers because they both hold potential to be classic games. Quick tangent: do fans realize that there’s a chance that the Packers and Seahawks can meet in the conference championship game? That’s pretty crazy considering what happened earlier in the season between those two teams. I’m getting a little ahead of myself but I just wanted to point that out. Let’s take a look at this side of the tournament.

Key match ups: In the Packers-Vikings game, the key to each team is pretty simple: how much can you stop the other team’s best player? Adrian Peterson is clearly the best RB in the league and Aaron Rodgers is arguably (definitely on Brady/Manning level) the best QB in the league so the defenses for each team will have their work cut out for them. This was the last game of the regular season and the Vikings won the game but this time it will be at Lambeau. It’ll be cold so who does that benefit more? Peterson breaking the record of rushing yards in a single playoff game (248) is definitely in play.

The final game this weekend will feature two rookie QBs that have been incredible for their own teams throughout the season. Redskins-Seahawks in the nation’s capital will surely have fireworks and i’m very excited for this game. These teams play a very similar style on offense. Both have an excellent running game, they take care of the football AND both RG3 and Russell Wilson are dual threat style QBs. How much will RG3′s injury hold him back? It was evident against my Cowboys that he’s not 100% but still remained somewhat effect on the ground. Can Seattle play at elite level when they’re on the road? They’re weren’t good outside of Seattle for most of the season but they did have a signature road win against the Bears in early December.

Prediction: This is a quarterback driven league and as much damage as Peterson can do, I don’t think it will be enough to overcome how good the Packers are at home. The Packers are going to throw everything at Peterson and dare Christian Ponder to carry more of the Vikings’ offense throughout the game. Would you bet on Ponder? I’m putting my money on Rodgers. Now the other game was harder for me to pick. Essentially the Redskins and Seahawks are the same team on offense with the exception of RG3 not being 100% healthy. The biggest difference is that Seattle has been playing MUCH better on defense than the Redskins have and I think that will be the determining factor in this game. I’m taking the Seahawks on the road but I think it will be a very close game filled with excitement.

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Who is the NFL’s MVP through week 14?

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How does one determine the exact criteria needed to be an MVP? Some people take the definition literally, who is the most valuable player on a team relative to their success? Others believe that an MVP is simply the best player on the best team. It’s a little more complicated in the NFL because not only are there many more players, it’s a rare sport where the most valuable player can only affect one aspect of the game. Basketball only has five players on the court playing offense and defense while in baseball some pitchers get a chance to bat. In the NFL, I feel like it’s a combination of being on a successful team but more so the fact that the awarded player is above and beyond his peers in that respective position. 

There are a pack of QBs shuffling in and out of the MVP conversation, all with great reasoning as to why they should be considered for the award. That group includes Aaron Rodgers, RG3, Andrew Luck and Matt Ryan. All four have certain games or moments that have them among the MVP candidates but their consistency has them wavering a bit. On a side note, I think it’s pretty ridiculous that there are TWO rookies in the conversation in the same season. So take one of those four in the 5th spot (personally, i’d take Rodgers) and ranking 4th in the MVP race is J. J. Watt, defensive end for the Houston Texans. I think he is far and above the best defensive player this season (linebackers Von Miller and Aldon Smith are his only competition) and while he took a slight blow on Monday night, he’s still more valuable to his defense than any other player.

Speaking of above and beyond, there’s a running back in Minnesota named Adrian Peterson that has been tearing through defensive players like they’re JV squad. Can someone say first RB taken in your fantasy draft next season? The only hit to Peterson’s MVP campaign is that the Vikings aren’t a playoff team right now but he’s still 3rd place in my book. That could change and if Purple Jesus carries his team into the playoffs, I think he should jump into the lead of the race. Everyone knows that the NFL is a passing league and it’s a quarterback league so naturally the two front runners for the MVP are the league’s two best quarterbacks right now. Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are basically 1A and 1B for this season’s award for most valuable player. Both players have excellent cases so it’s going to come down to personal preference. Right now, for myself, it’s Brady at 1A and Manning at 1B but there’s still three weeks left so anything can happen.

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