The Vikings have played 8 games this year, which, unless math has changed since I was in school, is half of the 16 they are scheduled to play. I guess that means it’s time for a little mid-season breakdown.
So here we go, an alphabetical player-by-player assessment:
Aundrae Allison: Gets deactivated a lot. Still hasn’t won the kick-off return job.
Matt Birk: Matt Birk…he went to Harvard. I never see that commercial anymore. He’s solid.
Brooks Bollinger: Play him Chilly! He’s slightly less sucky than our other quarterbacks.
Vinny Ciurciu: Still can’t pronounce his name. Decent special teams guy.
Ryan Cook: False-start…number 62, offense…five-yard penalty…still second-down.
Koy Detmer: At least he isn’t Chris Weinke. Or Drew Henson.
Mike Doss: Has done about as much as you’d expect from a fourth safety.
Jeff Dugan: I’d like to see him worked into the passing game more. Ha…good one by me.
Ray Edwards: Lots of hype after he fought with the Chiefs in training camp. He still doesn’t impress me. I’d rather see more Brian Robison.
Fred Evans: He hasn’t been arrested yet.
Heath Farwell: Special teams pitbull.
Robert Ferguson: Genius signing by Chilly. Seriously. Cause Chilly knew he had a potential monster in Adrian Peterson, so he figured, “Why don’t I sign a second Jim Kleinsasser who plays farther down the field and throws blocks so AD can score 50-yard touchdowns.” No one assesses talent like Chilly.
Eric Frampton: Um…is he related to Peter?
Charles Gordon: Looks like a player. Should start ahead of Winfield. Kidding.
Chad Greenway: Pretty good against the run, terrible in coverage. Not a bust but nothing to write home about.
Cedric Griffin: This guy either makes you cheer or breaks your heart. There’s no in-between. But he had a great game against San Diego. He just needs to buy a belt and he’ll be fine.
E.J. Henderson: The San Diego game convinced me – E.J. is a Pro-Bowler. Leslie Frazier has brought the best out in this guy. Fantastic blitzer up the middle. Terrific tackler. Yeah, okay, he benefits from playing behind the Williamses, but what the hell. Most great middle linebackers have good tackles in front of them.
Anthony Herrera: The right side is better since he came in for Artis Hicks.
Artis Hicks: See “Anthony Herrera.”
Kelly Holcomb: Even Brad Johnson thinks this guy has rag-arm. And now he has rag-neck too. I’d rather have Jeff George. At least he could once sling it.
Steve Hutchinson: I’ve seen nothing this year to indicate that Hutch is anything less than one of the best guards in the game. I still think we’re paying him way too much, but whatever.
Tarvaris Jackson: Chilly loves the guy, so how can he be bad?
Erasmus James: Irrelevant.
Spencer Johnson: He comes in, he makes plays. Solid back-up lineman.
Marcus Johnson: He was Tice’s guy. He’s obviously not Chilly’s.
Chase Johnson: Must’ve lost my notes on him.
Jim Kleinsasser: Can’t catch or run but he’s still a mauler.
Chris Kluwe: Should get some kind of award for heroism, given all the times he’s had to kick out of the end-zone. Got a little shaky in the San Diego game though.
Ben Leber: Fran Foley’s legacy. He’s a big part of the run defense and his cover skills are okay.
Cullen Loeffler: He eagerly anticipates the day he can also have a sucky morning talk-show on KFAN.
Ryan Longwell: His season could’ve been great, if only he’d hit that one against Detroit.
Marcus McCauley: He got eaten up by Chris Chambers this weekend, but was bailed out. To me he’s the fourth corner. Might end up developing but who knows.
Bryant McKinnie: He still tends to get torched by the better defensive ends (he still sees Jared Allen in his nightmares). There’s no way he’s worth the money he’s getting but I think overall he’s a decent tackle.
Garrett Mills: The man in the middle of the Chilly sticking it to Belichick controversy. And…that’s about it.
Jayme Mitchell: Has made a couple plays.
Mewelde Moore: He’s a better punt returner than Bobby Wade, if only for knowing when to catch it and when to let it go. I still wouldn’t mind seeing him worked in as a pass-catching running back more, but with AD and Chester, it’s hard to see where you’d do that.
Adrian Peterson: I’m sure Chilly can find something wrong with him to use as an excuse to make him the number 2 running back again.
Sidney Rice: In an offense where receivers mattered, Rice might be having a fantastic rookie season. As it is, we’ve only seen flashes – but me likes the flashes. (Now I just need to learn to spell it “Sidney” instead of “Sydney.”)
Tony Richardson: Is segueing nicely into his career as a broadcaster.
Brian Robison: I’d like to see more of him. But you know what I’d like even more? If the Vikings somehow got Jason Taylor away from Miami in the off-season.
Darren Sharper: He’s right when he says this defense isn’t really designed to take advantage of him. He’s still a good player but he doesn’t seem all that relevant.
Visanthe Shiancoe: Has decent hands. Can make some moves after catching the ball. Tends to get called for false-starts at unfortunate times. Is waaaaaay overpaid.
Dwight Smith: Really good run-support safety. Sadly, the lingering image of Dwight from this season will be Devin Hester leaving him in the dust on that long TD that nearly sunk us against the Bears.
Naufahu Tahi: Big guy. Hurt a lot.
Chester Taylor: Aw, Chester got Wally Pipped. And he needs to work on his chair-throwing technique. He’s a pretty good mop-up back.
Dontarrious Thomas: Still think he needs to lose an “r” out of his first name.
Kenechi Udeze: He’s leading the team in sacks. Hear that? He’s leading the team in sacks!
Bobby Wade: Bobby, sweetheart. It’s okay to let a punt go occasionally. Especially when it’s about to hit at the one.
Ronyell Whitaker: His name is cursed by those who wanted us to keep Dovonte Edwards.
Tank Williams: Less troublesome than Tank Johnson.
Kevin Williams: We love Kevin. We just wish he’d actually, you know, make contact with a quarterback occasionally.
Pat Williams: Big Pat has lost nothing. There is no sight more hilarious than some poor schmo running back going directly into him and getting swallowed like Rosie O’Donnell consuming a Ding Dong.
Troy Williamson: He missed the last game because he was at a funeral. No one noticed.
Antoine Winfield: I still think he’s steamed about the crappiness of the offense, but he’s not saying anything now. He just goes out and plays. Except when he’s hurt. His coverage skills are a tad overrated but he’s still a very good corner.
Tags: Adrian Peterson Anthony Herrera Antoine Winfield Artis Hicks Aundrae Allison Ben Leber Bobby Wade Brad Childress Brian Robison Brooks Bollinger Bryant Mckinnie Cedric Griffin Chad Greenway Charles Gordon Chester Taylor Chris Kluwe Cullen Loeffler Darren Sharper Dontarrious Thomas Dwight Smith E.j. Henderson Erasmus James Fred Evans Heath Farwell Jeff Dugan Jim Kleinsasser Kelly Holcomb Kenechi Udeze Kevin Williams Koy Detmer Leslie Frazier Marcus Johnson Marcus Mccauley Matt Birk Mewelde Moore Mike Doss Minnesota Vikings Naufahu Tahi Pat Williams Ray Edwards Robert Ferguson Ronyell Whitaker Ryan Cook Ryan Longwell Sidney Rice Spencer Johnson Steve Hutchinson Tank Williams Tarvaris Jackson Tony Richardson Troy Williamson Vinny Ciurciu Visanthe Shiancoe