Everson Griffen was critical to the Vikings assault of San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers in Sunday's 31-14 win over the Chargers.
Griffen led the Vikings with 1.5 sacks, two tackles for loss and was credited by press box statisticians with five quarterback hurries and a pass defended. His day has been chosen as the "Bridgestone Performance of the Week."
One of four season-long captains, Griffen made plays for four quarters, helping the Vikings shut down the Chargers run game early.
Griffen teamed with Linval Joseph to stop first-round pick Melvin Gordon after a gain of 2 on the Chargers second play of the game. The Vikings forced a punt two plays later. He also stuffed Gordon after a gain of 1 on third-and-2 from the Minnesota 45-yard line to force another punt while the game was still scoreless.
Success against the run led to more opportunities to put heat on Rivers, and Griffen used a variety of methods, but his bull rushes were dominant against Chargers left tackle King Dunlap.
"You stop the run, you get to rush the passer," Griffen said. "The more we stop the run, the more we're going to get to rush the passer. If we keep on stopping the run like this, we're always going to affect the quarterback."
Griffen bulldozed Dunlap backward into Rivers to force an errant pass that Chad Greenway caught off a deflection and returned 91 yards for a touchdown.
The Vikings totaled four sacks of Rivers, including one on a fumble forced by Anthony Barr, and were credited with 12 quarterback hurries in the press box tally.
"You just have to be hungry," Griffen said. "The hungrier you are and the harder you work, then you will be able to get after the quarterback. The more you can affect the quarterback, the better your defense is probably going to play. Our whole plan is to get after every quarterback so they're not comfortable. If you can disrupt the quarterback over and over, you are going to win more games."