A week after shredding the Green Bay Packers for 226 total yards and four touchdowns, Minnesota Vikings (3-5) running back Dalvin Cook again was unstoppable in a 34-20 victory over the Detroit Lions (3-5). Without a doubt the focus of the Lions defense all week, Cook still ran for 206 yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns. He also added two receptions for 46 yards. Dalvin Cook has consistently brought a powerful and game changing running style to the Vikings, offering a bright mark as the team attempts to reach the .500 mark.
Dalvin Cook Shines As The Minnesota Vikings Beat The Detroit Lions
Cook set the tone early, running three times for 23 yards on the Vikings opening drive, capping the drive with a five-yard score. On the Vikings next drive, Dalvin Cook again was efficient, running three times for 25 yards. In fact, it was not until Minnesota’s third drive that Cook had a carry go for less than five yards. This allowed the Vikings to get their play-action game going. Kirk Cousins would epitomise this when he lofted a touchdown pass to Irv Smith Jr. to cap off a 63-yard drive. However, a missed extra point would mean the Vikings were up only 13-0.
The Vikings got the ball for their final drive of the first half with 1:19 left. At first glance, Cook’s five-yard run to begin the drive may not have seemed like a big deal, but it was enough for Minnesota to feel comfortable in calling aggressive plays for the rest of the drive. His 29-yard reception in the flat that he took to the Lions 35-yard line that got the Vikings into field goal range. One play later, he exploded off the left side of the line for a 13-yard run and it was evident Minnesota was going to go for the touchdown. Backup running back Ameer Abdullah took the next pass 22 yards for a touchdown. The Vikings would head into halftime with a powerful a 20-10 lead.
A Knockout Punch by Dalvin Cook Seals The Game
In the third quarter Irv Smith Jr. would catch the only score of the quarter to give the Vikings a 27-13 lead. Maintaining that lead with 11 minutes left in the game, Minnesota needed a drive to seal the deal. While a long drive was probably what Minnesota coaches envisioned, Cook took the first play of the drive 70 yards for a touchdown. His vision and footwork helped spring him loose on a fairly standard run to the left. The game appeared over and backup Alexander Mattison took over and handled all but one of the team’s carries the rest of the way. The Lions would score another touchdown, but the effort was too late as Minnesota closed out the match with a 34-20 victory.
The Last Word
Dalvin Cook has the Vikings running their offense the way head coach Mike Zimmer wants it run. The efficient backfield has helped take pressure off of Cousins and is opening up big plays for receivers downfield. Cook has a great shot at winning NFC Player of the Week for the second straight week.