NFC unsung heroes: Naming one under-the-radar stud on each team –

In 2019, Kendricks was named a first-team All-Pro and made his first Pro Bowl. In 2020, Kendricks was blanked in both categories as part of a Vikings team that underachieved — but that doesn’t mean Kendricks disappointed. The linebacker was again stellar, allowing a passer rating as the nearest defender of just 53.9, the second best rate among all linebackers with a minimum of 20 targets. Hs -8.1 targeted EPA was the 10th best among linebackers, and he added 107 tackles (four for loss), six passes defended and three interceptions. His ball-hawk rate (the percentage of targets where the nearest defender made a play on the football) of 16.2 percent landed him fifth among all linebackers — in other words, he embodied the ideal, complete linebacker any team would want. Had Minnesota performed better during a 7-9 season, Kendricks likely would’ve received too much attention to make this list. But, hey, silver linings.

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