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Mid-day talker: How much do the Vikings miss Percy Harvin?

Posted by: Michael Rand under Vikings Updated: October 17, 2013 - 1:18 PM

Remember Percy Harvin? Sure you do. Strangely enough, we don't hear people talking much about how much the Vikings miss him.

He had 407 receiving yards through five games last season, with at least 80 yards in all but one. In the lone game he didn't hit that mark, he ran a kickoff back 105 yards for a TD in a victory over Detroit. He was a first-half MVP candidate before he got hurt. He routinely took what Clarence Swamptown terms "throwpunts" from Christian Ponder and turned them into first downs with his skills and will.

In fact, Harvin had 528 yards receiving after the catch last season despite playing just nine games. From 2009-2012, he was second in the NFL in YAC to Wes Welker.

He was a game-changer. A mercurial guy, but a game-changer.

The Vikings, emboldened by winning four consecutive games down the stretch and weary of giving a big contract to someone with his attitude and injury history, traded him to Seattle in March for a first-round draft pick and a couple other lesser picks.

Most people conceded it had the potential to be a good deal for both sides. It looked good as people grew excited for the Vikings' three first-round draft picks. It looked better for the Vikings when Harvin was injured (he's still out, though he's set to return soon).

But let's not forget just how big of a role he played in launching the Vikings toward respectability and eventually the playoffs last year. He was more valuable than Adrian Peterson in the first half of the season. He was, at times, the offense. He allowed for an incredibly safe passing game that could still be somewhat productive because of what he could do after the catch. Through five games last season, Christian Ponder had six TD passes and just two INTs. The Vikings were 4-1. And Harvin was a major reason.

Let's also not forget that the Vikings won four games down the stretch without Harvin largely because Peterson became superhuman during that time, running for 651 yards in those games.

The Vikings receiving group this season is probably better, collectively, than it was a season ago. But they don't have a Harvin-type (or at least aren't using anyone consistently as a Harvin type). They are throwing downfield more (which is generally good), but the inaccuracy of Ponder and Matt Cassel has led to seven interceptions through these five games instead of the two last season.

And the record? It's 1-4 instead of 4-1. The main reason for this negative turnaround is the defense. Minnesota has allowed twice as many points (158) in five games as it did last year in five games (79).

But let's not forget how good Harvin was early last season. The Vikings undoubtedly miss him.

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Los Angeles - LP: Z. Greinke 1 FINAL
Detroit - WP: M. Scherzer 4
San Diego - LP: J. Benoit 3 FINAL
Colorado - WP: B. Logan 6
Toronto - LP: A. Loup 7 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: J. Grilli 8
Miami - LP: S. Cishek 3 FINAL
Arizona - WP: B. Ziegler 4
Washington 5 Bottom 5th Inning
Baltimore 2
NY Yankees 4 Bottom 6th Inning
Cleveland 4
Atlanta 1 Bottom 7th Inning
NY Mets 1
Chicago Cubs 1 Top 6th Inning
Cincinnati 4
Chicago WSox 3 Top 6th Inning
Boston 0
Kansas City 2 Bottom 5th Inning
Tampa Bay 4
Houston 2 Bottom 2nd Inning
Texas 3
Philadelphia 1 Bottom 3rd Inning
Milwaukee 1
Pittsburgh 1 Top 2nd Inning
St. Louis 2
Minnesota - K. Gibson 9:10 PM
Seattle - R. Elias
Oakland - J. Hammel 9:15 PM
San Francisco - M. Cain
Winnipeg 7/11/14 6:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 7/11/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Calgary 7/12/14 5:30 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 7/12/14 8:30 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 7/17/14 7:30 PM
Winnipeg
Washington 72 FINAL
Chicago 65
Seattle 58 FINAL
Phoenix 78
New York 28 2nd Qtr 1:30
San Antonio 40
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pm
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pm
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pm
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pm
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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