Danielle Hunter’s career day includes key defensive touchdown

AP

Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter is earning his contract.

Signed to a five-year, $72 million deal in June, Hunter currently leads the NFL, with 11.5 sacks. He has a sack in every game but one, and he added 3.5 on Sunday, in a 24-9 win over the Lions. Hunter also delivered the dagger with a fumble recovery for a touchdown.

It came on an impromptu decision by Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford to run an option play, sprinting away from the rush and pitching the ball to running back Kerryon Johnson, who failed to handle it.

“It’s all about scoring on defense,” Hunter told PFT by phone after the win, adding that (unlike some coaches) Vikings defensive players are told to not simply fall on the ball, even though the effort to scoop and score by guys who don’t normally handle the ball could give the offense a chance to keep possession.

“Get the ball and try to score” is the message from coach Mike Zimmer, according to Hunter.

Hunter praised the offense for building a lead and the defensive backs for covering receivers long enough for the Vikings as a team to rack up 10 sacks. He also said that the return of defensive end Everson Griffen has provided a “major” boost to the team, given his status as a leader — and as a guy who “gets us going” from a motivational standpoint.

Despite the temptation to chase a big win with another chance to pick up a W, Hunter said that the bye comes at a good time for the Vikings, giving them a chance to get guys healthy for the stretch run.

And so the Vikings get a week off with a 5-3-1 record, a season after going 13-3. Does Hunter see similarities between last year and this year?

“There are a lot of similarities,” Hunter said. “There are lot of players with chips on their shoulders who are trying to prove themselves.”

Hunter is proving himself, big time. And even though he’s in the current sack lead, he’s not rooting against his peers.

“I know how hard it is to get a sack,” Hunter said. “I want guys to get as many as they can.”

Hunter has gotten enough to be only 11 behind the single-season record, with seven games left to catch Michael Strahan’s single-season record from 2001.

22 responses to “Danielle Hunter’s career day includes key defensive touchdown

  1. The Vikings have had key players missing every single week, on both offense and defense. And they control their own destiny in the division. They’ll have to win at Rams or Saints in playoffs, but being healthy after the bye is the key.

  2. Hunter: third round pick, $14.4 million a year, 24 years old, 11.5 sacks, 44 tackles, 1 TD
    Mack: 2 first round picks, $23.5 million a year, 27 years old, 5 sacks, 20 tackles, 1 TD, 5 turnovers forced
    —-

  3. NFC Defensive POW. Absolutely Everson played like we know today runs is off of him. Tom Johnson was a great re-acquisition several weeks ago.
    But I’m so proud of #99 what a dominating performance today!
    Let’s get healthier over bye week and go to Chicago in two weeks and get a huge W!

  4. Zimmer put his fist down on the table in the draft room and said I want this kid. Great pick. #88 round 3 2015, reminds me of another 88 we had around here at the old Met

  5. “Hunter has gotten enough to be only 11 behind the single-season record, with seven games left to catch Michael Strahan’s single-season record from 2001.”

    And just think- he gets to play the Lions AGAIN. This is no doubt Hunter’s Year of the Cat.

  6. conormacleod says:
    November 4, 2018 at 5:27 pm
    The Vikings have had key players missing every single week, on both offense and defense.
    ============================================================================================
    So has almost every other NFL team. Stop with the injury excuses.

  7. stellarperformance says:
    November 4, 2018 at 7:56 pm
    How would a Viking fan insult this guy? Call him “Dan?”
    *****
    Why would a Viking fan insult Hunter? He’s the best DE in football.

    Meanwhile, your Packers better learn how to block within the next three weeks because Hunter, Griffen, Weatherly, Joseph, Johnson and Richardson are coming for Miss Erin.

  8. ackattack22 says:
    November 4, 2018 at 8:31 pm
    stellarperformance says:
    November 4, 2018 at 7:56 pm
    How would a Viking fan insult this guy? Call him “Dan?”
    *****
    Why would a Viking fan insult Hunter? He’s the best DE in football.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    I didn’t ask why. I asked how. Einstein.

  9. frank booth
    Nov 4, 2018, 7:28 PM CST
    conormacleod says:
    November 4, 2018 at 5:27 pm
    The Vikings have had key players missing every single week, on both offense and defense.
    ============================================================================================
    So has almost every other NFL team. Stop with the injury excuses.
    ////////////
    Actually, no, almost every other nfl team has not had several starters out every week. And, why would I make excuses? Vikings tied for most wins in division.

  10. What’s the point of comparing him to Mack? That just comes across as jealousy. They’re both amazing players and the Vikings were smart to lock him up and the Bears were smart to go get Mack. Both teams are lucky to have difference makers like that

  11. @Frank Booth – You know Frank… I surely wouldn’t bring up team injuries if I were you. I mean I did check… and ONLY in week two did your Bears even come close to the number of people on the team injury report as the Vikings (4 vs 5)…. and that INCLUDED Kyle Long being on IR for the reason of “resting veteran”… the first three Weeks plus week seven. Four out of the first seven games resting??? Why on earth do the Bears pay the man? I digress. 40 IR calls for the Bears in 8 weeks compared to 86 on the Vikings squad. Yeah… your Bears have had it rough this year.

  12. News Now Twin Cities says:
    November 4, 2018 at 11:06 pm
    @Frank Booth – You know Frank… I surely wouldn’t bring up team injuries if I were you. I mean I did check… and ONLY in week two did your Bears even come close to the number of people on the team injury report as the Vikings (4 vs 5)…. and that INCLUDED Kyle Long being on IR for the reason of “resting veteran”… the first three Weeks plus week seven. Four out of the first seven games resting??? Why on earth do the Bears pay the man? I digress. 40 IR calls for the Bears in 8 weeks compared to 86 on the Vikings squad. Yeah… your Bears have had it rough this year.
    ===================================================================================================================================
    Except, if you read the post, I wasn’t specifically talking about the Bears and said “almost every other team”. But the Bears have been very fortunate in regards to the injury situation, but it will probably even out by the end of the year. Also, Kyle Long is on the IR for a foot injury after being hurt last week. He started and played the first 7 games. He wasn’t on any IR for “resting veteran” at any point this season.

    Fact remains that many other teams have the same injury issues that the Vikings do.

  13. Hunter has really come into his own this season which is fun to watch. I am glad he is locked up for several more seasons. He has always been more than just a sacks guy too. Outstanding.

  14. Biggest story of the week for Vikes was Dalvin Cook. That dude changes the offense when healthy and what a first game back! This team is getting back to full strength (Reiff/Rhodes/Cook back this week and Diggs/Barr/Sendejo/Compton should be back after bye) just in time for the stretch run with 2 HUGE divisional games coming up. With 2 weeks to prep for the Bears and Trubiski, Zimmer needs to show why he is revered as one of the best defensive minds in football. SKOL!

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