3 unsung heroes from the Vikings win over the Packers in Week 1

(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) Dalvin Tomlinson
(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) Dalvin Tomlinson /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Ezra Cleveland /

Ezra Cleveland – LG

The Vikings’ offensive line certainly had some hiccups against the Packers on Sunday. Though they only allowed one sack, Green Bay’s defensive line was still putting pressure on Kirk Cousins for most of the contest.

This is not as much a knock on Minnesota’s offensive line, but more of praise for the stout play from the defensive front of the Packers.

Vikings fans knew going into the season that Brian O’Neill and Christian Darrisaw would be the cornerstones of the offensive line, it was the interior that had all the questions.

Minnesota center Garrett Bradbury was the focal point of it all, as his constant underperforming at such a crucial position had many fans asking for him to be replaced this offseason.

To the right side of Bradbury, there were questions on who would be the Vikings’ starting right guard in 2022, as Oli Udoh had already shown in 2021 that he was certainly not the answer. As questions around the interior offensive line continued, left guard Ezra Cleveland went under the radar, and he continued to put in work this offseason.

Fast forward to Week 1 against the Packers with Bradbury still at center, promising rookie Ed Ingram at right guard, and Cleveland is still putting in work at left guard.

Cleveland had his hands full against Green Bay, but he was able to hold his own throughout the entire game, compiling a 72.0 PFF grade for Week 1.

Not only did Cleveland have a solid game, but he laid the hurt on Packers linebacker Jonathan Garvin after helping against Green Bay star interior defender Kenny Clark. This is what Minnesota has been looking for along their offensive line for years now, and while this is only one game, there is certainly excitement to be had.