Camryn Bynum Inspired by Filipino Legend

Vikings Safety Jokes
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

Week 14 certainly provided an interesting game for the Minnesota Vikings and their fans. Nobody had a 3-0 win in their predictions, but that is what we were treated to. In a game dominated by defense, Cam Bynum was inspired by Filipino legend on a crucial play.

Camryn Bynum Inspired by Filipino Legend

The Raiders were facing 3rd and 4 from their own 17-yard line in the fourth quarter. Rookie QB Aidan O’Connell found rookie TE Michael Mayer with a pass that would have been enough for a Raiders first down. Bynum had other ideas. The Filipino safety knocked the ball out with a punch that fellow countryman and boxing legend Manny Pacquiao would have been proud of. 

camryn bynum inspired
Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports.

The Raiders’ drive was stopped in its tracks, and they punted the ball away on a day when the two teams’ punter would be entitled to claim overtime for their work. Bynum’s efforts stopped the Raiders from building momentum, and they would fail to gain another first down in the remaining 12 minutes of the game. In such an incredibly low-scoring game, it was a pivotal moment.

Bynum took to the X app (formerly Twitter) to reveal he watches Pacquiao highlights before every game. He certainly put that practice to good use in this game to continue the fine form he is enjoying this season. While the world watched and scratched their heads at how two teams in 2023 could muster such a low-scoring affair. Bynum was one of the many defensive players that came out of the game with great credit.

A True Breakout Season

The Vikings’ defense is thriving under the leadership of DC Brian Flores. No player demonstrates the difference Flores has made more than Bynum. After winning the starting role ahead of last year’s first-round pick, Lewis Cine, Bynum came under heavy criticism throughout the season. In Ed Donatell’s passive shell defense, the Vikings’ safety was always the deepest man and often way too deep to make a positive play.

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports.

With the more aggressive approach from the Flores defense this season, Bynum is constantly around the ball. Through 13 games, he has amassed 103 tackles (league-leading for a DB), 0.5 sacks, 2 tackles for loss, 1 QB hit, 1 forced fumble, 2 interceptions,  9 pass deflections, and a 74.4 passer rating allowed. Bynum is still most likely to be the deep safety, with Harrison Smith and Josh Metellus more likely to work around the line of scrimmage. However, Bynum has shown he can do it all and do it well.

It wasn’t a big day on the stat sheet for Bynum in Vegas. Outside the punch-out, there were just four tackles, but he didn’t miss a tackle or allow a reception in the game. Pro Football Focus gave him an overall grade of 70.4 for his efforts in Vegas, taking his overall grade for the season to 85.7. According to PFF grading, that makes Bynum the fifth-best safety in the NFL this season. He has had a season that warrants Pro Bowl, and as of December 7, when the NFL released the top 10 vote-getters for each position, Bynum landed in 8th place for free safety. 

He can continue to stake his claim when the Vikings travel to Cincinnati this Saturday to take on the Bengals.