The defensive end continued his stellar season with a dominating performance Sunday in Los Angeles. Hunter forced a pair of fumbles, recovered another and tallied a sack on Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers. Hunter started his big day with a forced fumble on Los Angeles' second drive of the game. He later pounced on a fumble on the Chargers first play of the second half. But his best play came when he sacked Rivers and forced a fumble, then followed by throwing a key block to allow Ifeadi Odenigbo's 56-yard fumble return for a touchdown.
Kendricks has shined time and time again in 2019, garnering mentions in Pro Bowl discussions this season. Kendricks, who attended UCLA, was all over the place again Sunday in Southern California. He, too, had a hand in Odenigbo's score, as he knocked the ball free from Austin Ekeler and held the Chargers running back down to allow Odenigbo to pick up the pigskin. Kendricks later capped off his big day with a forced fumble in the fourth quarter that was recovered by Trae Waynes and led to a Minnesota touchdown by Mike Boone.
Odenigbo grew up a Chargers fan because of his affinity for LaDainian Tomlinson and Rivers. He picked a heck of a time for his first-ever touchdown (Odenigbo never recorded one in high school or college) against the team he rooted for as a kid. Odenigbo's hustle helped him pick up the ball at the Vikings 44-yard line and race for a score behind Hunter's big block. The touchdown gave the Vikings a 19-10 halftime lead. Odenigbo also had a sack, and is now third on the team with 5.0 sacks this season.
The perennial Pro Bowler enjoyed his time in the California sunshine Sunday, as Smith was all over the stat sheet with a tackle for loss, interception, pass deflection and fumble recovery against Los Angeles. Smith's impact was felt in the first half, as he raced to fall on the Chargers first fumble, which was forced by Hunter. The safety then snagged the first of three Vikings interceptions when he picked off Rivers on third-and-17 late in the second quarter. Smith now has interceptions in back-to-back games for the sixth time in eight seasons.