Here we are in week 17 and another season is nearly in the books. The Green Bay Packers end their regular season schedule with a trip to Minnesota to face the Vikings. A few years back, the NFL changed its schedule making such that the last week of the season would be a divisional game for all teams. This was in the hopes that the games would be meaningful and teams wouldn’t rest slews of their starters in preparation for the postseason.
The NFL has gotten its wish this year and with this game. Each team has something on the line. The Vikings need to win to secure a playoff spot. The Packers can clinch the second seed in the NFC with a win. Should the Vikings win, the Packers can still gain the #2 seed with a San Francisco and a Seattle loss.
Last week’s format was a success so I’m going stick with a “Keys to the Game” theme. Let’s see what will likely determine the outcome of tomorrow’s contest.
Vikings Running Back Adrian Peterson
I feel like a broken record with the thoughts I share about Peterson but given the season he is having, they bear some repeating. According to ESPN, Peterson has 1,898 yards in 15 games. 102 yards shy of 2,000 yards, an accomplishment only six other running backs can claim. Peterson is also 208 yards shy of the 28 year-old and all-time single-season rushing record set by Eric Dickerson in 1984.
Peterson is surely going to win a major award after this season. Whether it’s the Comeback Player of the Year, Most Valuable Player award or Offensive MVP, Peterson deserves at least one of those. I watched some of the tape of Peterson’s first game at Green Bay this season. He is running as quickly and as hard as ever. Many of the yards he picked up on long runs in that game came after contact. Nowadays, we see more and more backs running out of bounds or diving to the ground before the big hit. Peterson is a throwback and reminds me a lot of Walter Payton.