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Despite the recent struggles of their quarterback, the Minnesota rushing offense is putting out yards beyond expectations this season, on a mark to rush for 2960 yards in 16 games.
Vikings’ fans hoped that a healthy Dalvin Cook would change the fortunes for their football team this year.
Ironically, he has, and he hasn’t.
Last year, the Vikings were 1-0-1 after their week to trip to play Green Bay in Lambeau Field, while this year they replaced that tie with a loss to the Packers.
In the 2018 game, the Vikings rushed for a mere 68 yards while throwing for 412. Last Sunday, they rushed for 198 and threw for only 223.
Yes, there is a prevailing statistic somewhere that indicates that Minnesota is a very hard team to beat when they have over a hundred fifty rushing yards or 25 rushing attempts in a game, but the one thing that stat can’t stand up to is a reality of being down 21-0 at the beginning of the second quarter.
Rare is the Sunday where an offense is led back into a game with their running attack after being down three touchdowns, but that is exactly what happened in Green Bay last week.
Dalvin Cooks A Quick Six
Down by those three quick scores, the Vikings gave the ball promptly to Cook, who, working off tackle, weaved his way through the Packer defense for a 75-yard touchdown to make the score 21 to 7.
With more than a few folks wearing purple-and-gold deciding to again take their seats and watch a bit more of the game, Mike Zimmer’s squad then gave that anxious group a true show for the effort, playing three quarters of the finest defensive football we may have ever seen out of them.
Unfortunately, even as we watched this much-desired conjugation of rushing attack and stout defense, it was not aided by a competent Vikings’ quarterback in Kirk Cousins, who may have played his worst game as a pro, with a 52.9 game rating and three crucial turnovers.
The Vikings lost 20-16.
Yet, for the doomsayers out there in the rain, the fact that Minnesota has now produced 370 yards rushing in only two games may be something that might warm your bones. While Dalvin Cook is averaging a garish 6.5 yards a carry, his understudy, rookie Alex Mattison is not further behind him at 5.7
For those of us that thought this team could beat anyone with a running game, our cup runneth over. If we now think we can’t pass—
Maybe we should give it another week or two before the wrecking ball swings.
If the Minnesota offensive line is such a mess as has been reported, how would these numbers be possible? Is Dalvin Cook or Alex Mattison a new breed of running back, making something out of nothing?
No. Something is there, and this line is generating these opportunities.
Simply put, with anything less than an awful performance at quarterback last Sunday, the Vikings could have made this game an absolute aberration in the history books by coming back to win from such a deficit on the power of its rushing game itself.
With the Vikings moving forward into week three with numerous things to improve on offensively, it is a remarkable notion that running the ball is not one of them.