Vikings’ Hunter earns first career weekly honor after big game
FOX Sports North
Danielle Hunter (⬆ UP)
Hunter was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his incredible efforts against Detroit. The 23-year-old logged a team-high nine tackles and career-high 3.5 sacks, not to mention his scoop-and-score for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, to pick up his first career weekly award. Hunter now holds the NFL lead for sacks at 11.5, 1.5 more than Aaron Donald and just one away from his career high of 12.5. The Vikings call him “Create a Player” for a reason.
Wild defensemen (⬆ UP)
Minnesota blueliners are responsible for four of the Wild’s last eight goals, bringing their total to 14 on the season, which ranks second among team defensemen in the NHL. Matt Dumba has scored in back-to-back games and has five on the season, but Ryan Suter (3 goals), Jared Spurgeon (3), Jonas Brodin (2) and Nick Seeler have also chipped in. Dumba is currently riding a three-game point streak, a feat he achieved three times last season en route to a career-best 50-point campaign.
USA TODAY SportsBrace Hemmelgarn
Tyus Jones (⬇ DOWN)
Through 10 games, Jones is averaging what would be a career-high 20.9 minutes. But he’s shooting 31.9 percent from the field and has scored in double figures just once, a 12-point effort against Milwaukee. He did, however, score some points as an older brother. Jimmy Butler paid for a private jet so Jones could fly to Indianapolis to watch his younger brother Tre debut for Duke against rival Kentucky. Duke won handily, 118-84, and the young Jones scored six points and added seven assists and four rebounds in 31 minutes.
Derrick Rose (⬆ UP)
Derrick Rose piling up a career-high 50 points against Utah is week-old news by now, but what a moment it was. Rose hadn’t scored over 30 points since 2015 when he still played for Chicago, and he tallied 40+ points just twice during his MVP season in 2010-11. Rose only played four minutes the next game and sat against Portland to rest, but he was back in action against the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday, pouring in 21 points. OK, the 21 points on 20 attempts from the field isn’t ideal, but it’s sure fun to watch Rose ball when he’s on.
Brace HemmelgarnBrace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport
Adam Thielen (⬇ DOWN)
We give Thielen a down arrow this week with a hint of sarcasm, of course. Thielen is “trending down” after Darius Slay and the Detroit secondary held the 100-yard machine to 22 yards on four catches, which broke his pursuit of nine straight games with at least 100 yards receiving. Up next for Thielen? The Chicago Bears on Sunday night after the bye. Thielen’s best game against Chicago was back in 2014 when he caught three passes for 68 yards and a score, his first career NFL touchdown as a wide receiver.
USA TODAY SportsBrace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Zimmer (⬆ UP)
Things were looking pretty bleak on the Vikings defense after Jared Goff passed for 465 yards and five touchdowns in Week 4. It looked even worse when Zimmer said he didn’t know what was wrong with Minnesota’s defense in his postgame presser. But since then, the Vikings have turned things around. Drastically. In the last four games, the Vikings have held every team to under 300 total yards and have surrendered fewer than 200 passing yards in each of the last three contests. Additionally, opponents are converting on third down just 21.4 percent of the time since the slaughter in Los Angeles. Not that Zimmer’s job was ever on the line, but he’s definitely sleeping better these days with the improved play of his defense.