Minnesota Vikings Week 1 Defensive MVP: Everson Griffen

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Everson Griffen
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Everson Griffen /

The Minnesota Vikings defense started the 2017 NFL season off strong against the New Orleans Saints, especially their veteran defensive end.

Defense was a strong suit of the Minnesota Vikings during the 2016 NFL season. The offense outperformed the defense in Week 1 but that isn’t a knock on how well the defense performed.

The defense didn’t really have any huge plays but they played soundly all night.

One player that did do a fantastic job and stood out was the Vikings’ eighth-year defensive end, Everson Griffen. He had six tackles and one sack. He proved how tough he is to block and how he can disrupt an offense at any given moment.

Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Everson Griffen /

It is good to see Griffen starting the season off strong after signing a big four-year contract extension worth $58 million. $34 million of that is guaranteed. Griffen is not relaxing after his big payday.

If he performs like that every game he will increase his production from the 2016 season by 38 tackles and eight sacks. That is production that the Vikings were very happy with and lead to his extension.

Pro Football Focus gave Griffen some love on how well he defended against the run compared to other edge defenders across the NFL in Week 1.

Griffen is very difficult to keep blocked. Offensive lineman must maintain their leverage or he will shed their block and make the play. Below he shed a block and showed why Pro Football Focus was so high on him in the season opener.

Everson Griffen helped lead the Minnesota Vikings to an impressive victory. The Vikings’ defense played excellent on Monday night. Through the excellence, Griffen stood out the most.

Next: Week 1 offensive MVP: Sam Bradford

He proved why they paid him the big money and is this week’s defensive MVP.