Monday, September 17, 2007

Three Stars--Gotta Stay Positive

After an ugly loss, I find that it's important to focus on the positive things. Which is why it's good that I'll be picking three stars from each game, no matter the outcome. This week, there were quite a few Vikings who came ohsoclose to making that game changing play that would have landed them a position in the 3 Stars, but they fell just short, whether it was because they couldn't quite get by that last tackler, like Troy Williamson and Aundrae Allison, or whether they clanged a game winner of the goal post, like Ryan Longwell.

There were also a few players that that were thwarted by their teammates, such as Mewelde Moore, who gained 80 yards during the last drive, which started on the Vikings 17, only to watch it go for naught, due to three penalties which kept the Vikings on their half of the field. Moore also took a short pass from Tarvaris near the end of regulation and turned it into a twenty yard gain, putting the Vikings one play from field goal range. But without that capstone, it isn't enough to get Moore a star. However, it should be more than enough to ensure that Childress never leaves him on the inactive list again.

But enough about almosts and not quites. It's time for the three stars:

3rd Star: Purple Jesus

His stats weren't as impressive as last week's, but Adrian Peterson continued to show why he's the Purple Jesus. His 24 yard reception to set up Tarvaris Jackson was a thing of beauty--he avoided tackles, he broke tackles and he leveled defenders. Any linger concerns one might have had about his ability to be effective as a reciever can be put to rest. And while the blocking wasn't there for him today running, but he still made the best of it, almost always gaining yards that he shouldn't have. And if you want football instincts, his tackle prevented a possible touchdown on a Tarvaris Jackson interception in the third quarter.

2nd Star: Ray Edwards

While he turned in a sold performance last week, Ray Edwards wasn't able to get to the quarterback, and on a day when your team gets six sacks, you need to do more to stand out from the crowd. That wasn't an issue today, as he returned a J.T. O'Sullivan fumble for a touchdown to tie the game in the third quarter. He was also a pas rushing force today, combining with E.J. Henderson on a sack, dropping O'Sullivan in the fourth quarter, and then knocking down a pass on the Lions final drive in regulation.

1st Star: Darren Sharper

At the bar I was at, I was able to see a few other games, including the Broncos-Raiders game. And during a commercial, CBS put up a graphic with the list of players who had the most interceptions since 1999, when the Broncos two quarterbacks, Champ Bailey and Dre Bly entered the league. While Bailey and Bly were both in the top five, neither was the leader. Darren Sharper was. And he showed why on Sunday, picking off two passes, including a beautiful interception in the end zone while dragging his feet to stay in bounds. It was an amazing play, something only the best receivers can do. Sharper had no problem doing it, which is why he has 49interceptions since 1999, more than any other player. He's also second on the team in tackles after leading the team on Sunday.

[Standings: 1st Stars-Darren Sharper, Adrian Peterson. 2nd Stars-Ray Edwards, Kevin Williams. 3rd Stars-Adrian Peterson, E.J. Henderson.]

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