Bernard Berrian's Play Justifying Hefty Contract

Kobina TaylorContributor INovember 3, 2008

Lets lay down a few Berrian related numbers:

Six years, $42 million, $16 million guaranteed.

First three games: 11 receptions for 195 yards and no TDs (he was out week 2 vs Colts)

Last four games: 19 receptions for 426 yards and 4 TDs (one in each game)

First three games: 128.7 team rushing average and 3 rushing TDs

Last four games: 127.8 team rushing average and 4 rushing TDs

From those numbers, it seems that Berrian's first three games indicate he was getting comfortable in the new system...Which means the pressure was all on Peterson to deliver. Which also helps explain the 1-2 record in those first three.

In the last four games, defenses have done everything in their power to stop Peterson...which has resulted in Berrian's emergence, averaging over 100 yards per game. They've gone to him early, which in turn has softened the defense enough that the team's average had dropped only a shade, because they were able to pick up yards in the second half.

Berrian's play has given the Vikings a scary, two-dimensional offense. The run is no longer the only threat. Houston, so worried about A.P., gave up a big pass play on Minnesota's first offensive snap. The more effective Berrian continues to be, the less men A.P. will deal with up front, which will mean a more productive offense. 

If Berrian continues to have an effect like this, he'll be earning his contract...and then some.

Berrian will face a stiff test this weekend against the fifth ranked pass D of the Packers, but their run D is ranked 26th. But with his recent production, expect Berrian to find a way to make a big play or two.

Like it or not Vikings fans, Berrian has become the X-factor for the offense.

Hopefully, he'll continue to prove his worth this weekend...in a classic border battle.

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