Monday, 20 November, 2017

Dalvin Cook Set A Vikings' Record In His NFL Debut

Saints or Vikings? NFL bloggers debate who will cover Monday night Dalvin Cook Set A Vikings' Record In His NFL Debut
Isaac Mcdaniel | 15 September, 2017, 00:44

It's also worth noting that while Dalvin Cook was the story of the night, if you took away his two big 4th quarter runs he would only have had 62 yards on 20 carries (3.1 ypc). His offensive line, which struggled past year, gave him plenty of time to execute, and it showed with his 84.4% completion percentage, 346 passing yards, and three touchdowns.

"Anytime you start the season, there's a lot of emotions built up inside of you", Bradford said.

But one of the keys to Cook's remarkable debut performance was improved play on the offensive line, which was one of the Vikings' weakest position groups in 2016. The tight end caught two touchdowns in the win.

The play went for a 10-yard gain but an unnecessary roughness penalty on rookie safety Marcus Williams added extra 15 yards. It became clear early on that Cook was going to get the lion's share of the snaps and McKinnon reminded everyone that he can be a versatile spark plug. Coincidentally or not, Drew Brees never found a rhythm.

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Bradford completed 27 of 32 passes with no turnovers. Shelby Harris deflected Younghoe Koo's 44-yard field goal attempt with a second left.

Bradford threw for 346 yards and three touchdowns, and wide receiver Stefon Diggs scored two touchdown receptions in the first half.

Three of the Vikings' biggest plays came on confounding mistakes by the Saints.

With three rookies and three free agents in the starting lineup, the Saints tried hard to better a defense that has held Brees and company back since the Super Bowl title eight years ago.

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The individual performances by Diggs and Thielen can not go without mention.

"I could've said, 'I love you.' You know?" In the first half, the Saints forced a fumble but failed to recover it. Kai Forbath did miss an extra point. Diggs came right back with another highlight-reel grab to give the Vikings a 16-6 lead at the break after a 10-play, 95-yard drive.

Cameron Jordan and A.J. Klein each had their hands on a tipped pass in the end zone that fluttered off Cook's hands, missing a critical opportunity to thwart that drive and keep the deficit at four points.

The passing game should still be fine.

"In the building, we felt great about those guys", Bradford said.

Distributing the carries in a game can be tough, especially if the backs have shown they could carry the entire load.

With former league MVP Peterson sitting on the sidelines for much of his New Orleans' debut, Cook seized command as his 127 yards was 24 more than Peterson's Viking debut, and nearly double what Peterson gained last season in Minnesota.

The crowd was really fired up for the reunion with another former Vikings great. "With Randy Moss in the house being inducted into the Vikings Ring of Honor, it was fitting that Diggs took his game to another level against a weak New Orleans secondary". Terron Armstead was out because of a shoulder injury and was replaced by rookie Ryan Ramczyk at left tackle.

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