Minnesota Vikings: 2008 Player Awards
After another year of ups and downs, the Minnesota Vikings will be watching the Super Bowl from the stands of Raymond James Stadium wondering what could of been.
However, despite the disappointing end to a roller-coaster season, I think it's relevant to reflect on the Vikings' Best and worst players and moments from the 2008 season.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR.
ADRIAN PETERSON: Peterson came into the season coming of one of the most impressive rookie running back campaigns in the history of the NFL, which included setting three NFL records.
Many wondered if Peterson would run into the rookie wall in his sophomore campaign. Peterson blew any suggestion of that out of the water with 1,760 rushing yards on 363 carries (4.8 rushing average) with 10 touchdowns.
Peterson won his first rushing crown, and he did with less carries that the closest rusher to him in Michael Turner. He only compiled 10 touchdowns, but that had more to do with the fact that the Vikings didn't have many and goals for Peterson to rumble over. It was a joke that the All Pro Running Back only had two MVP votes.
Runner up: Steve Hutchinson
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
JARED ALLEN DE: Allen was traded from Kansas City in the off-season and signed the richest contract for a defensive player in the NFL. Allen didn't disappoint.
Despite suffering shoulder and Knee injuries that would leave a normal player sidelined for weeks, Allen didn't miss a game and piled up 54 tackles, 14.5 sacks and three forced fumbles.
Allen was named to the Pro-bowl and Named First team All-Pro for the second consecutive year. In Allen'sbiggest game as a Viking against Philadelphia, he recorded three tackles, two sacks, and a forced fumble to once again prove his worth.
Runner up: Pat Williams
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER
VISANTHE SHIANCOE TE: Shiancoe had a disappointing 2007 campaign and began 2008 like he wanted to continue his struggles for another season. Terrible hands and questionable blocking skills had turned Shiancoe into a laughing stock amongst Viking faithful.
Then, BOOM! Out of nowhere Shiancoe turned into an athletic, fast talented tight end virtually over night. Shiancoe ended the season with 42 receptions for 596 yards, with seven touchdowns, along with becoming Tarvaris Jackson's favourite target and many fantasy owners' saviour this season.
Runner up: Cedric Griffin
MOST DISAPPOINTING PLAYER
DARREN SHARPER SS: Sharper came into this season after being named to his fourth Pro-Bowl in 2007. However, Sharper lost a big step this last offseason and looked like a different player than the much feared safety that he used to be. Sharper ended the season with 69 tackles, one interception, and a likely trip to free-agency.
Runner up: Sidney Rice
GOAL LINE STAND TO 99 YARD TD PASS VS BEARS: Let us not forget Benny Sapp in this because without his bonehead penalty, one of the greatest moments of Vikings football would never have occurred.
After stopping the Bears three times from the one-yard line with the Williams wall and Jared Allen proving that they are that good, Matt Birk snapped the ball to Gus Frerotte at the one-yard line who then stepped back and let one fly and found a wide oped Bernard Berrian, who scampered into the end zone to end the craziest series of plays ever seen on Sunday Night Football.
Runner up: Longwell kick to send Vikings to the playoffs
FUMBLE-A-THON VS FALCONS:This was the hardest game to watch for many years for a Vikings fan as the Vikings literally let Atlanta slip through their fingers. It was as if the Vikings were trying to lose the game it was that bad.
To rub salt into the wound, the Vikings gave fans hope up once again with a possible game tying drive,but once again let it slip through Sidney Rice's hands.
Runner up: Fumbles vs Buccaneers
AND LAST BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST....
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
ADRIAN PETERSON RB: Peterson narrowly edges out Jared Allen for the 2008 Vikings MVP. Peterson's importance was crucial throughout the season, none more so than Week 10 vs the Green Bay Packers.
With the Childress led Vikings 0-5 against the packers, Peterson led the game winning drive and finished it brilliantly with a 29 yard TD run to net the Vikings their first win over their rivals in three seasons.
Peterson constantly came up big when the Vikings needed him and that's why ADRIAN PETERSON is the 200 Vikings MVP. An honourable mention goes to Ryan Longwell for his sharp-shooting leg that also needed the vikings some much needed wins, including against the 0-16 (potentialy 1-15) Lions.
Runner up: Jared Allen
So, there you have it, the best and worst of the roller-coaster ride that was the 2008 Minnesota Vikings.
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