5 moves that got the Minnesota Vikings to 8-3 at the bye

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /
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(Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Everson Griffen
(Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Everson Griffen /

Bringing back Everson Griffen

It’s hard to remember, but there was a time just a few months ago when it seemed the Vikings were willing to let Everson Griffen go.

His age and salary were factors and Minnesota was strapped for cap space. Many fans and folks in the media were clamoring for the Vikings to trade him for peanuts or flat out release the veteran.

Thank the Lord Minnesota was able to restructure this pass-rushing beast because he is having one heck of a comeback season.

Griffen has played out of this world all year long. He has a renewed energy about him and his motor is as intense as it was about six years ago.

Griffen has been in the face of opposing quarterbacks consistently all season. He has racked up 35 tackles on the season with seven sacks and an interception. He has a ton of quarterback pressures to go along with those numbers.

If it wasn’t for his tendency to jump offsides on 3rd and 5 or less, it could be argued he is having a perfect season.

It isn’t just the passing game where Griffen has been great though this year. He’s been stellar against the run and sniffing out screens.

He has an uncanny knack for sensing when a screen is about to happen and he quickly stops rushing the quarterback and begins to pursue the running back. He’s chased down plenty of screens this year, shutting them down before they can go for a decent gain.

The Vikings were extremely wise to bring back Griffen this season. Without him on this team, there is no doubt their current record would have a much higher number in the loss column.