Minnesota Vikings Week 16 Key To Victory Is Dalvin Cook

The Minnesota Vikings have had an inconsistent 2020 season. However, one constant throughout 2020 has been Dalvin Cook. He is an elusive back who has shined in most games in 2020. A playoff rematch against the New Orleans Saints looms and the Minnesota Vikings Week 16 key to victory is Cook and the ground game.

Minnesota Vikings Week 16 Key To Victory Is Dalvin Cook

Minnesota Needs To Stay Persistent With The Run

Cook had success against the Saints in the 2019 playoff game. Rushing for 94 yards and two touchdowns ‘The Chef’ helped Minnesota get an overtime victory. This could be the blueprint for repeated success on Christmas Day. Dalvin Cook has already achieved career highs in rushing attempts and yards after 13 games. Cook is chasing down an NFL rushing title and the Vikings shouldn’t abandoned the run this week if they want to have a shot at a win.

Even though New Orleans defense is impressive against the run (the fourth best in the NFL). Minnesota should stay persistent with the run and wear down the Saints defense. While impressive this season, New Orleans run defense has regressed in recent weeks. In the last three games the Saints have allowed an average of 165 rushing yards. With Dalvin Cook already achieving success this season against stout run defenses such as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Green Bay Packers, he could be in line for a big day.

Manage the Clock

Minnesota’s defense has gradually improved but is still having some growing pains so controlling time of possession will give the Vikings the best chance of winning Friday night. Running the ball repeatedly will help the Vikings chew up some clock and keep Drew Brees and the Saints effective offense off the field.

In all of New Orleans’ losses this year they have had the lower time of possession which demonstrates how effective this strategy could be for Minnesota. But while the Vikings have struggled with clock management this season, using Cook and their ground game to try to efficiently manage the clock will be an asset for Minnesota, especially if they take the lead. Even if they struggle on the ground early, the Vikings need continue to utilize Cook and run the ball to try to manage the clock and keep Brees and company off of the field.

Threatening the Run Will Open up the Passing Game

Fortunately for Minnesota the pass has become just effective as the rush, with Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen having impressive seasons just like Cook. Minnesota utilizing the run will help their receivers get open and leave more time for Kirk Cousins in the pocket. Employing both bootlegs and play action will optimize Minnesota’s offense and Dalvin Cook is the key.

Minnesota still has a slim chance of the playoffs heading into Friday night. Victory is the only option to keep a post season dream alive. Dalvin Cook being the focal point of the offense may be the Vikings best chance of victory in the Superdome on Christmas Day.

Main Photo

Embed from Getty Images