Minnesota Vikings Need More From Dalvin Cook, Running Game

Cook is averaging just 2.7 yards per carry this season

After Hours with Amy Lawrence
October 29, 2018 - 10:10 am

USA Today Images

After signing Kirk Cousins to a three-year $84 million deal, the Minnesota Vikings, who went 13-3 last year and advanced to the NFC Championship, looked like Super Bowl contenders.

Four games into the season, however, the Vikings (1-2-1) have looked anything but. They lost at home to the Bills 27-6 in Week 3 and lost 38-31 to the Rams on Thursday. Cousins passed for 422 yards and three touchdowns against Los Angeles, but he was also the team’s leading rusher – with 28 yards.

“They have ha d a lot of success passing the ball,” The Athletic Vikings reporter Chad Graff said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs have been good targets for Kirk Cousins, who has come in and thrown the ball well, but they’ve just become so predictable – in part, they would say, because they’ve fallen behind in games. It’s just been difficult when your opposition knows you’re going to be passing it all the time. Kirk Cousins has done well, but there’s no question that the Vikings need more out of the running game.”

Dalvin Cook ran 10 times for 20 yards against the Rams, while Latavius Murray ran twice for two yards. Cook didn’t play against the Bills and has 36 carries for just 98 yards (2.7 yards per carry) on the season.

“I think expectations were really high for Dalvin Cook coming off his ACL tear as a rookie, and people were excited to see what he was going to do,” Graff said. “But so far it’s been very limited. He didn’t even take a handoff in the second half (against the Rams). So the Vikings for sure need more out of their running game.”

Minnesota plays at Philadelphia (2-1) on Oct. 7. Kickoff is at 4:25 p.m. ET.