The Vikings Top Defensive Performers at Dolphins, per PFF

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Sep 11, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings Top Defensive Performers at Dolphins

The Minnesota Vikings defeated the Miami Dolphins in Week 6, 24-16, in a game where defense stole the show, to a degree.

Minnesota’s offense played poorly for much of the 1st Half — and almost all of the 3rd Quarter — but did just enough not to fully disappoint. The Vikings defense played its best game of 2022, putting pressure on quarterback Teddy Bridgewater all day.

On defense, these were the top performers per Pro Football Focus:

1. Za’Darius Smith (92.0)
2. Danielle Hunter (90.7)
3. Patrick Peterson (89.9)
4. Patrick Jones (76.2)
5. Harrison Smith (68.4)

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Jul 27, 2022; Eagan, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

The Meet at the Quarterback Gang, Za’Darius Smith and Danielle Hunter, orchestrated a game that fans envisioned back in March when Smith joined the Vikings — sheer dominance and constant quarterback pressure. Smith registered 4 QB hits, 2 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, and four total tackles. Hunter, not to be outdone, accrued 3 QB hits, 2 tackles for loss, a sack, and 6 combined tackles.

Patrick Peterson was flawless, authoring his best game as a member of the Vikings — against titans of industry, Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. The veteran corner isn’t young — at all — and his ability to keep up with and contain the Dolphins dynamic duo was incredibly noteworthy.

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Image from @@P_jones9 on Twitter

A newcomer to top defensive players of the week lists, Patrick Jones played like a madman — in a good way. Jones fired up a Za’Dariusian or Hunter-ish statline with 2 sacks, 2 tackles for loss, 2 QB hits, and 3 tackles. And Jones experienced the playing time because of D.J. Wonnum’s absence, so Jones made the most of his first real opportunity as the “third pass rusher.”

Finally, Harrison Smith got back to basics in Miami, impacting the game at a pivotal point, stripping the ball from the aforementioned Waddle at a crucial time in the 2nd Half. He also recorded 6 tackles and 2 passes-defended. His social media game was also impeccable after the win in Florida:

Even in victory, “the bad” must be highlighted, so these were the worst performers on defense:

3. Eric Kendricks (45.0)
2. Chandon Sullivan (41.9)
1. Luiji Vilain (39.5)

The Vikings head home for Week 8 after the Week 7 bye, taking on the embattled Arizona Cardinals, who are 2-4 through six games and surrounded by hot-seat chatter for the team’s head coach.




Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).