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Lunchbreak: Griffen & Hunter Tied for NFL Lead in Quarterback Pressures

lunchbreak-091719

Through the first two games of the 2019 season, Everson Griffen has looked like … well, Everson Griffen.

The Vikings defensive end has been a force to be reckoned with, as Matthew Coller of SKOR North recently highlighted his play early in the season.

Coller wrote:

Through two weeks, Griffen is tied with Green Back Packers rusher [Za’Darius] Smith and teammate Danielle Hunter for the NFL lead in QB pressures, according to Pro Football Focus. Following a strong Week 1 in which he posted four pressures on Matt Ryan and Head Coach Mike Zimmer said that Griffen looked like his old self, the 31-year-old rusher had an incredible day against the Packers, pressuring Aaron Rodgers 11 times.

Coller noted that Griffen totaled 14 pressures between from Week 11 through Week 17 last season.

Throughout the Zimmer era in Minnesota, Griffen has been one of the most dominant pass rushers in the NFL. He has ranked in the top 20 among edge rushers in pressures every year from 2014-2017, finishing as high as seventh in 2015.

Griffen was named to three straight Pro Bowls from 2015 to 2017, racking up 31.5 sacks in that time frame as he was looked upon as one of the league’s top pass rushers.

The former fourth-round pick played in only 11 games in 2018 as he took more than a month off for personal health reasons. He recorded 5.5 sacks last season and has one so far in 2019.

As Griffen has returned to form, he has also focused on himself off the field.

“My goal right now is to keep doing what I’m doing, win the day, win the moment, enjoy it, stick to my guns, stick to the people that I have in my corner that are helping me each and every day,” Griffen said last week. “The biggest thing I’ve learned is it’s OK to seek help. It’s OK to reach out to somebody and ask for help. It feels good. I’m happy to be back in this locker room.

“I know if I can stay the course, I’m making an impact with a lot of people. That’s my job,” Griffen added. “That’s what I want to do, stay the course for my family, first and foremost, my wife and kids and for this team because the Vikings organization took care of me in my hard times.”

Griffen has 67.5 career sacks, which ranks seventh in franchise history.

Hunter has 2.0 sacks on the season, bringing his career total to 42 in four-plus seasons.

Cook nominated for FedEx Ground Player of the Week for 2nd straight week

Another week, another big-time performance for Dalvin Cook.

The Vikings running back has been nominated for the FedEx Ground Player of the Week after rushing for 154 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries Sunday.

You can vote for Cook here to win the award.

He was nominated after his Week 1 performance (111 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries), but did not win the award.

Cook currently leads the NFL in rushing with 265 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.

Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (111 yards and a touchdown) and Packers running back Mark Ingram (116 yards and a touchdown) are also up for the award. A trio of quarterbacks are also up for the FedEx Air Player of the Week.

FedEx will donate $2,000 to the USO on behalf of the NFL award winners through FedEx Cares. The $4,000 donation will support the USO Pathfinder program, which provides resources and personalized services to assist service members and military spouses in their transition back to civilian life. FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Year winners — announced each year during Super Bowl Week at NFL Honors — will receive a $20,000 donation in their name to the USO.

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