Minnesota Vikings: Five players whose stock is on the rise

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Sep 27, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr (55) hits San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) during the third quarter at TCF Bank Stadium. The Vikings defeated the Chargers 31-14. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

3. Anthony Barr

Ask Philip Rivers what he thinks of Anthony Barr’s ability to punish quarterbacks.

In a game where Rivers took plenty of good shots, Barr’s was the most violent and probably the one that Rivers ended up feeling the most.

Late in the third quarter with the Vikings looking to put the game away, Barr comes on a blitz up the middle and puts his elbow into Rivers’ ribs.

Rivers gets the ball away for a completion but pays the price. Rivers was so shaken up by the shot that San Diego was forced to burn a time out just so he could collect himself.

The Vikings’ defense is developing a reputation as one of the most hard-hitting in the league and Anthony Barr is a big reason why.

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Barr was one of the players raining hell down on Matthew Stafford two weeks ago and he was at it again Sunday against San Diego.

Barr’s huge day included a sack of Philip Rivers and a forced fumble setting up the Vikings with a short field.

That strip-sack set the tone for the rest of the game for the Vikings’ defense. San Diego never got their rhythm going after that and the rout was on.

Last year Anthony Barr established himself as one of the more promising young linebackers in the league. So far this year he’s building on that reputation and is now one of the NFL’s best young defensive players period.

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