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Linebacker Eric Kendricks has seen this movie before: Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen breezes by a blocker with a spin move as unstoppable as a tornado. It's how Griffen beat Lions left tackle Penei Sewell for his second straight sack, leading to a Jared Goff fumble in the first quarter of Sunday's 19-17 win over Detroit.

Griffen shrugged when asked how he times his trademark spin move, which has opened doors for many of his 78 career sacks with the Vikings. Kendricks, his teammate of six years, interjected while sitting next to Griffen at the postgame podium.

"Instincts," Kendricks said.

"Yeah, I just do it," Griffen added. "I really don't work it that much in practice because it's natural. I try to use different moves to beat guys. But that just comes out of nowhere and I just do it off my instincts."

Griffen has come out of nowhere to return as the complementary edge rusher the Vikings need opposite Danielle Hunter. Since re-signing with the Vikings in late August, the former Pro Bowl end has produced at a level coaches couldn't ignore, They moved Griffen into the starting lineup Sunday ahead of second-year end D.J. Wonnum.

The 33-year-old Griffen hadn't started for the Vikings since the 2019 playoffs. But his production off the bench – including two sacks in two games before Sunday – led to the change, coach Mike Zimmer said, despite coordinator Andre Patterson's expressed desire to keep Griffen's mileage low so he can play the entire season.

"To be out there with D-Hunt and the boys, it feels good," Griffen said. "Just to get back in stride, to catch our rhythm. We got off the field a lot on third downs. We just have to tackle better, play better in the run."

Griffen started and didn't come off the field until after the Lions' first possession, playing nine snaps before Wonnum replaced him in the second series.

Wonnum, the 2020 fourth-round pick, had struggled to make an impact entering Sunday. He'd generated just four pressures and one run stop in four starts, according to Pro Football Focus, but he got his first sack of the season on a key fourth down against the Lions.

The Vikings already have 17 sacks through five games after netting 23 all of last season. Hunter has six himself, surpassing last year's season leader, Yannick Ngakoue, who had five.

But regardless of which defensive ends played Sunday, the Vikings' run defense was again a problem. Some of the issues stem from coaches not making adjustments quickly enough, according to Kendricks, who said, "it's on the players, as well. We're out there, seeing things. I'm a veteran, I've got to know" when they're getting beat by certain running plays.

Lions running backs D'Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams had some big lanes while picking up 58 rushing yards on 13 carries by halftime.

"Early, it was ugly,, and then it was much, much better once they cleaned it up," Zimmer said. "Again, they scored one touchdown on us [Sunday]. There was a lot of good things. I think they were 27% on third down, 288 yards. So, if I'm going to find some things to complain about, it would be [early run defense] and that last drive after the fumble."