YOOOAdrian’s 2010 NFL Preview- Minnesota Vikings

I think we all knew he was coming back, he just wanted the limelight and avoid those dreaded two a days.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  The big picture for the organization is to win the Super Bowl, and they have all the parts to get it done.  They came within a Favre bonehead interception of playing in the Super Bowl last year in a game, quite frankly, they should have won; but you can’t turn the ball over 5 times.  While the offense looks good with Peterson, Favre and an emerging Sidney Rice, it was the defense which really dominated.  They have the best defensive line in football and they’re pass rush patches up some of the flaws in the secondary.  Overall, it’s now or never for Minnesota.

Quarterback

 Brett Favre- 363/531  68.4%  4,202 yds  33 td  7 int  107.2 rat

Favre is entering his unfathomable 20th season in the NFL coming off a year in which, statistically, he had the best season of his career.  He had a career low interception rate and threw the most touchdowns since 1997 when he flung for 34.  His career high of 39 touchdowns came a year earlier, his only Super Bowl season.  He wants that 2nd ring to end his career for good.

(Brett Favre)

Favre still has one of the best arms in football, even over 40 and coming off of a shoulder surgery before the start of last season.  The key for him is to keep away from the stupid, forced interceptions which he is known for in the past.  He’s still tough and remains the ultimate competitor.

Others- Tarvaris Jackson, Sage Rosenfels

Viking fans are out of their vegetative states after the Favre news.  Jackson is a run first quarterback who reads just half the field. 

Rosenfels has starting experience in the league.

GRADE- 8

 Running Backs

 Adrian Peterson-  313 car  1,383 yds  4.4 avg  18 td  43 rec  436 yds 

Peterson, in my opinion is the best running back in the league.  Even with the precense of Favre, Peterson still drew eight men in the box.  He’s an absolute freak who barrels over people like Earl Campbell, and dashes away down the sideline like Marcus Allen. 

(Adrian Peterson)

His out of control style causes Peterson to fumble too much.  He put it on the turf 7 times last season, losing 6 of them.  He still needs to get a bit better in pass protection.

 Toby Gerhart-  ROOKIE

The runner-up in last year’s Heisman Trophy ballot is an intriguing player.  He’s big and runs with good vision.  He holds on tightly to the ball and doesn’t fumble.  The loss of Chester Taylor hurts, as the Vikings really don’t have the threat to catch the football out of the backfield in nickel downs.

 Others-  Albert Young,  Naufahu Tahi

Young is strong and runs low to the ground, nothing pretty. 

Tahi is a short area blocker who can play catch with Favre.

GRADE- 9

Receivers

 Sidney Rice-  83 rec  15.8 avg  1,312 yds  8 td

With the addition of Favre, Rice broke out.  Favre loves to throw it up and let a receiver go get it.  At 6’4 Rice uses his size extremely well to jump and catch balls at their highest points.

(Sidney Rice)

 Percy Harvin-  60 rec  790 yds  13.2 avg  6 td

The 2009 Offensive Rookie of the Year is a threat to catch, run and return the football.  He’s an electric slot receiver who is at his best in the open field with his electric speed and slippery  moves.  The only thing holding Harvin back is his life long battle with terrible migraine headaches.

 Bernard Berrian-  55 rec  618 yds  11.2 avg  4 td

Berrian suffered a preseason hammy injury, and seemed to be hindered by it for most of the season.  He’s a deep threat who had a great NFC Championship Game against New Orleans.

TE- Visanthe Shiancoe- 56 rec  566 yds  10.1 avg  11 td

Shiancoe had a tight end team record and career high 11 touchdowns last season.  He’s a great target, but continues to drop too many passes.  His blocking is suspect at best.

Others- Jim Kleinsasser, Greg Lewis, Joe Webb, Jaymarr Johnson

Kleinsasser is an underrated player who does the dirty work as a blocking tight end.

Lewis had the catch of the season against San Francisco on a last second game winning touchdown.

GRADE- 8

Offensive Line

 LT- Bryant McKinnie

McKinnie improved as a pass blocker and cut down on the mental mistakes.  He’s not the dominating force in the run game he used to be.

LG- Steve Hutchinson

Hutchinson, hampered by injuries, wasn’t his usual self as a punishing run blocker.  He played well in pass protection using his wit and instincts.

 C- John Sullivan

Sullivan did what he could with the departure of Matt Birk.  He struggles against the mammoth defensive tackles in the trenches.

RG- Anthony Herrera

Herrera is a hard worker who plays at his best as a pass protector.

RT- Phil Loadholt

Loadholt is a unique specimen.  He’s 6’8 with a humongous wingspan.  He’s awfully strong and plays with a mean streak.

(Phil Loadholt)

GRADE- 7.5

 Defensive Line

 LDE- Ray Edwards- 51 tck  8.5 sck  2 p def  1 ff

Edwards benefited with the talents of the Williams’ and Jared Allen.  He saw a lot of one on one matchups, and has the moves in his repertoire to get to the quarterback.

LDT-  Pat Williams- 44 tck  2 sck  3 p def  2 ff

Entering his 14th season, Williams is a two down player at this point.  He continues to be one of the better run cloggers in the NFL.

RDT- Kevin Williams- 30 tck  6 sck  7 p def  1 ff

Williams, in my opinion is the best defensive tackle in football.  He is a daunting task as a 3 technique player who makes plays even as he’s double teamed.  He’s a one gap player who opens up things around him.

RDE- Jared Allen- 51 tck  14.5 sck  1 int  4 p def  5 ff

Just like I believe Kevin Williams is the best defensive tackle in football, I believe Allen is the best defensive end in football.  On a consistent basis, he causes chaos in the backfield.  He has the ability to change the complexion of a football game by himself.  He could improve a bit against the run.

(Jared Allen)

Others- Brian Robinson, Everson Griffin, Fred Evans

Robinson is a guy who can play end or kick inside and play tackle.

Griffin is a 4th round pick from USC.

GRADE- 9

 Linebackers

 LOLB- Chad Greenway- 99 tck  3 int  6 p def  1 ff

Greenway is at his best in coverage against the opposing tight end.  He plays with good instincts.  The issue with Greenway is his missed tackles.

(Chad Greenway)

MLB- E.J. Henderson- 83 tck  2 sck  1 p def

The linebacking core took a hit when Henderson went down for the season in December with a broken leg.  He can do a bit of everything. 

 ROLB- Ben Leber-  46 tck  2.5 sck  5 p def  1 ff

Leber is at his best rushing the passer.  When Henderson got hurt, Leber played more in nickel situations and didn’t look too bad in coverage.

Others- Jasper Brinkley, Erin Henderson, Nathan Triplett

Brinkley filled in for Henderson at starting linebacker and did a stellar job.  He’s not as good in coverage as Henderson is.

Erin is the younger brother of E.J. Henderson.

GRADE- 7.25

 Secondary

 LCB- Antoine Winfield- 55 tck  1 int  5 p def  1 sck  1 ff

Winfield comes off a season in which he missed 6 games with a broken foot.  He’s a ballhawk who’s physical in press coverage.  He also plays the run well.

(Antoine Winfield)

RCB- Cedric Griffin- 78 tck  4 int  6 p def  3 ff

Griffin comes back off an ACL tear which occurred during the NFC Championship Game.  Griffin plays physical but has coverage concerns.

CB- Benny Sapp- 44 tck  6 p def  2 ff

Sapp gained confidence as he gained more playing time with Winfield out some games.

FS- Madieu Williams- 74 tck  4 p def

Williams is a good blitzer and can thump in the running game.  The ex-corner surprisingly isn’t great in coverage.

SS- Tyrell Johnson- 57 tck  1 int  7 p def

Johnson, a 2008 2nd round pick, hasn’t lived up to the expectations thus far.  Entering his 3rd season, Johnson must show he can be productive.  He plays hesitantly with his instincts.

Others- Jamarca Sanford, Asher Allen, Chris Cook

Sanford will step in at strong safety if Johnson continues to falter. 

Cook is a wiry 2nd round pick from Virginia.

 GRADE- 7.25

 Special Teams

PK- Ryan Longwell- 26/28 52 lg

Longwell has a fitting name for a kicker.  He kicks footballs long and well, corny I know.

P- Chris Kluwe- 73 punts  42.4 avg  24 ins 20  61 lg

Kluwe puts good hang time on his punts.

KR- Percy Harvin- 42 ret  27.5 avg  2 td  101 lg

Harvin can gallop.

PR- Darius Reynaud- 30 ret  10.3 avg  36 lg

It’ll be either Reynaud or Jaymar Johnson returning punts.

GRADE- 7.5

 2010 PREDICTION- 12-4

This will be the final destination for Favre, but will the Vikings fulfill the ultimate destiny?  This is a team that’s aging, so again, it’s now or never for Minnesota.  God knows how they’ll be next year when Tarvaris Jackson is handed the reigns.

Offensive MVP- Adrian Peterson

Defensive MVP- Jared Allen

Breakthrough- Phil Loadholt

Overrated- Bryant McKinnie

Underrated- Chad Greenway

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