Without the presence of Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen, you would expect that the Minnesota Vikings’ pass rush would suffer a little bit. That has not been the case, as the Vikings have continued to get after opposing quarterbacks and even tied an NFL record on Monday night in the process.
According to Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the Vikings tied a record set by the 1974 Oakland Raiders by recording multiple quarterback sacks in the first 14 games of the season. As Goessling points out, the regular season was only 14 games then, so if the Vikings can take Matthew Stafford to the turf at least twice on Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium, they’ll have the regular season record to themselves.
The Vikings took down Bears rookie Justin Fields three times on Monday night, all coming courtesy of D.J. Wonnum (who got completely hosed out of the NFC Defensive Player of the Week award for this week). The three sacks by Wonnum on Sunday night give him six on the season, tying him with Danielle Hunter for the team lead. Hunter has not played since Week 8 when he tore his pectoral against the Dallas Cowboys, an injury that ended his season.
Per Goessling’s story, there are 62 players in the NFL that have at least five quarterback sacks this season. The Vikings have five of those players, one of only two teams that has more than three.
- Danielle Hunter - 6 (hasn’t played since Week 8)
- D.J. Wonnum - 6
- Everson Griffen - 5 (hasn’t played since Week 11)
- Eric Kendricks - 5
- Armon Watts - 5
Despite Griffen and Hunter not being on the field, the Vikings continue to lead the NFL in quarterback sacks with 44, which nearly doubles their total from last season (23) with three games still left to be played. Credit to the Vikings’ defensive line coaches and defensive coordinators for continuing to find ways to get productivity out of their pass rush despite the absence of a couple of guys that provide pressure the way that Griffen and Hunter do.