Monday, October 13, 2008

Three Stars: The Only Three

Ok. That headline is probably a little over the top. There were definitely more than three defensive players that performed well (thankfully, or the Vikings would have lost). Offensively, there was really only one player who was worth celebrating. You can probably guess who it is, but read on, as I unveil the Three Stars for the game.

Third Star: Jared Allen
Jared Allen earned his first weekly star on Sunday for two reasons. The first is because he scared the Lions so much on the edge that they didn't double team Kevin Williams. Forcing teams to choose between doubling Allen and doubling Williams is one of the reasons why I remain excited about his presence on the team. The other reason why he gets the Third Star? This play:

And yes, I think that Allen getting through the line unblocked and scaring Orlovsky so much he forgot where he was means that Allen should get credit, rather than Orlovsky getting blamed.

Second Star: Bernard Berrian
Any surprise here? Berrian turning a 13 yard pass into an 86 yard touchdown was the biggest play of the game. Without it, the Vikings' lose. It was his second straight game with over 100 yards receiving (he's on pace for over 1100), and he remains the Vikings' only real deep threat. And really, that run after the catch was a thing of beauty--he made three defenders miss (and, following a monster block from, I think, Aundrae Allison) and made the kind of big play the Vikings haven't seen their wide receivers make in a long time. The most impressive part? He's still nursing a knee injury. Think about what he'd be able to do if he was healthy!

First Star: Kevin Williams
Is anyone surprised that the Lions thought it was a good idea to single team Kevin Williams (Is there anything worse than that franchise's decision making)? I think he showed, quite clearly, why real teams don't do that. Well, at least I hope that his eight tackles, one of which was for a loss and one of which was for no gain and his four sacks would convince teams not to single team him (actually, wait...never mind--I hope it doesn't). His plays all came at crucial times too--in one sequence, he stopped Jerome Felton for no gain on 3rd and 1, which forced the Lions to punt. Bernard Berrian then scored on the Vikings next play. Then, when the Lions got the ball back, he stopped Rudi Johnson for a four yard loss on first down and sacked Orlovsky on 3rd down, almost single handedly ending that drive. He also sacked Orlovsky on a 3rd and 4 in Vikings' territory in the fourth quarter and then ended any chance of the Lions completing a fluke Hail Mary by bringing down Orlovsky on the final play. The man, quite simply, was a BEAST. And that's why he's the First Star this week.

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