Adrian Peterson and Brett Favre are third and fourth overall, respectively in the fan portion of Pro Bowl voting on NFL.com. The Vikings as a team are doing very well, too.
Through Monday, Peterson had garnered 529,000 votes, about 10,000 shy of leading vote-getter Drew Brew. Quarterback Peyton Manning had 532,000 votes for second place. Favre had almost 477,000 votes for fourth place overall.
But the Vikings are having an incredible showing among NFC voting on offense, defense and special teams.
Favre is easily in second place among NFC quarterbacks, as Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers is third among conference QBs at 191,000 votes. Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger are running a close second and third among AFC quarterbacks.
Peterson is easily first among running backs, especially in the NFC. After his 529,000 votes, the next closest is Atlanta’s Michael Turner at 154,263. Cincinnati’s Cedric Benson easily leads the AFC’s running backs with almost 322,000 votes, with his next closest competitor Maurice Jones-Drew at 191,000.
At wide receiver, Sidney Rice may be leading the NFC in receiving yards, but he isn’t even the leading vote-getter on the team among wide receivers. That distinction belongs to Percy Harvin with 138,000, who is running fifth in the conference at his position. Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald leads all WRs with 328,000 votes. Houston’s Andre Johnson leads the AFC with 279,000 votes.
Like Harvin, Visanthe Shiancoe is fifth in the NFC at his position, with Tony Gonzalez leading the conference with 184,000 votes. Shiancoe has only 80,000 votes. Indianapolis’ Dallas Clark leads all tight ends with 274,000 votes.
The Vikings’ John Sullivan is the leading vote getter with the fans among NFC centers with almost 128,000 votes, followed by New Orleans’ Jonathan Goodwin at 118,000. Indianapolis’ Jeff Saturday leads all centers with almost 216,000 votes.
The Vikings’ Bryant McKinnie and Phil Loadholt are both in the top five among NFC tackles. McKinnie leads all tackles with 137,844 votes and Loadholt, a rookie, is fourth in the NFC with 68,000 votes, with New Orleans’ Jon Stinchcomb and Dallas’ Flozell Adams each within 4,000 votes of him. Miami’s Jake Long leads the AFC tackles with 107,000 votes.
Steve Hutchinson and Anthony Herrera are the top two vote-getters among NFC guards, with 145,000 and 95,000 votes, respectively. The New York Giants’ Chris Snee is third with 79,000. The New York Jets’ Alan Faneca leads the AFC with 122,000 votes.
Even Vikings fullback Naufahu Tahi is leading the conference at his position with almost 64,000 votes. Philadelphia’s Leonard Weaver is next with 42,000 votes. Baltimore’s Le’Ron McClain is the overall leader at fullback with 78,000 votes.
Jared Allen leads all defensive ends with 213,000 votes, more than double the next vote-getter (Carolina’s Julius Peppers) among NFC defensive ends. Indianapolis’ Dwight Freeney leads AFC defensive ends with 201,000 votes.
Pat Williams leads all defensive tackles with 136,000 votes, followed closely by Kevin Williams with 130,000. Washington’s Albert Haynesworth has 118,000 for third in the NFC, while Pittsburgh’s Casey Hampton leads the AFC with 121,000.
E.J. Henderson is fourth among NFC inside linebackers with 62,000 votes, but he has just more than half the votes of NFC leader Patrick Willis of the 49ers, who has 115,000 votes. Baltimore’s Ray Lewis leads all inside linebackers with 148,000.
Chad Greenway is second among NFC outside linebackers with 80,000 votes, but he’s a distant second to Dallas’ DeMarcus Ware, who has nearly 170,000 votes. Pittsburgh’s James Harrison leads the AFC with 125,000 votes.
Former Viking Darren Sharper leads all free safeties with 185,000 votes and current Viking Madieu Williams is third in the NFC with 29,000 votes but is trailing Antrel Rolle by only 1,000. Baltimore’s Ed Reed leads the AFC with 146,000 votes.
Antoine Winfield checked in at second among NFC cornerbacks with 112,000 votes, trailing Philadelphia’s Asante Samuel by about 8,000. Denver’s Champ Bailey leads all cornerbacks with 185,000 votes.
Even first-year starter Tyrell Johnson cracked the top five at his position, currently third in the NFC at strong safety with 47,000 votes, trailing Arizona’s Adrian Wilson (120,000) and New Orleans’ Roman Harper (65,000). Pittsburgh’s Troy Polamalu (192,000) leads all strong safeties among the fan votes, which counts for one-third of the voting, with coaches and players making up the other two-thirds.
Harvin is leading all kick returners with 144,000 votes, more than double anyone else in the NFC. San Diego’s Darren Sproles is leading the AFC with 78,000 votes.
Ryan Longwell also leads NFC kickers with 68,000 votes, about 25,000 more votes than Philadelphia’s David Akers. Indianapolis’ Adam Vinatieri leads all kickers with 72,000 votes.
Chris Kluwe is second among NFC punters with 47,000 votes, trailing the Giants’ Jeff Feagles by almost 6,000 votes. Pittsburgh’s Daniel Sepulveda is leading a very tight race in the AFC over Shane Lechler, who is within 1,000 votes of Sepulveda.
Heath Farwell is leading the NFC in fan voting in the special teams category with almost 55,000 votes, about 7,000 more than second-place Sam Hurd of the Cowboys. Cleveland’s Joshua Cribbs leads all special teams vote-getters with 62,000 votes.
At his Monday press conference, Brad Childress was asked about wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Fans may recall that the Vikings made a strong push for Houshmandzadeh during the free-agent period. They wined him, dined him and everything but signed him. Instead, he signed a five-year, $40 million deal with Seattle, citing the more stable quarterback situation as being part of the reason for his move. In hindsight, the Vikings may not have been able to afford Favre had they committed $40 million to Houshmandzadeh, so not signing him may have been the best thing that happened to the team. When asked about being turned down by the veteran receiver and the perception that the Vikings needed more talent at wide receiver, Childress clearly sees the book as closed in that regard, saying, “I don’t really have any comments on T.J. Houshmandzadeh.” Perhaps he should thank him for not signing with the Vikings when he sees him Sunday. Things could have been very different had he inked a deal in Minnesota.
How often does this happen? Both Favre and Adrian Peterson are up for the FedEx Air and Ground awards, given out weekly by fan vote at NFL.com. Usually the two are mutually exclusive. If a quarterback has a huge day, the running game typically takes a back seat. But Favre completed 20 of 29 passes for 344 yards and Peterson had 18 carries for 133 yards and two TDs in the same game. The other finalists for the Air award are Peyton Manning of the Colts and Kurt Warner of the Cardinals. Maurice Jones-Drew and Chris Johnson are the Ground finalists.
With Sunday’s win, Favre guaranteed that he would have at least a .500 record as a starter this season with an 8-1 record. In his 18 years as a starter, Favre has just one season (2005) in which he had a losing record.
Remember the pre-draft debate in 2007 over whether the Vikings should take Adrian Peterson or Brady Quinn? Anyone who watched Monday night’s game between the Ravens and Browns can attest that, not only did the Vikings make the right decision, but so did the 20 teams that passed on Quinn in the first round. Even analyst Jon Gruden, who finds ways to see the positive in just about every player in the league, had a hard time not being critical in explaining what he was seeing from Quinn. If he didn’t have the bust tag nationally before the Ravens game, he should now.