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Falcons-Vikings: Turner and Peterson Clash in MVP Showdown


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Falcons-Vikings: Turner and Peterson Clash in MVP Showdown

by Derek Coffelt (Columnist)

This Sunday's contest between the Atlanta Falcons and the Minnesota Vikings could not be more important for both teams. Both of them need the victory but for different reasons.

For the Vikings, it is simple. Win and they are in. For the Falcons, the picture is more cloudy.

With the Carolina Panthers all but clinching the NFC South, Atlanta needs some help along with a victory against the Vikings. Currently, the Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers hold the two Wild Card spots in the NFC. There simply isn't any more room for Atlanta.

However, with an Atlanta win and a loss by either one of those teams, it could punch Atlanta's ticket into the January dance. The most probable scenario being Dallas losing to the tough hitting Baltimore Ravens.

While the media continues to air the soap opera that is the Cowboys locker room, they simply do not have any leadership to sustain their lofty playoff hopes.

The scenario of Tampa Bay losing is obviously still possible, but unlikely. They welcome in the San Diego Chargers who are just barely holding onto any playoff hopes after their incredible 22-21 win over the Chiefs.

You tell me. Which is more probable?

Aside from the massive playoff implications, another side bar is growing from sidelines. The MVP race.

No doubt Michael Turner has become a huge part of the Falcons' offense. There's no doubt he's one of the primary catalysts in the huge success and turnaround Atlanta has had. There IS doubt to whether or not he can compete with the NFL's leading rusher for the coveted award.

The edge in pure rushing yardage is in favor of Peterson, but only slightly. He leads Turner by barely over 150 yards. What helps Turner is his 15 touchdowns compared to Peterson's nine.

A significant difference.

Both running backs have had the benefit of a partner in the backfield this year. Chester Taylor for Peterson and Jerious Norwood for Turner. However, Michael Turner is actually ahead of Peterson in terms of carries with 332, compared with Peterson's 320.

Putting the numbers aside, what do these two running backs mean to their team? Both are a huge part of their offense and taking them out would drastically reduce their offensive output. However, Atlanta's Matt Ryan has shown that he can take control of a game with his golden arm.

Taking Adrian Peterson out of the Minnesota offense would more than likely bring the team to its knees, as Tarvaris Jackson's four touchdown performance last week was an utter apparition.

So here's the dilemma. Michael Turner has the edge in terms of rushing touchdowns but Adrian Peterson seemingly is THE offense for Minnesota. The answer could come this Sunday as the two square off in an MVP showdown.

With Pat Williams out for the Vikings and Jared Allen nursing an injured knee, Turner's chances look optimistic for a productive offensive day. However, that optimism should be held in check as he is still facing a team that is ranked first in rush defense.

The outcomes of these two teams could prove to show who will obtain the MVP between Peterson and Turner.

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We will...

BUT. I honestly believe that if win out, everything will take care of itself.

11-5... only one time in the league's history has a team not made it at 11-5...

Won't happen to us.

...I hope. :unsure:

There's a lot of tie-breaker scenarios in the NFC this season. This is a freakish year to be a good team in the NFC. I think the Playoff format needs to be re-thought. We could possibly have an 11-5 team MISS the Playoffs, and yet some crap team like Arizona can get in with barely a .500 record???

I think the top 6 teams from each Conference should qualify. This Division winner automatic crap needs to go.

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I like the division winner format because it actually makes the division games mean much more.

But the idea that 11-5, 10-6 teams miss the postseason for some crappy division winner is very disturbing...

It's a tough situation.

Let's just pray that the Bucs lose this Sunday.

I dont like it because too often it makes the last games of the season meaningless for a lot of teams. Teams should be playing for Playoff seeding all the way to the last game. I dont think winning your division should automatically qualify you for a Conference playoff position. I think the Best 6 Teams in the Conference should qualify, regardless of their division standing.

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I dont like it because too often it makes the last games of the season meaningless for a lot of teams. Teams should be playing for Playoff seeding all the way to the last game. I dont think winning your division should automatically qualify you for a Conference playoff position. I think the Best 6 Teams in the Conference should qualify, regardless of their division standing.

You make a very good point in that many times teams have nothing to play for down the stretch. That really just kind of ruins the integrity of the game. It would make sense to just have the top 6 records from each conference go. Division games would really just be like every other game, except for the fact that those victories can be used as leverage in tie-breakers.

Hopefully they revisit the way they determine who goes to the postseason.

All I know is...it's going to be very very very very sad if we go 11-5 and don't make the playoffs.

It seems like blasphemy when I even type that... "11-5 and miss the playoffs." :(

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You make a very good point in that many times teams have nothing to play for down the stretch. That really just kind of ruins the integrity of the game. It would make sense to just have the top 6 records from each conference go. Division games would really just be like every other game, except for the fact that those victories can be used as leverage in tie-breakers.

Hopefully they revisit the way they determine who goes to the postseason.

All I know is...it's going to be very very very very sad if we go 11-5 and don't make the playoffs.

It seems like blasphemy when I even type that... "11-5 and miss the playoffs." :(

Yes, it would be a disgrace to see an 11-5 team miss the playoffs. And then watch some garbage team like Arizona play from our couches.

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