Vikings Defenders Win Back-To-Back Player of the Week Honors

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The Minnesota Vikings are coming off a huge victory that could turn out to be the turning point of the season after the 2-4 start. Finally putting everything together without making huge mistakes, the purple team managed to beat the San Francisco 49ers, perhaps the best group in the NFL. It took some outstanding performances on both sides of the ball.

Vikings Defenders Win Back-To-Back Player of the Week Honors

On offense, Jordan Addison shined. The rookie recorded his first career 100-yard game and scored twice, including a highlight catch in which he wrestled the ball away from a cornerback in the final seconds of the first half. His quarterback Kirk Cousins was also hot all night and once again proved the primetime narrative wrong.

Vikings Defenders Win Back-To-Back Player of the Week Honors
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But the offense wasn’t the only phase of the Vikings that played well, as the defense held the dynamic offense led by quarterback Brock Purdy and head coach and offensive mastermind Kyle Shanahan to only 17 points. A key part in that played safety Camryn Bynum, who received NFL Defensive Player of the Week honors.

The defensive back snatched two passes from Purdy. He took advantage of a couple of errant throws, and the confusing play calls from defensive coordinator Brian Flores played a role in that. However, he was in the right position to make the plays and proved that defenders don’t just play on that side because they can’t catch. In addition to that, he tackled Christian McCaffrey in the first quarter before Harrison Smith punched the ball out, forcing another crucial turnover.

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Throughout the season, Bynum has been absolutely sensational, playing at a high level, surprisingly for most folks. He struggled in his first season as a starter last year. The new scheme is perhaps a better fit for his skill set, and he might have made a jump after his second season in the NFL. According to Pro Football Focus, Bynum is the fourth-best-rated safety in the league. In 2022, he ranked 68th. Those numbers match the eye test.

Through the first seven games of the year, he ranks fifth in the NFL with 69 tackles, which leads the Vikings and all defensive backs. He also logged a forced fumble in Week 4 against the Carolina Panthers. D.J. Wonnum picked the ball up and scored a touchdown on that play.

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Bynum was a cornerback in college, and the Vikings immediately moved him to safety when they picked him in the fourth round. Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer had a plan, and apparently, they were right.

The third-year player didn’t just shine during the game, but he also had a wonderful postgame interview with NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero:

Interestingly, just a week ago, the NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors also went to the Vikings as linebacker Jordan Hicks received the trophy. He intercepted a Justin Fields pass and returned a Tyson Bagent fumble for a touchdown. Similar to Bynum, Hicks is looking rejuvenated in the new defense. Troy Aikman said during Monday’s broadcast on ESPN that it is his best season since his earlier playing career.

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Hicks was a potential cut in the offseason after a down year before he took a pay cut. He was certainly not used in the right way in last year’s defense but is a perfect fit for Flores, who loves to play aggressive defense, and coincidentally, Hicks excels at or close to the line of scrimmage.


Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt

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