7 bold Vikings predictions for the rest of the 2022 NFL season
By Adam Patrick
Hunter will finish with less than 10 sacks
With the Vikings switching to a 3-4 base defense this year, most assumed it could take some time for guys like Danielle Hunter, Eric Kendricks, and Harrison Smith to adjust, given that the majority of their NFL careers were spent playing in a 4-3 base defensive formation under Mike Zimmer.
Smith and Kendricks seem to have adjusted fine, but for some reason, Hunter doesn’t seem like the same dominant pass rusher that he was a few years ago.
Now, this could be due to a variety of reasons, including the switch to a new defensive scheme, the fact that Hunter has missed more than 25 games in the last two seasons due to injury, or that we might have already seen the best of what the pass rusher has to offer out on the field.
Six games into his season, Hunter has generated three sacks and 16 pressures, according to PFF. In the seven contests he appeared in during the 2021 campaign, he accumulated six sacks and 31 pressures.
So Hunter’s impact this year clearly hasn’t been what it was in the past. This isn’t to say that it couldn’t improve as the 2022 campaign moves along. But based on what we’ve seen from him so far, we shouldn’t expect him to put up the pass rush numbers that he had before his two season-ending injuries.