MINNEAPOLIS - Move over “Purple People Eaters,” there’s a new gang of defenders in the Vikings’ record book.
The Vikings had a franchise-record 10 sacks in Sunday’s 24-9 victory over the Detroit Lions on Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium. The previous record of sacks in a game was nine, accomplished four times - three times by Minnesota’s legendary defensive line, in 1968, 1969 and 1970.
The Vikings (5-3-1) frustrated Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford throughout the game. He completed 25 of 36 passes for 199 yards but spent most of the game on the run.
Leading the sack parade were defensive end Danielle Hunter, who had 3 1/2, and defensive tackle Tom Johnson, who had 2 1/2. Hunter also had a 32-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown that gave Minnesota a 24-6 lead midway through the fourth quarter.
The way the defense played, the Vikings didn’t need much offense.
Kirk Cousins completed 18 of 22 passes for 164 yards and threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Adam Thielen in the second quarter for a 14-6 lead. And Dalvin Cook, returning after missing four games with a hamstring injury, carried 10 times for 89 yards, including a 70-yard sprint down the left sideline in the second quarter that set up Thielen’s touchdown.
Thielen caught four passes for 22 yards, ending his streak of consecutive 100-yard games at eight, which keeps him in a tie in the NFL record book with Calvin Johnson, who did it for Detroit in 2012.
The Vikings played without four starters: receiver Stefon Diggs (rib), linebacker Anthony Barr (hamstring), guard Tom Compton (knee) and safety Andrew Sendejo (groin). They were missing six starters in the previous week’s 30-20 loss to New Orleans.
Also coming up with sacks Sunday for the Vikings were Everson Griffen (1 1/2), Stephen Weatherly (1), Mackensie Alexander (1) and Sheldon Richardson (1/2).
Sacks did not become an official NFL statistic since 1982, and Minnesota’s other nine-sack game came in 1993 at Chicago. The Vikings, though, count the three nine-sack games by the “Purple People Eaters” as part of the record.