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Lunchbreak: Vikings Ranked Among NFL's Top Pass-Rushing Teams

The Vikings made life difficult on opposing quarterbacks in 2016 when Minnesota finished fifth in the NFL with 41 sacks. 

Defensive ends Danielle Hunter, Everson Griffen and Brian Robison led the way as the trio accounted for 28 of those sacks. 

Matt Harmon of recently revealed his list of the top 10 pass-rushing teams as based on a team's average distance from the opposing quarterback at the time of throw or sack.

Harmon, who had the Vikings at No. 10, wrote:

The Vikings started off the year as the hottest defense in the league and ended up finishing as the third-best unit, in terms of yards allowed. Minnesota has high-end players at all three levels of their defense but their stellar play starts up front. Second-year defensive end Danielle Hunter out of LSU had a breakout season in 2016 to establish himself as their top pass rusher. He led the team in sacks and averaged 4.19 yards of distance from the quarterback at the time of throw or sack. Fellow edge player Everson Griffen scored right around the league average in Next Gen Stats' pressure metric but chipped in with eight sacks of his own. The pass rush is one of the reasons Xavier Rhodes was able to finish as Next Gen Stats' best *No. 1 cornerback of the 2016 season,* and it has a positive effect throughout Mike Zimmer's unit.

Hunter led the Vikings with 12.5 sacks while Griffen had 8.0 and Robison had 7.5. Linval Joseph had 4.0 sacks while Eric Kendricks, Tom Johnson, Harrison Smith, Anthony Barr and Andrew Sendejo each had at least 0.5 sacks.

Thielen listed as Vikings best long-shot story

Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen grew up rooting for the Vikings, but some never thought he'd wear the Purple in an actual game.

The Minnesota native has done much more than that, going from the practice squad to special teams standout to a near 1,000-yard season in only a few years.

Thielen was listed by's Ben Goessling as the Vikings best long-shot story as a player who made it despite having little fanfare coming out of high school. National Signing Day, when the country's top high school football players made their college choices, was Wednesday.

Goessling wrote:

Thielen didn't register on any national recruiting services when he came out of tiny Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, and he got a rookie camp tryout from the Vikings only after an impressive career at Division II Minnesota State. But after a year on the practice squad and two as a special-teams player, Thielen led the Vikings with 967 receiving yards in 2016 and finished second on the team with five receiving touchdowns. He'll be a restricted free agent this spring.



Clayton: Tarkenton is top-15 quarterback of all-time

A pair of impressive quarterbacks will meet up in Super Bowl LI on Sunday in Houston.

That got writer John Clayton thinking about the best quarterbacks in history, so he decided to compile a list of his top signal callers.

Former Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton made Clayon's cut at No. 15.

Tarkenton was the ultimate running quarterback. He rushed for 3,674 yards in his 18-year career, and his scrambling ability made him one of the most exciting quarterbacks to ever play the game. He was only 6-0 and 190 pounds, but his escapability made him stand tall among the league's best signal-callers.

One of the quarterbacks in Sunday's game, New England's Tom Brady, topped Clayton's list. Brett Favre, who spent two seasons in Purple, was ranked seventh.



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