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Vikings Defensive Line Shows Depth In Division Win

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer likes to preach that his team is collection of high-character and hard-working players who don't rely on any one person.

That mindset was on display Sunday night, especially on the Vikings defensive line.

Andrew Krammer of the Star Tribune looked at how the rotation of talent along the defensive line helped the Vikings get a win against the Packers.

The defensive line played particularly well despite being down starting tackle Sharrif Floyd, who was held out because of a knee injury. Defensive end Danielle Hunter was also forced out for a few series … before returning, stretching a deep line even further.

Defensive ends Everson Griffen and Brian Robison played more than 80 percent of the game, spearheading a Vikings rush that netted five sacks and three more hits on Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Defensive tackles Linval Joseph, Tom Johnson and Shamar Stephen formed a formidable rotation in the middle that helped hold the Packers to 3.6 yards per run.

"We executed the rush plan pretty well," head coach Mike Zimmer said Monday. "It's always a combination of coverage and the rush. … When you're pass rushing as much as they did, you got to suck it up and go. So I thought those guys did a good job."

Griffen, Robison, Joseph, Johnson and Hunter each sacked Rodgers once while Stephen recovered a fumble that Robison forced with his fourth-quarter sack.

Hill helped Bradford prep for first start

Sam Bradford started made his first start with the Vikings on Sunday night just 15 days after being acquired in a trade from the Eagles.

Bradford had a strong game, completing 22 of 31 passes for 286 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press noted that Vikings quarterback Shaun Hill, who started Minnesota's season opener at Tennessee, had a hand in helping Bradford get up to speed with the offense.

Tomasson noted that Hill was "thrilled" with Bradford's performance.

"I've always put the team first,'' Hill said Monday. "That's always been the approach I've taken. We all benefit from wins, so whatever it takes to get those.''

*Hill's selfless attitude has helped him last 15 years in the NFL, most of it as a backup. Hill, Bradford's teammate with the St. Louis Rams in 2014, played a role in working with the quarterback who would end up replacing him as the starter. *

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