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Lunchbreak: ESPN's Cronin on 4 Vikings Pro Bowl Snubs

The Vikings on Tuesday announced that Everson Griffen, Xavier Rhodes, Anthony Barr and Thielen were voted into this year's Pro Bowl, which will once again take place in Orlando.

ESPN's Courtney Cronin opined, however, that up to eight Vikings should be 2017 Pro Bowlers. She led the list with Harrison Smith, who for the past two seasons has gotten a nod to the all-star game. Cronin wrote:

Smith, who made the Pro Bowl the past two years, is ranked as the No. 1 safety by Pro Football Focus and has made his case for the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year award. This snub leaves many, including this writer, very confused.

Cronin also made an argument for Case Keenum, Eric Kendricks and Linval Joseph. She pointed out that Kendricks leads the Vikings in tackles, and Keenum has helped lead Minnesota to an 11-3 record and has been included in potential MVP discussions.

She wrote the following of Joseph:

Find a better run-stopping nose tackle in the NFL. You know why teams are terrified to run on the Vikings' defense? Because of the 329-pound anchor in the middle of the No. 2 run defense in the NFL. Joseph is an athletic freak. He has a rare combination of high-powered athleticism, power, strength and technique. He made the Pro Bowl last year and should have been a sure bet this season. Just ask the guards and centers whose lives he has made a living nightmare this season.

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Keenum included in NFL's top offensive player rankings

As Keenum prepares for his 13th start in Purple, he continues to gain praise from across the league.

Most recently, former quarterback-turned-analyst David Carr added another signal caller to his list of top offensive player rankings. Carr wrote the following for NFL.com:

Keenum is the fourth Vikings player (joining Dalvin Cook, Stefon Diggs and [Adam] Thielen) to crack my top 15 at some point in the season. He's not just a game-manager for the offense – he's making big plays every week. And as good as Minnesota's defense has been, Keenum deserves a lot of credit for how the Vikings are playing. In the NFC North-clinching win over Cincinnati, Keenum's efficiency was off the charts. He completed 20 of 23 passes for 236 yards, two touchdowns and a 138.4 passer rating. He was also perfect (9-for-9) on third-down throws in the game. This could be a special postseason for Minnesota.

Thielen also remained on Carr's list, coming in at No. 11.

The Vikings were on a mission Sunday, as they clinched the NFC North title. And although Thielen isn't putting up the numbers he was at midseason, he's a threat anytime he's on the field.

Vikings provide memorable game-day experience for fan

One dedicated Vikings fan had a game-day she won't soon forget on Sunday.

According to the *Net News Ledger, *a Cook county resident battling cancer received complimentary tickets from the Vikings for the matchup against the Bengals.

*Jennifer Rue, a social worker employed as the Adult Mental Health Case Worker with Cook County Public Health & Human Services, has been battling brain cancer since March of this year. The severity of Jennifer's illness has forced her to recently leave her job with the County while she courageously battles the disease. Jennifer loves the Vikings and all NFL football, but her illness has limited her ability to go to games. *

"All of the staff of the Vikings, Hotel Ivy, and U.S. Bank Stadium were extremely accommodating and gracious in anticipating Jen's needs during her stay, and went out of their way to provide a fantastic memorable experience," said Jeff Cadwell, County Administrator. "We are so grateful to all who were involved for making this possible for her."

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