With Adrian Peterson on hand, Cook rushed for 206 yards – a career-high – and two touchdowns in 22 carries and caught two passes for 46 yards, setting a new personal best for scrimmage yards with 252. Cook reached his previous career high (226 yards) last week in a win over Green Bay.
“It means a lot to me,” Cook said of Peterson’s presence on his milestone day. “A guy who did it before me and was in the same situation as me a few years ago. It means a lot. When I was drafted I really didn’t know what I was getting into. I was going to be a guy who just walked in and played behind Adrian. But they drafted me out to play right away, and I had to be ready. I was just a kid; I did not know. Just to play on the pitch with Adrian, it’s always a blessing for me to soak up that, every time. ”
Last week, Peterson called Cook a “deadly weapon,” a compliment the Vikings star embodied in back-to-back wins for a Minnesota team (3-5) that suddenly comes close to hunting one of the last places in the NFC playoffs.
“Lethal weapon, yes it made me feel good,” Cook said. “Like I said, I can’t say enough about him. We can sit here and I can tell you so much about him, how I feel about him. I’m just, if he hears this or if he doesn’t, I’m just glad I got the chance to see him grow up as a young child. To see that, it was something special for me. He doesn’t know how he influenced my career as a running back. I appreciate it for everything. Just to be my big brother for anything. All day keep doing you, man, and I appreciate it. ”
Despite missing 1.5 games after injuring his groin in Seattle in Week 5, Cook now leads the NFL in the sprint with 858 yards and the league’s top 10 rushing touchdowns. In his last two games, the running back has amassed 478 scrum yards and six total touchdowns, the fourth player to achieve the feat in two games.
Cook’s performance in week 9 was filled with many highlights. Some, like the 70-yard touchdown run he interrupted in the fourth quarter, have remarkable statistical value. According to NFL Next Gen Stats, the expected rushing yards on this TD were 7 yards, meaning Cook had 63 rushing yards above expectations. This is the fourth time this season that the Vikings return has posted at least 30 rushing yards above expectations on an attempt this season. As it stands, no player has more than two such races this season (Miles Sanders and Sony Michel each have two).
“I think the most impressive run for me, among others, was the flip,” said quarterback Kirk Cousins. “We kicked him off late in the game with a corner blitz. And he missed the corner and was able to rush onto the pitch for a big win. This game didn’t look good with this corner blitz. But when you did. a great player like that who can make someone miss, that turned into a big win and that says a lot about Dalvin and his abilities. ”
Others will not appear on the stat sheet but were of equal importance to the success of the Viking attack. On Irv Smith’s second touchdown, Cook took a critical block as the tight end moved through the formation to give Cousins room to find Smith in front of the end zone.
“Dalvin is a great player because it doesn’t matter to him,” said coach Mike Zimmer. “Obviously he wants to win 200 meters every week but he’s going to do all the dirty work… he’s going to do everything. That’s why he’s a captain. That’s why he comes to work every day. He’s a great leader, he’s energetic and the guys in the locker room really like him. “