The first half is over and it’s been a hard-fought game from both sides, as the Minnesota Vikings hold a 7-3 lead over the Washington Commanders.
The Vikings got the first score of the game with a touchdown catch by Justin Jefferson who dominated on that first drive despite consistent coverage on the outside.
Overall, the Vikings and Commanders has been an ugly football game and it was personified by a tip-drill interception by Commanders defensive back Danny Johnson at the end of the first half.
The game has been good so far but there are three main takeaways from the first half.
Danielle Hunter is still great
Nov 6, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Commanders quarterback Taylor Heinicke (4) passes the ball as Minnesota Vikings linebacker Danielle Hunter (99) chases during the first quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
There has been way to much talk about Hunter not being impactful and even going as far as saying that he’s washed. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. He has been seeing double teams and chips all season long. On Sunday, the Commanders gave Hunter some 1v1 opportunities and he took advantage, getting himself a sack and pushing Taylor Heinicke up in the pocket setting up D.J. Wonnum for a sack.
Defensive lines are winning in the trenches
Minnesota Vikings linebacker Za’Darius Smith (55) celebrates sacking Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers with teammate linebacker D.J. Wonnum during their football game Sunday, September 11, 2022, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Min. Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin
Apc Packvsvikings 0911220343djp
Both sides have been thriving in the trenches on defense. They are maintaining pressure, gap integrity and creating havoc. Each team has at least one sack and a pass batted down. They have been the main reason why the offenses have been relatively stagnant.
T.J. Hockenson is getting involved early
Nov 6, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Washington Commanders during the first half at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
The Vikings weren’t shy about getting Hockenson involved early and often. He got the start over Johnny Mundt and caught a 19-yard pass on an over route. Overall, he has three catches for 24 yards and has been in as a blocker. Overall, he is playing well in his Vikings’ debut.