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Cook's 4 TDs Highlight Vikings Win, Historic Day Against Packers

Dalvin Cook was a Master Chef on Sunday against the Packers.

And the Vikings running back also showed why he deserved that multiyear contract he signed just before the season started.

Cook put forth one of the best offensive performances in team history in Sunday's 28-22 win over Green Bay, as he became just the third player in Purple to record four total touchdowns in a game in the Vikings 60-season history.

"He really is the best back in the league," said Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks.

Added Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins: "Anytime you score four touchdowns you deserve some credit. Just a great player, dynamic player; we're always trying to find ways to get him the football."

A humble Cook assessed his own performance after getting his first victory at Lambeau Field in three tries (he was on Injured Reserve when Minnesota won there in 2017).

"It felt great. This was my first win at Lambeau, and that's most important," Cook said. "Getting my team back on track and getting the team back where it needs to be at. We work so hard every day, limitless hours that nobody knows.

"And losing doesn't feel good. So, getting the win today was most important for me," Cook added. "The stats are a plus and they come with a great performance, but winning is first for me."

The running back's monstrous day was also a historical one in a Border Battle, as he accounted for 226 total yards and four total touchdowns at Lambeau Field.

That scrimmage yardage total is the second-most by a Vikings player in team history against the Packers, trailing only the 256 total yards by running back Darrin Nelson in 1983.

And according to a stat provided by the NFL, Cook became just the fifth player in the Super Bowl era with 200-plus scrimmage yards, at least three rushing touchdowns and a receiving score in a single game.

Cook did the majority of his damage on the ground, with 163 rushing yards on three scores. But perhaps his most spectacular play came through the air, and turned out to be the game-winning score.

With just over six minutes remaining in the third quarter, the Vikings faced third-and-9 from midfield with a seven-point lead.

Minnesota called a simple screen pass, one that Kirk Cousins actually completed to Cook four yards behind the line of scrimmage.

But thanks to key blocks from Garrett Bradbury, Ezra Cleveland and Brian O'Neill — three cornerstones of the Vikings future at offensive line — Cook was able to break into open space.

He then turned on the jets and coasted into the end zone as Green Bay's defense could only watch.

"I've been telling the O-line all week, just roll, just get in front of guys and I'm going to do the rest, I'm going to make a play for you guys," Cook said. "So hats off to [O'Neill] and all those guys for just getting in front of guys and making plays for me to open up seams. I just seen daylight and just ran."

Added Kendricks: "Man, I mean just the blockers downfield. The way he set it up, it was perfect. He ended up in the end zone. And that's what Dalvin does. He finds a way to run with his pads and run with heart, and he uses his speed when he needs to. He cuts when he needs."

On the ground, Cook tallied a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs to go along with a 21-yard scoring scamper. He now leads the NFL with 10 rushing touchdowns, a franchise record for the most through Week 8 of a season.

He scored a pair of touchdowns in each half, but his first two made sure the Vikings kept pace with the Packers as each team scored on their first two possessions.

"In the first game of the year, they came out and controlled the time of possession by more than 20 minutes, I think," Cook said of Green Bay's 41 minutes and 16 seconds of ball control in Week 1. "Just us going out there and matching score-for-score at the beginning was an ideal situation for us going into the halftime.

"That was big," Cook added. "But that time of possession and keeping Aaron Rodgers off the field as much as we can, that was big. The running game was big today."

And once the Vikings took the lead in the second half, Cook's hard-nosed running — even when the Packers knew No. 33 was getting the ball — helped the Vikings bleed the clock and leave Green Bay with their second win of 2020.

Cook had 74 rushing yards on 13 carries at the half and opened the second half with a 37-yard run to put him over the century mark.

The rest of the way? He had 16 attempts for 64 yards as the Vikings attempted just six passes in the final two quarters.

"We always hope Dalvin can give us that type of game," Zimmer said. "We did a lot of the things that we typically do. The wide zone. We added some inside zones.

"Some of it was at the end of the game when we were going to run the ball anyway. The fourth quarter, I think we ran it quite a few times. That added to the mix," Zimmer added. "But when you have success running the ball, that adds to it. Kirk was 11 of 14 today, we didn't turn the ball over. If the wind would have been better, we probably would have had some more play-actions in there because of the running game."

Cook praised his teammates up front of paving the way on a cold and blustery November afternoon.

"They were doing a great job all day," Cook said. "Commend the offensive linemen for keeping Kirk off the ground pretty much the whole day and opening up the holes for the backs to run through."

Cousins was efficient by completing 11 of 14 passes for 160 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions.

But even on a day when Cousins compiled a season-best passer rating of 138.1, there was no secret who the star of the show was Sunday at Lambeau Field.

"Dalvin is a terrific player. He's a great runner," Zimmer said. "Part of it, too, is I thought we had a good scheme against them, and I thought our offensive line did an outstanding job.

"Dalvin's great, there's no doubt about that," Zimmer added. "I'm glad he's on our team."

View game action photos as the Vikings take on the Packers on Sunday.