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Yesterday’s season-ending Pro Bowl is now in the books, and the NFC won 30 – 21.
The MVP of the game (and rightfully so) was Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals. Fitzgerald capped off his amazing post season with 5 catches for 81 yards and 2 touchdowns. Fitz proved once again that it doesn’t matter who is covering him… if the QB puts the ball where he can get it, he’ll get it.
The Vikings looked good throughout the game. Offensive lineman Steve Hutchinson played nearly the entire game, Kevin Williams and Antoine Winfield both had 4 tackles, and Pat Williams and Jared Allen each had 3. Allen had a sack, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery (all in one play!). Winfield had an interception. Adrian Peterson rushed 8 times for 48 yards and a TD.
The Vikings really shined in short burst in the third quarter. AFC QB Kerry Collins tried to go deep to Brandon Marshall of the Broncos, but the pass was picked off by Antoine Winfield. Several plays (and a punt) later, the AFC has the ball back. Jared Allen gets to Collins and strips the ball, forcing a fumble and being credited with a sack. Allen scooped the ball up and returned it to the AFC 10 yard line. On the very next play, Peterson took the hand off from Manning and ran 10 yards for the TD.
The big difference for Peterson this year was that he only got 8 carries. Last year he got 19 carries during the game, and before the game started, it sounded like NFC coach Any Reid was going to continue that trend. This year the NFC only rushed 19 times total, though.
The Pro Bowl is never the most exciting game to watch in my mind, but it does mark the official end of the football season. It’s a little sad that we will have to wait 6 months to see the Vikings on the field again, but hopefully there will be plenty going on with roster moves to keep us all excited.
The Minnesota Vikings have 6 players in this Sunday’s Pro Bowl, so I thought we could take a look at them today. We’ll start with the offense
OFFENSIVE PRO BOWLERS
Adrian Peterson (Starter)
Of course this one is kind of a given. Peterson led the NFL with 1,760 rushing yards this year, and there probably isn’t any other running back in the league that is feared by defenses like he is. He was last year’s Pro Bowl MVP, putting up the second most rushing yards in the history of the Pro Bowl itself. Any Reid asked him how many carries he wants this year, and Adrian answered “You can give me the ball every time”.
Steve Hutchinson (Starter)
Hutch is one of the best linemen in the game, so this doesn’t come as a surprise. He was a solid part of the left side of the line for the Vikings all year.
DEFENSIVE PRO BOWLERS
Kevin Williams (Starter)
One half of the Williams Wall, Kevin has been a pro bowler before, but he certainly benefited from having newcomer Jared Allen on the line with him this year. His sack total went from 3 last year to 8.5 this year, proving that he’s still just as dangerous on passing downs as he is in stopping the run.
Antoine Winfield (Starter)
Winfield will be playing in his first Pro Bowl ever this year. I used to complain a lot about Winfield. I always thought he was a solid tackler, but I felt he got beat a lot on plays that he should’ve been able to break up. This year he changed my mind. He only had 2 interceptions on the year, but he consistently made big plays at key times, including a couple defensive touchdowns.
Big Pat will be joining fellow linemen Kevin Williams and Jared Allen in this year’s Pro Bowl. Even though only Kevin Williams is starting, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some plays when the Minnesota Vikings make up 75% of the defensive line in the game. Pat is an amazing run stopper, and his value was proven when he missed a few games at the end of the season this year.
Allen is another obvious choice for the Pro Bowl. He had 14.5 sacks this season, and he lead the league with 2 safeties on the season as well. My only gripe though is that he should be a starter. He had more sacks then starter Justin Tuck, and the same number of sacks and more tackles than starter Julius Peppers. I have a feeling that he’ll make the most of his playing time, though. I’m going to predict that he finishes the game with 2 sacks.
We all know how great he is, but now it’s obvious that so do the fans that voted for the Fed Ex Players of the Year. (Drew Brees was voted the Fed Ex Air player of the year)
Here are Peterson’s amazing stats from this year….
- 363 Rushing Attempts
- 1,760 Rushing Yards
- 4.8 Yards Per Carry
- 10 touchdowns
If you head HERE, you can vote for Adrian Peterson for the Fed Ex Ground Player of the Year
Okay, so this is just a little bit to get you Vikings fans pumped up about the upcoming season!
Let’s recap his rookie season:
- He rushed for over 100 yards 6 different times in 13 1/2 games
- Tied the league for 2nd most rushing TDs (12)
- Finished second in the league in Rushing Yards (1,341)
- Ran for over 200 yards in a game twice (only rookie to do that)
- Set the NFL single-game record with 296 rushing yards
- Gained the NFL all time third best position for combined yards in a game with 361 against Chicago
- Scored his first regular season TD of his career on a 60+ yard pass play
- Had 1,036 yards after 8 games, the best first half of a season by a rookie ever
- Won the Rookie Of The Year award
- Was named the Pro-Bowl MVP
Those are just a few of the reasons why I wake up on Sunday mornings during the football season and wish my wife a “Happy Adrian Peterson Day”!