Captain Munnerlyn was not a good player for the Vikings in 2014 but it’s been a different story for the cornerback so far in his second year under Mike Zimmer.
So far in 2015, the much-maligned Munnerlyn has been by far the Vikings’ best cornerback.
Whether he’s blowing up screen passes or shutting down receivers in key third down situations, Munnerlyn is doing everything that’s being asked of him this year.
As we know, Munnerlyn didn’t always do everything that was asked of him last year, as he himself freely admitted.
Despite speculation that Munnerlyn might be let go after just one season in purple, the Vikings held on to the cornerback in the offseason but changed his role in the defense.
Last year Munnerlyn was called upon to play outside, something he was possibly not equipped to do.
A change to full-time slot cornerback coupled with a change in attitude has resulted in Munnerlyn enjoying a bounce-back season in Minnesota.
Munnerlyn was a huge player in the Vikings’ win over Detroit with his blanketing of Golden Tate. He was even better this weekend against Kansas City.
Munnerlyn made his presence felt early in the game when he sniffed out and destroyed an attempted screen pass to Jeremy Maclin, stuffing Maclin for a 2-yard loss.
In the fourth quarter with the Vikings holding on to a slim lead, Munnerlyn made plays on back-to-back third down passes.
On third-and-one from the Vikings’ 14, Munnerlyn made a hard tackle on Maclin to prevent a potential first down conversion. Maclin was forced to leave the game with a concussion on the play.
That play also featured a chop block by the Chiefs that pushed them back 15 yards. On the subsequent third-and-sixteen play, Munnerlyn broke up a pass intended for Jason Avant to force the Chiefs to settle for a field goal.
The Chiefs might have been better off not throwing at Munnerlyn’s man in that situation. That’s not 2014 Captain Munnerlyn out there.
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