Minnesota Vikings’ Best Of October
By Joseph Gunther
The Minnesota Vikings got off to a very good start to the 2012 season with a 3-1 record in September, however, October wasn’t as kind.
The Vikings split their four games in the month–they are now two games behind the Chicago Bears and the surging Green Bay Packers have caught them. The Vikings finished the month of October with a disappointing home Thursday loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and lost cornerback Chris Cook to a broken arm.
Offensive Player of the Month: WR Percy Harvin
The star wide receiver led the team in receptions (30), receiving yards (368), touchdown catches (three) and total touchdowns (four). The former first round draft pick continues to be the most valuable player in the NFL to his team.
Runners-up: RB Adrian Peterson, WR Michael Jenkins, WR Jerome Simpson
Defensive Player of the Month: DE Jared Allen
After posting 22 sacks last season, the former trade acquisition got off to a slow start. However in October, he collected 13 tackles, five sacks and one pass deflection. He has gotten himself back into the mix for league lead with at least one in each of the last six games. His seven on the season are 2.5 behind the league leader.
Runners-up: DE Brian Robison, LB Chad Greenway, S Harrison Smith, CB Antoine Winfield
Special Teams Player of the Month: K Blair Walsh
The rookie sixth round draft pick was a perfect eight for eight on both field goals and extra point attempts. He also collected 19 touchbacks and allowed just a 24.7 yards per kickoff return.
Runners-up: KR Percy Harvin, P Chris Kluwe
Best Win: Minnesota Vikings 30, Tennessee Titans 7
The Vikings dominated the game from beginning to end. It began with a Harvin short touchdown run and concluded with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Christian Ponder to Kyle Rudolph. This may have been the beginning of the end for Ponder, but the Vikings proved it can win, and win big, when the second-year quarterback is not at his best.
Best Newcomer: S Harrison Smith
The first round draft pick has added a physical and aggressive style to the Vikings secondary. In October, he posted 23 tackles, two passes defensed, one interception and a touchdown. The play that sealed his selection was the pick-six that was the eventual game-winning score against the Arizona Cardinals.
Runners-up: CB Josh Robinson, WR Jerome Simpson
Quote of the Month: DE Jared Allen
“In a league that talks about taking care of defenseless players – players in defenseless positions — that is a situation [where there is] nothing he can do to defend himself. There is no place [for] that. If you take a guy’s knee, he may never be the same player after that. If we are going to talk about player safety, it needs to be equality [for] all players. My knee is just as valuable as Tom Brady’s in my eyes. There are hits on the [defensive players] that could be illegal and probably save some defensive players.” – Vikings defensive end Jared Allen said to the NFL Network after New York Jets offensive lineman Matt Slauson blocked Brian Cushing, which tore the ACL of the Houston Texans linebacker.
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Joseph Gunther is an avid fan of Minnesota sports, including football, hockey and baseball. He covered a wide variety of sports while attending Hastings College in Hastings, Neb. While at Hastings College, he was a part of the first collegiate media group to broadcast a national tournament via television, radio, internet and newspaper at the 2004 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Tournament. He grew up in the Twin Cities playing three years of varsity football in high school. His work can be found on Examiner.com.