For the first time in 2020 the Minnesota Vikings have won back-to-back games. After a stunning upset in Green Bay last week, the Vikings had another stellar performance against the Lions winning 34-20.
The one thing that both games had in common was the absolutely dominant performance out of Dalvin Cook. In Sunday’s win over Detroit, Cook rushed the ball 22 times for 206 yards and two touchdowns, while adding two catches for 46 yards through the air.
Over the last two weeks Cook has totaled 478 all-purpose yards while finding the end zone six times. The Vikings were faced with a tough decision this summer in terms of re-signing Cook, but the five-year extension is starting to look like the right decision.
Despite missing a game due to injury, and the Vikings bye in the rear-view mirror, Cook will be the NFL’s leading rusher after today’s performance getting him to 858 yards on the season. It should also be noted that Cook gives a lot of credit to the team’s offensive line, a unit that has looked much better since getting Ezra Cleveland in at right guard.
The Vikings offense is clearly at its best when Cook is healthy, so that will be critical for the team moving forward. If he can stay healthy for the remainder of 2020, there’s no reason Cook’s name shouldn't start getting brought up in the MVP race.
Although Cook was the star of the show several other Vikings had solid performances. Kirk Cousins wasn’t asked to do anything extraordinary, but he completed 13 of his 20 attempts for 220 yards and three touchdowns.
Irv Smith Jr. hauled in two of those touchdowns and former Lion Ameer Abdullah also found the end zone for the first time in 2020.
Similar to Cousins, the receiving corps wasn’t asked to do anything too crazy. It’s not saying they didn’t play well, but when Cook is the hot hand sometimes that’s the way it goes. Justin Jefferson led the Vikings through the air with 64 receiving yards on three catches.
Mike Zimmer’s defense had another solid game despite being banged up on all three levels. Eric Wilson, Eric Kendricks and Harrison Smith all had interceptions on the day, with two of them coming deep in their own territory.
Wilson also led the team in tackles and was in on one of the team’s two sacks.
Jeff Gladney and Kris Boyd were the only two healthy cornerbacks that have been on the team since training camp. They combined for 18 tackles and two tackles for loss on the day.
Gladney has continued to show off his physical style of play, something that many analysts loved about him coming out of TCU. Although he has struggled in coverage at times, he has shown flashes of similarities to Antoine Winfield Sr. with his run support.
Don’t look now, but the Vikings remaining schedule doesn’t seem overly difficult. They haven’t had the best luck in Chicago in recent history, but they get the chance to change that narrative next Monday night on Monday Night Football.
Make sure to tune into the postgame show on KFAN 100.3 and stay up to date on any other updates on KFAN.com.