Vikings Defensive MVP: Week 15 vs. the Cincinnati Bengals

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 17: Eric Kendricks /

Minnesota Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks scored his second-career NFL touchdown on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.

It is a little crazy to think that Eric Kendricks is just 25-years-old and he is only playing in his third NFL season considering how much it feels like he has been in this league for much longer.  The Minnesota Vikings linebacker made his presence felt once again on Sunday during the team’s Week 15 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

After helping the Vikings’ defense prevent the Bengals from running more than three plays on their first offensive drive of the afternoon, Kendricks made a big-time play during the Cincinnati offense’s second drive of the day.

As the Bengals’ offense faced a 3rd and 6, Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton dropped back and threw a pass right into the hands of Kendricks. The Minnesota linebacker then took the ball and ran it 31 yards the other way for a touchdown to put the Vikings up 14-0 early in the first quarter.

More from The Viking Age

The pick-six was Kendricks’ second of his career and each of his two-career interceptions have resulted in him returning them for touchdowns. When the Minnesota linebacker steals a pass from an opposing quarterback, he means business.

In addition to his interception on Sunday, Kendricks finished the afternoon tied for the team lead in total tackles (five) with fellow linebacker Emmanuel Lamur. Kendricks is the Vikings’ current leader in tackles this season and his five tackles on Sunday put him over 100 for the second straight year.

The Minnesota linebacker’s efforts this week were part of a Vikings’ defense that held the Bengals to just 161 total yards and seven points on Sunday. Cincinnati’s final yardage total this week was the least amount allowed by a Minnesota defense all season long.

Next: Vikings' Offensive MVPs - Week 15

Kendricks’ performances and the play of the rest of the Vikings’ defense has been a gigantic key to the team’s success in 2017. Success that translated into Minnesota capturing a playoff spot and an NFC North division title on Sunday after their victory over the Bengals.