Minnesota Vikings: Best Of November
By Joseph Gunther
The Minnesota Vikings had a rough month in November; it included two losses, a lengthy injury to Percy Harvin and a drop in the standings. The team sandwiched a home win and a bye week between its two road losses.
The Vikings 1-3 record in November dropped it to two games out of the division lead. The Vikings improved to 5-1 at home and fell to 1-4 on the road with its three games.
Offensive Player of the Month: RB Adrian Peterson
The sixth-year running back averaged 153.67 yards and a touchdown per game in November. He started the month off right with a 182-yard, two-touchdown performance against the Seattle Seahawks. After the completion of the Week 12 games, Peterson now holds a 172 yard advantage over Arian Foster of the Houston Texans for the league’s rushing lead.
Runners-up: OT Matt Kalil, TE Kyle Rudolph, WR Jarius Wright
Defensive Player of the Month: CB Antoine Winfield
The 14th-year veteran recorded 21 tackles (one for a loss), one pass defensed, one interception and one fumble recovery. He recovered a fumble by Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson in Lion territory to set up an insurmountable 17-point lead with just over eight minutes to play. He intercepted Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler in the opening drive of the second half last Sunday.
Runners-up: LB Jasper Brinkley, LB Chad Greenway, LB Erin Henderson, DT Kevin Williams
Special Teams Player of the Month: DT Kevin Williams
The 10th-year defensive tackle was credited with blocking a kick by the Bears’ Robbie Gould in Sunday’s defeat at Soldier Field. His block kept the Bears from taking a four-score lead into halftime.
Runners-up: P Chris Kluwe, KR/PR Marcus Sherels, K Blair Walsh
Best Win: Vikings 34, Lions 24
It was the only win of the month. The Vikings were playing their first game without Percy Harvin. Jarius Wright made his NFL debut in the star receiver’s place. The Vikings offense was paced by Peterson, but had enough balance from the passing game to score 34 points. The defense was lit up by one of the best passing combos in the NFL; Matthew Stafford to Johnson. The Vikings put themselves in position to share the NFC North division lead before the game at Soldier Field.
Best Newcomer: WR Jarius Wright
The rookie made his NFL debut in the Week 10 win over the Lions. Wright now has 10 catches for 114 yards and a touchdown in two games. He also has three rushing yards on one carry. It appears his ankle is fully healthy after injuring it in the final preseason game in Houston.
Runners-up: OT Matt Kalil, OL Geoff Schwartz, S Harrison Smith
Quote of the Month: C John Sullivan
“It’s pretty simple. The Bears played better than we did. The things that went wrong are totally correctable. The Bears game is behind us now. The tape’s done. We’re focused on going out and beating the Packers.” – Vikings center John Sullivan.
For more Local Football Bloggers and the latest Vikings news, see CBS Sports Minnesota.
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.