Dalvin Cook will have his first 100-yard game of the season
The Vikings’ offense has a couple of concerns early in the season, and one of them is the effectiveness of the running game. Dalvin Cook is averaging a career-low 4.4 yards per carry coming into Sunday’s game and has already had an injury scare with a slightly dislocated shoulder.
At age 27, it’s fair to wonder if Cook has lost a step, but against the Bears, he should look like one of the top running backs in the league.
Chicago’s defense is tied with the New York Giants for third in the NFL, allowing 5.1 yards per carry. Last week against the Giants, they allowed Saquon Barkley to run for 146 yards and coughed up 263 total rushing yards in a 20-12 loss. This has contributed to the league’s worst overall run defense, allowing 183.3 yards per game.
The Vikings’ ground attack hasn’t gotten going this season, ranking 16th with 4.4 yards per attempt and ranking 22nd with 98.0 rushing yards per game, but that doesn’t mean there haven’t been opportunities.
Brian O’Neill ranks ninth among qualifying offensive tackles in Pro Football Focus’s run-blocking grades while Garret Bradbury (11th among centers) and Ed Ingram (15th among guards) rank in the top 15 at their position. Even with Chrisitan Darrisaw and Ezra Cleveland in the 20s, it showed a propensity for creating holes, it’s up for Cook to run through them.
Those opportunities should be there against the Bears, and it should lead to Cook’s best game of the season on Sunday afternoon.