Griffen has been slowed somewhat because of plantar fasciitis in the second half of the season, but he still managed a sack and a forced fumble last week, while his deflection of a Drew Brees pass — with his back to the play — turned into the Vikings’ second interception of the Saints quarterback when Anthony Barr corralled the tipped throw.
He’ll match up with Vaitai, who made the second start of his career against the Vikings last October and shifted from the right side of the Eagles’ line to the left when Jason Peters was injured in Week 7. He’s allowed nine sacks this season, according to Pro Football Focus, and Griffen’s ability to get the better of him Sunday could be especially important given how much Nick Foles has struggled when pressured this season.
According to Pro Football Focus, Foles’ passer rating under pressure is only 23.8 this season. If the Vikings can get to him, they’ll have a good chance to turn mistakes into defensive stops and turnovers. That could start with Griffen winning his matchup against Vaitai.