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Terence Newman Makes PFF's Midseason All-Pro Team

A number of outlets have released their midseason all-pro teams this week, including Pro Football Focus.

Senior analyst Sam Monson arranged a team of **top-performing players from across the league**, including the purple and gold. Monson selected Terence Newman as one of PFF's all-pro team's cornerbacks. Monson gave Newman a score of 86.8 and wrote the following:

What Terence Newman is doing at 38 years old is unprecedented in the PFF era of grading (since 2006). He isn't just still a viable starter, but he has been a shutdown player for the Vikings, allowing an average of just 7.9 yards per reception (best in the NFL) and fewer than 50 percent of passes thrown his way to be caught. This in the same season that Jets CB Darrelle Revis — seven years younger than Newman — is slowing down to the point that he is regularly beaten.

Monson selected Denver's Aqib Talib as the other cornerback, grading him just above Newman at 90.8.

Aqib Talib has always shown the ability to shut down elite receivers, but it typically never lasted for a long time, and his overall play was boom-or-bust. This season, though, he has been nearly flawless, and QBs throwing into his coverage still have a lower passer rating (37.0) than if they simply threw the ball into the ground every snaps (39.6)

Newman was the only Viking selected for Monson's main roster, but he did select to Minnesota players for his all-pro second team: nose tackle Linval Joseph and safety Harrison Smith.

Craig: Vikings will have their hands full with Washington's offense

Now halfway through the 2016 season, Mark Craig of the Star Tribune feels that Washington's offense will be **Minnesota’s toughest challenge yet**. Craig wrote:

The Redskins started the season 0-2 while averaging 19.5 points per game and allowing 32.5. But they've outscored their past six opponents by an average of 24.5-20.7, going 4-1-1 in their wins against the Giants, Browns, Ravens and Eagles, a loss to the Lions and the tie with the Bengals. The offense ranks fourth overall (410.3 yards per game), third in passing (298.8) and second in sacks allowed per pass play. The defense ranks 22nd overall (369.8) and 26th against the run (123.8).

Craig zeroed in on a number of factors on Washington's offense, including quarterback Kirk Cousins, who ranks in the top 10 in the NFC in most passing categories. With 2,454 passing yards racked up so far, Cousins ranks sixth in the NFL.

He's got talent and poise, sure. But what he really has are weapons and a ton of time to throw. He's been sacked only 11 times in eight games. The Redskins can call deep passes knowing Cousins will have time to throw. That's practically an inconceivable thought at Winter Park this season.

Craig also looked at tight end Jordan Reed, and receivers DeSean Jackson (who hasn't practiced yet this week) and Jamison Crowder, a small-bodied, albeit talented, weapon for Washington.

*Crowder's skills as a punt returner sure shine from his spot as the team's slot receiver. He's shifty, elusive and fast, turning little bubble screens into what look like punt returns. […] This could be an especially bad matchup for the Vikings if Captain Munnerlyn can't play this week. *



Bradford, Newman among FOX's midseason Vikings awards

FOX Sports took a look at the 2016 Vikings roster and handed out **midseason awards for players’ performances** through half of the season. Reporter Ryan Lund pegged Sam Bradford and Newman as the MVP winners for the offense and defense, respectively. Lund wrote the following of Minnesota's quarterback:

Bradford is among the league leaders in passer rating (99) and completion percentage (68.3) through seven starts, while his legs have held up so far behind a porous offensive line. Our confidence in Bradford has been shaken a bit over the course of the Vikings three-game skid, but with a lack of protection up front and a surprisingly inefficient ground game behind him, he's exceeded expectations across the board.

Lund identified Danielle Hunter as the team's "breakout star" and Adam Thielen as the "unsung hero." Claiming the award for most improved player was wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, who's recorded 27 catches for 239 yards and two touchdowns. Lund wrote:

Patterson's Vikings career appeared to be all but over when the team declined to exercise his fifth-year option over the summer after he caught just two passes in 2015. So much for that. […] Whether by necessity (the injury bug just keeps on biting) or design, Patterson's long-discussed commitment to improving his receiving skills appears to be paying off.

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