Dalvin Cook joined some pretty impressive company on Sunday when he became just the third Viking – along with Ring of Honor members Ahmad Rashad and Chuck Foreman – to score four touchdowns in a single game.
Cook's performance helped the Vikings upset the division-rival Packers 28-22 at Lambeau Field.
It was the Dalvin Cook show at Lambeau Field as the Green Bay Packers Achilles' heel reared its ugly head once again. Despite a late charge from the Packers, it was all Vikings in the second half after the game started with [four] straight touchdown drives.
PFF's Michael Renner re-emphasized that the story of the game was "quite easily Cook's utter dominance."
Whether it was as a runner or receiver, the Vikings running back put the offense on his back. Of his 163 rushing yards, 111 came after contact, as he essentially salted the game away by converting a late first-down when the Packers knew the Vikings were just trying to grind the clock. He also added 63 yards through the air to lead all Vikings receivers and tallied four total scores on the day.
Cook's big day was unsurprisingly accompanied by some ugly defensive performances for the Packers. Safeties Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage combined for five missed tackles on the day. Nose tackle Kenny Clark was about the only Packers defender carrying his weight in run defense, as he finished with three run stops on the day.
As part of his game review, Renner also highlighted Vikings second-round pick Ezra Cleveland, who made his second career start at right guard.
The people have spoken, and they want more Ezra Cleveland. After a rough debut before the Vikings bye week, Cleveland looked much more comfortable against the Packers interior and finished. He didn't allow a single pressure (albeit on 15 pass-blocking snaps) and fueled the Vikings rushing attack with a strong performance as a run blocker.
Cook nominated for FedEx Ground Player of the Week
And speaking of Cook, fans can vote for him to be named the FedEx Ground Player of the Week.
Is it even a fair competition at this point?
As of the Twitter poll Tuesday morning, Cook had created plenty of separation between himself and the other two running backs up for the honor: Tennessee's Derrick Henry and New Orleans' Josh Jacobs.
Fans can also vote here on NFL.com.
Death of George Floyd 'inspired voting push' for Minnesota athletes
The Vikings have been vocal with their messaging for social justice, and they also have encouraged individuals to get out and vote in today's Presidential election.
Chris Hine of the Star Tribune recently delved into the voting push by Minnesota athletes and teams inspired in part by the tragic death of George Floyd while in police custody on Memorial Day. Hine quoted Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson, 21, who said he "hadn't been that motivated" to vote prior to Floyd's death.
"Honestly, I wasn't into it," Jefferson said. "I didn't know much about it. I never know who to vote for. I never knew who was the right person to be in office."
But over the summer, Jefferson did the work. His mom helped him register to vote in his home state of Louisiana. He started researching which candidates up and down the ballot would best reflect his most important issue — addressing America's racial inequality and police brutality.
"It just feels like I needed to do that," Jefferson said. "Every vote really counts, and it'd be a shame if I didn't put my vote into it."
Athletes are using their voices and their platforms like never before. Hine pointed out that according to a Pew research poll, "18 percent of adults get their news mainly from social media."
He quoted Minnesota sports figures such as Lynx Head Coach Cheryl Reeve and Minnesota United midfielder Jacori Hayes who feel a responsibility to encourage others to make their voices heard.
Locally, the Wolves and Lynx held three voter registration events and have resources through their website available as part of their "Pack the Vote" initiative. The Twins provided similar resources on their website. The Vikings pledged to get 100 percent of their organization registered to vote. Minnesota United helped make Allianz Field a ballot drop-off site in Ramsey County.
Former Viking Cris Carter partnered with Yahoo to try to increase voter registration while also speaking to NFL players about the issue. Some of their activism, he said, is more behind the scenes than out front, such as getting their families registered to vote.
Jefferson is among millions of Americans who will make their voice heard by voting this year.
"[I'm not] going to say [voting] is going to solve everything," Jefferson said. "But I feel like it's a step. If we all agree on the right person to be in office, that's just a step in the right direction."
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