With three sacks on Sunday, Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter became the youngest player in NFL history to rack up 50. After the game, he was more interested in spreading the praise around.
The biggest recipient of his praise was the offensive unit that tends to be the most overlooked when the offensive is playing well: The offensive line.
Hunter, in a phone conversation with PFT, said that’s the biggest difference between last year’s Minnesota offense and this year’s Minnesota offense. Whether it’s run blocking or pass blocking, the line is creating holes and buying time, and Hunter is noticing it.
He said he watches the offensive line while the defense is on the sideline, and that he has noticed the improved play all year long. The thing about offensive lines, however, is that most people only notice them when they play poorly. When they play well, the quarterback, running backs, and receivers get the attention.
The Vikings will need the offensive line to continue playing at a high level, especially since a 9-4 record has them clinging to the No. 6 seed in the NFC. Hunter said that Monday night’s close loss at Seattle operated to give the Vikings confidence that they can win on the road against anyone.
As the sixth seed, they’d have to win on the road against everyone, if they want to win the Super Bowl.