DALLAS — Week 10 afforded a proving floor for the Minnesota Vikings, who entered and exited AT&T Stadium holding on to the No. 6 seed within the NFC playoff image after capturing a 28-24 win towards the Dallas Cowboys.
For the Vikings (7-Three), it was an enormous win at a essential level of the season, and so they succeeded at what had stymied them beforehand. Minnesota beat crew (Dallas, 5-Four, entered Sunday main the NFC East) on the street and overcame its personal pitfalls, significantly on protection.
Positive, the Vikings would have remained the No. 6 seed whatever the consequence, however Sunday evening’s victory not solely shattered the notion that quarterback Kirk Cousins cannot come by within the largest video games, it gave Minnesota a preview of the kind of competitors it must beat if it reaches the postseason.
Minnesota is locked into the present playoff image, however has points that should be ironed out if it needs to stay in that place and make a deep run in January. On Sunday, the Vikings took step one towards getting there and gained vital floor over different NFC hopefuls just like the Carolina Panthers (5-Four), Philadelphia Eagles (5-Four) and Los Angeles Rams (5-Four).
Offensive superlatives galore: You possibly can chalk this recreation up as “The Kyle Rudolph particular” or “Dalvin Cook dinner day” and each would precisely outline what labored offensively for Minnesota. Rudolph’s two 1-yard touchdowns on back-to-back drives within the first quarter allowed the Vikings to leap out to a 14-Zero lead and activate the passing assault on an evening they’d be with out Adam Thielen (hamstring damage). Cook dinner recorded yet one more 100-yard speeding day towards one of many league’s finest run defenses, and the assertion Minnesota made with its run recreation performed out at a pivotal level. On their remaining landing drive, the Vikings ran the ball 11 instances, culminating in a 2-yard landing run by Cook dinner, adopted up by a 2-point conversion catch by Rudolph. The Vikings ripped off 5 runs of 10 yards or extra on Sunday, which ties the second-most such runs Dallas has allowed this season.
Defensive deficiencies: Trae Waynes’ absence made for a nightmare outing for Mike Hughes. Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott picked aside the second-year cornerback, who was focused 17 instances as the closest defender in protection, in line with NFL Subsequent Gen Stats, which is essentially the most for any participant in any recreation this season. Hughes gave up 10 receptions for 139 yards and a landing, and allowed a number of third-and-longs, together with two third-and-12s on separate landing drives, and a third-and-14 later within the recreation. As a complete, Minnesota let Dallas convert 9 of its 15 third-down makes an attempt, a fee made worse by the shortage of go rush and push up the center due to Linval Joseph’s absence on account of damage
However when it mattered most: Eric Kendricks got here by, as he has so many instances this season. His enormous cease on fourth-and-5 allowed the Vikings to carry off Dallas’ late-game push. Kendricks entered Week 10 main all NFL linebackers with 10 passes defended, and added his 11th throughout essentially the most essential second of the sport. Ifeadi Odenigbo deserves credit score for his deal with for loss on Ezekiel Elliott the play earlier than as nicely.