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Lunchbreak: Case Keenum Finishes 4th in ESPN's MVP poll



No one knows what the 2017 season might have looked like had if the Vikings hasn't had Case Keenum to turn to after Week 1.

But with Keenum at the helm, the Vikings simply produced one of the best seasons in franchise history that included a 13-3 record, NFC North title, first-round bye and an appearance in the NFC Championship.

ESPN recently released its ballot for the MVP award, and recognized the Vikings quarterback's superb season by listing Keenum fourth in the MVP tally.

Dan Graziano, who was one of 12 ESPN voters on the panel, wrote:

Like [Carson] Wentz and [Tom] Brady, Keenum was the quarterback for one of the league's four 13-3 teams. Forget the fact that his emergence from third-stringer to playoff starter was one of the season's best stories, Keenum delivered the statistical goods. He was second in QBR — right [behind] Wentz — and second in completion percentages, threw one fewer interception than Brady did and kept the Minnesota offense on track after Sam Bradford got hurt.

Keenum, who signed with the Vikings as a free agent last offseason, finished the season 11-3 as a starter and helped the Vikings win another game by entering just before halftime at Chicago. The Vikings quarterback finished his first season by throwing for 3,547 yards with 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Keenum also posted a season-long quarterback rating of 98.3, which was the seventh-best in the NFL in 2017 and is the fifth-highest by a Vikings QB. He had eight games in which he had a rating of 100 or better.

All eyes will be on U.S. Bank Stadium this week 

The world will be watching this week as Minnesota hosts a gaggle of visitors before Super Bowl LII on Sunday.

And while the game itself will draw plenty of spectators, it will also be a chance for U.S. Bank Stadium to stand out in the crowd.

Tim Rohan of The Monday Morning Quarterback recently wrote a profile on the stadium and covered everything from the design to the amenities to the process of how it was pitched to the Wilf family and the Vikings.

Perhaps the most notable aspect of Rohan's story was that the Vikings wanted to embrace the climatic elements when designing and building their new stadium.

Rohan wrote:

The Vikings also made clear they wanted their stadium to have an outdoor feel, even in frigid Minnesota. HKS talked the team out of a retractable roof—When would it be opened? Was it worth the cost? — and suggested instead a clear lid made of a durable foil alternative to glass, ETFE, which had been used on the National Aquatics Center in Beijing (but never on a major U.S. project). Ultimately, HKS encased the sides in glass and built in five downtown-facing glass-and-steel doors—ranging from 75- to 95-feet tall, they're the largest in the world — which can be opened within eight minutes to let in a breeze on warmer days. (So: not Super Bowl Sunday.)

Inside, fans would be greeted by Minnesota-specific flourishes: a 16-foot (working) gjallarhorn hanging from the ceiling; a set of suites with a cabin-on-the-lake feel; and, of particular popularity, a five-by-seven-foot acrylic portrait of Prince, which hangs over the concourse.

Rohan noted that U.S. Bank Stadium will "be exposed to 100 million Super Bowl viewers on Feb. 4" when the Patriots and Eagles play for a championship.

Rohan's full feature can be found here.

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