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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Anthony Barr continues his surge by dominating Ravens

By Matthew Coller

On Friday, Anthony Barr just shook his head at a question about being rated among the top 10 linebackers this season by Pro Football Focus.

Whether you use PFF ratings, regular stats or the old eye test, you’ll come to the same conclusion about Barr’s season: He is dominating. On Sunday, Barr racked up 11 tackles, one sack and two tackles for loss as the Vikings’ defense allowed just 3.3 yards per play to the Baltimore Ravens.

“I’m in a good place mentally,” Barr said following the 24-16 win. “I think that’s the biggest part. Physically that’s going to come and go, but mentally I feel in a good place. Confident…and it’s a testament to my teammates and coaches who continue to believe in me.”

Barr’s sack was the first this season, but he has continually pressured the quarterback, including on a hit that ended Aaron Rodgers’ season last week. He’s also been a key cog on one of the league’s best run defenses and played well in coverage.

Anthony Barr was targeted in coverage eight times in coverage, but allowed only 35 yards on those (4.4 per attempt) #skol @PFF

— Eric Eager (@PFF_EricEager) October 22, 2017

“I know people were saying he had an off year last year, but I thought he played well,” safety Harrison Smith said. “The splash plays is what people notice the most, when you get those everyone hypes you up. But he’s ballin’ and he’s playing with a lot of passion, he loves playing in this defense and we love being with him.”

Cornerback Xavier Rhodes also made the point that excellence from the Vikings’ 2014 first-round pick is not new to his teammates. He has been a Pro Bowler each of the last two seasons, but was criticized at times by head coach Mike Zimmer toward the end of last season. Barr said Friday he believed he’s playing the best of his career.

”You can tell they gameplan him,” cornerback Xavier Rhodes said. “They have to gameplan him and our front seven…but he was just running to the ball trying to make plays no matter how he can. If it’s not his man, he’s running to the opposite side of the field trying to get to the ball to strip it out.”

The post Anthony Barr continues his surge by dominating Ravens appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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