Defensive MVP – Honorable Mentions
The Oakland Raiders struggled to do anything during the early stages of the game. In fact, it wasn’t until the Minnesota Vikings had a 21-0 lead before the black and silver put any points on the board at all.
What makes it even more impressive is how they did it without linebacker Anthony Barr and cornerback Mackensie Alexander. The depth and talent in his Mike Zimmer defense should have teams very worried when they start game planning.
Here are some of the defensive standouts from this game who weren’t the MVP from Week 3 against the Raiders:
- Trae Waynes – cornerback: Waynes racked up eight tackles in this game, all of them solo. As one of the best tackling cornerbacks in the game, his ability to limit yardage in both the run and pass game is a real asset. One of those tackles was even for a loss, helping the team even more.
- Everson Griffen – defensive end: The amazing pass rush talent of Griffen continued this week, as he consistently got into the backfield and challenged Derek Carr. He had six tackles on the day, four of them solo and one being a sack. He is on fire this season!
- Harrison Smith – safety: Had Carr not overthrown a pass that landed right in Smith’s hands, he might not have actually made the list at all this week for MVP candidates. He did have four tackles (three solo) on the day to add to his stats, but not the superstar game you’d expect from him.
- Eric Kendricks – linebacker: This was an odd game from Kendricks. He didn’t really have a lot to offer in coverage, but what he did well was play the line of scrimmage and make tackles. He registered seven tackles in the game, six of them solo. His ability to limit yards was a key in keeping Oakland’s offense at bay.
- Danielle Hunter – defensive end: The duo of Griffen and Hunter are terrifying. His statistics won’t jump off the page, as he only registered two tackles on the day. However, one of them was a sack that was well-earned after chasing Carr around the field the entire game. Pressure doesn’t always mean sacks, but it can change the course of a game.