In Week 1, the Minnesota Vikings’ offensive line faced off with one of the elite defensive tackles in San Francisco’s DeForest Buckner. While they came away with the win, he finished with 2.5 sacks. At Lambeau Field on Sunday, there will be no drop-off in the uphill climb for the interior of the Vikings’ line as they match up with another elite DT in Mike Daniels.
“He’s going to go hard,” head coach Mike Zimmer said. “He’s physical. He’s strong, good at the point of attack. In a lot of ways he’s a lot like Everson [Griffen] playing a different position. He’s going to give you a full day’s work; really, really good football player.”
In Green Bay’s opening game against the Chicago Bears, Daniels was extremely disruptive, picking up one sack, two QB hurries and four run stuffs. He was the highest graded player on Green Bay’s defense in Week 1.
Daniels, 29, has become one of the most consistent players at his position, picking up between four and six sacks and more than 30 QB pressures every year for the past five seasons (per Pro Football Focus). His pressures per pass rush snap rate was 12th among DTs last season.
The veteran DT is joined on the D-line by Kenny Clark. He created 31 pressures in 2017 and was ranked as the ninth best defensive tackle against the run.
The wild card to Green Bay’s D-line is Muhammad Wilkerson. He played 43 snaps against the Bears but did not make a huge impact with just one hurry and one run stuff.
Minnesota will face off with the Packers’ beasts without Pat Elflein. Offensive coordinator John DeFilippo noted that the Vikings’ O-line will have to get past the Packers’ D-line and get blocks on linebackers if they want to improve in the running game. PFF noted that Dalvin Cook gained more yards after contact than total yards on the ground last week.
“We just need to do a better job getting off to the second level which I know we will,” he said. “We have been stressing that this week.”