We’ve been promoting DE Jared Allen and RB Adrian Peterson as worthy of the fans’ Pro Bowl vote in recent weeks. Those two stars remain deserving of the vote, but another Vikings player is beginning to emerge as a legitimate Pro Bowl candidate – LB Chad Greenway.
Greenway will be the first to acknowledge that he expects a better performance from himself. He opened the season with an impressive 13-tackle outing in San Diego, but then slumped a bit over the next 3 games by tallying single-digit tackles in each of those games. Beginning with a 10-tackle performance against Arizona in Week 5, however, Greenway has been on a tear. He’s had just one single-digit tackle game since October 9, and over the past two games he’s collected 22 and 17 tackles against the Oakland Raiders and Atlanta Falcons, respectively.
Greenway’s 22-tackle effort against the Raiders two weeks ago is behind only Scott Studwell’s 24-tackle gem in 1985 in Vikings history. Greenway followed that up by tallying 17 more stops against Michael Turner and the Falcons in a game where he was clearly the team’s top defensive player. For the season, Greenway has 124 tackles and is on pace for a career-high 181 stops for the season. He leads the team in tackles and if he continues this pace it’ll be the 4th consecutive season that Greenway has led the Vikings in tackles.
As for making the Pro Bowl, Greenway has some work to do. He ranks 3rd in the NFL and 2nd in the NFC in tackles, according to Stats, Inc., and his adjusted total of 124 would rank him 1st. But making the Pro Bowl as a LB requires more than collecting a bunch tackles. Making impact plays, such as forced and recovered fumbles, INTs and sacks is as important as making tackles. Greenway has 1.0 sack on the season and no INTs, that’s the bad news. The good news is that the lone NFC LB with more tackles than Greenway – Washington’s London Fletcher – has just 1.5 sacks and 2 INTs. Those are numbers Greenway could overcome if his current trend of outstanding play continues. Atlanta’s Curtis Lofton, who has 100 tackles, has no sacks and just 1 INT, while San Francisco’s NaVorro Bowman has 97 tackles but no INTs or sacks.
The bottom line is Greenway still has work to do in order to secure a Pro Bowl bid and there are a lot of good LBs in the NFC who appear deserving of a Pro Bowl nod. But there are still 5 games to play on the schedule, which gives Greenway and all of the other top-performing LBs ample amount of time to increase their performance and impress those with the power of the vote.
Speaking of those with the power of the vote, Pro Bowl balloting for fans is going on right now, both online and on web-enabled mobile phones. Balloting will continue through Monday, December 19, so vote now and often for your favorite Vikings. Go to NFL.com/probowl to vote.
Tags: Chad Greenway
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