Vikings Defensive MVP: Week 14 vs. the Carolina Panthers

ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 7: Linval Joseph
ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 7: Linval Joseph /

Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Linval Joseph did his best to prevent the team from suffering a loss on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.

In Linval Joseph’s past two seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, the defensive tackle has finished at least one game per year with double-digit tackles. However, leading up to Sunday’s matchup with the Carolina Panthers, Joseph had not ended a game yet this season with 10 total tackles or more.

Until this week.

If you could not already see where this was going, the defensive tackle was able to rack up double-digit tackles against the Panthers on Sunday. Joseph finished the afternoon with 10 total tackles (including one for a loss), one sack, and one hit on the quarterback. His 10 tackles were the most by any Vikings defender on Sunday.

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The 6-foot-4, 328 pound defensive tackle definitely made his presence known this week and it resulted in him ended a game with double-digit tackles for the third time in his eight-year NFL career. Each of the three instances have come with Joseph as a member of Minnesota’s defense.

Despite his impressive efforts this week, the Vikings still came up short and lost to Carolina by a final score of 31-24. And even with Joseph putting forth a dominant performance on Sunday, Minnesota’s defense still allowed a season-high 216 rushing yards to the Panthers.

But that number is also a little deceiving since a bulk of those yards came on two carries of 60 and 62 yards. Take those two big gainers away and the Vikings only allowed Carolina to gain 2.8 yards per rush on their other 34 attempts.

Next: Vikings' ups and downs from Week 14 loss

Next week Minnesota takes on the Cincinnati Bengals and their 30th ranked rushing offense, so stopping the run should be a little easier for the Vikings’ defense (hopefully). But it is also always easier to prevent an offense from doing much on the ground when a guy like Linval Joseph is on your team.