Peterson, Walsh win awards

Vikings RB Adrian Peterson was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Month. Kicker Blair Walsh was named the Special Teams Rookie of the Week and then of the month.

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Month after breaking a single-month record in the NFL.

Peterson had 861 rushing yards in December, the most in a single month in NFL history as the Vikings won four of their five games in December, including the final four-game winning streak that put them in the playoffs for the first time since the 2009 season.

Peterson finished the year with the first 2,000-yard season of his career and the second-best total in NFL history with 2,097 yards rushing, just 9 yards short of the all-time single-season record set by Eric Dickerson in 1984.

On Wednesday, Vikings kicker Blair Walsh had media members surrounding his locker posing questions about his incredible 2012 season. Little did Walsh know at the time he would soon add another accolade to his list of accomplishments.

For the third time this season, Walsh was named Special Teams Rookie of the Week. He earned the honor after scoring 13 points in the Vikings' 37-34 win over Green Bay Sunday, hitting on field goals of 54 and 37 yards before connecting on the 29-yard game winner as the clock ran out to secure the win.

Then on Thursday, Walsh was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Month, the first time since the 2006 Baltimore Ravens an NFL team has had two players of the month in the same month.

How significant are the honors for Walsh? Just as he put himself in the NFL record books for field goals made and kicks of 50 yards or more, he set himself apart by capturing his third Rookie of the Week honor.

Walsh became the first rookie since Devin Hester exploded on the scene in 2006 to win the Special Teams Rookie of the Week three times in a single season. In the process, he also set a franchise record by winning the award three times. He had been in a three-way tie with some pretty exclusive company – Randy Moss in 1998 and Adrian Peterson in 2007.

Walsh won't even be in the discussion for Rookie of the Year, but, given what he has accomplished in terms of the NFL record book, he should at least receive an honorable mention.

THURSDAY NOTES

  • Of the 199 yards Adrian Peterson gained last week, 188 of them came after contact – a tribute to the level of toughness Peterson plays with.

  • If the Vikings are smart, they will make a point to extend well wishes to Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings. A free agent after the season, Jennings said Wednesday that he would prefer to play inside as he moves forward in his career, saying he's not a fan of the cold winter weather at Lambeau Field. At last check, the Vikings play indoors and, if Jennings doesn't have a team blow him away with an absurd free agent offer, he could be an option to be the latest Packer to head west over the border, joining the likes of Darren Sharper, Ryan Longwell and Brett Favre who weren't viewed as part of Green Bay's long-term plan that found greener pastures in purple.

  • Vikings defensive backs coach Joe Woods was a coach at Western Michigan when Jennings was a star player there, which could be the opening the Vikings need to start a dialogue with Jennings if they have any free agent interest in him.

  • In the 52-year history of the Vikings-Packers rivalry, Saturday will be the first time the teams have played each other when both had 10 or more wins.

  • Sixteen of the last 21 games between the Vikings and Packers have been decided by seven points or fewer.

  • Peterson (abdomen), Antoine Winfield (hand) and Tyrone McKenzie (shoulder) missed practice Wednesday.

  • For Green Bay, DE Jerel Worthy (knee) has been ruled out and the only other player who didn't practice was WR Jarrett Boykin.

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