The Minnesota Vikings beat the Detroit Lions 24-9 at U.S. Bank Stadium Sunday afternoon. The Vikings looked like they were back in 2017, with a strong defensive performance and a good running attack.
The biggest story from Sunday was the Vikings front four on defense. The team combined for 10 sacks, beating the old franchise record of nine sacks in a single game. Danielle Hunter was the MVP of today’s game, leading the team with 3.5 sacks and a fumble recovery for a touchdown. Hunter is now leading the league with 11.5 total sacks on the season, and is on pace for just under 20.5 sacks.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Vikings run game got back on track. Dalvin Cook had 89 rushing yards on a limited snap count, with an explosive 70-yard run that reminded Vikings fans how big of an asset he is to this team.
The biggest story line coming into this game was Adam Thielen’s consecutive games with 100 or more receiving yards. Although Thielen’s streak was stopped against Detroit after eight consecutive games, he still found his way into the end zone for the seventh time this season.
Even with Thielen’s streak coming to an end, there were still some positive takeaways from the Vikings receiving group. Chad Bebe made his NFL debut racking in three catches for 21 yards. Although the numbers don’t jump off the stat sheet, Bebe did a good job at creating separation and securing the ball when it was thrown his way. Laquon Treadwell also had a quiet game on the stat sheet, but contributed with a nice 22-yard reception that showed off his explosiveness that hasn’t really been seen in his three years as a pro.
This team looked like the team that everyone was predicting them to be at the beginning of the season. Head Coach Mike Zimmer got aggressive right away going for it early on fourth down which later lead to a Latavius Murray touchdown to put the Vikings up 7-0 early in the first quarter. The Vikings didn’t look back after that, staying aggressive on defense and putting up multiple red zone stops throughout the game.
Although Kirk Cousins had an average day at best, the team was able to find a way to dominate a divisional rival without having to throw the ball all day. The Vikings ran for 128 total rushing yards, showing that the two-headed monster of Cook and Murray is back in action.
The Vikings have been hot and cold on all phases of the ball throughout the season. There have been games where Cousins has had to do all the work by himself and throw for over 400 yards and there have been games controlled by running the ball and a solid defense. If the Vikings can start to click on all sides of the ball, this is a team that has a legitimate chance to make a deep run into the playoffs.
Going into the bye at 5-3-1, this is the perfect time for the Vikings to get a week off and try to get healthy. In two weeks, the Vikings will head to Chicago to take on the divisional leading Bears in arguably the most important game of the season thus far.