In a few limited interviews and watching him help out with high school teams in Minnesota, it is pretty easy to realize his impact on his team and community. On the field, he is almost always considered the best player. That was not doubted in the NFC Championship, as he made a great move and walked into the end zone to give the Vikings a 7-0 lead.
He was also the primary reason they tied the game at 28. He broke a few swings and screens for big gains. When he is in the game, the Vikings always have the chance for the big play. Even when he fumbled the last time and recovered it himself, everybody I was watching the game with said that coach Brad Childress had to pull him. I disagreed. No matter how big the mistake, you can't take your best player off of the field. It cost them on Percy Harvin's fumble. It helped them when they tied the game. It's a tough call, but without Adrian Peterson, the Vikings are simply not that good.
Chester Taylor and Percy Harvin carried the majority of the time when Peterson was benched on the sideline because of the fumbles. Not one time when they handed it off in between the tackles did I think we could score on that play. When Peterson is in the game, it's the exact opposite. Even with his inability to hold onto the football, he has to be on the field.He had overcome the fumbles for the majority of the season.
He opens up things for Brett Favre all over the field. With him in the game, the defense is forced to keep seven in the box and some of the time also have a strong safety spy him on the field. He can break tackles, score the long run, and control a football game.
The Vikings' problems came from the right side of the offensive line and their offensive coordinator. The Vikings' studs are on the left side of the offensive line. During the season in crucial situations, they would run behind two rookies and a terrible lineman in Anthony Herrara. On the field, Herrara plays like 300 pound fish. He flops around, misses blocks, and allowed Brett Favre to be hit on numerous occasions. I have watched and coached a lot of football, and Herrara might be one of the worst offensive lineman in the game when he is not playing well. The coaches continued to run behind him and the two rookies surrounding him. That was the primary reason that Peterson was handcuffed for the majority of the season.
Looking forward to what is likely going to be an uncapped season in the NFL, if Minnesota wants to win the Super Bowl and be one of the best teams again, they need to do this some things first.
Their number one priority has to be resigning Brett Favre. Their second priority, and in no particular order because they all need to be done, is sign one or two very good offensive linemen. Also, they need to shore up the blocking with a 'real' fullback. Nafatu Tahi is one of the worst lead blockers in the league. If the Vikings can do that, then they will be counting on Bevell and Childress to take them to the promise land.
A lot of sketchy play calls later in the season came back to bite Childress, but he just needs to let Favre dictate what happens.
When he allowed him to check to his type of plays in certain situations, the Vikings were at their best.
For example, the first half of the second Chicago Bears game in Chicago. The Bears led 16-0 at halftime and the Vikings were treading water. On the contrary, Favre got it his way in the second half and led the Vikings back to make it 30-30 at the end of regulation.
They lost in overtime because of a Peterson fumble and that could inevitably be the reason they are not Super Bowl Champions because it cost them home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, but Favre had it his way and it worked.
It didn't work out, so now they have to shore up things on both sides of the ball before taking the field in September.
If it all happens the right way, Minnesota will be the best team in the NFC.