EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings will get some time off following a perfectly normal 36-28 win over the Steelers on Thursday night.
All kidding aside, Minnesota's close victory, which was initially on track to be a blowout but tightened, kept it alive in the NFC playoff picture. The Vikings are at the Bears in Week 15 on Monday Night Football.
Here's a look at Minnesota's snap counts in Week 14:
— Kirk Cousins and the Vikings revamped offensive line played all 70 offensive snaps. The unit, from left to right, of Olisaemeka Udoh, Ezra Cleveland, Garrett Bradbury, Mason Cole and Brian O'Neill didn't allow a sack all night and paved the way for 242 rushing yards. Cousins threw for 214 yards with two scores and two interceptions.
— Justin Jefferson (67 snaps) and K.J. Osborn (60 snaps) paced Minnesota's wide receivers group with Adam Thielen inactive because of an ankle injury. Jefferson had a team-high seven catches (for 79 yards), while Osborn had a team-high 83 receiving yards (on three receptions). Both players found the end zone. Dede Westbrook played 29 offensive snaps for the Vikings. Ihmir Smith-Marsette was in for three offensive snaps, and Dan Chisena played two.
— Dalvin Cook returned from a one-game absence with a vengeance, playing 54 snaps in a starring performance. Cook rushed for 205 yards and two scores on 27 carries, and set a franchise record for first-half rushing yards with 153. Fullback C.J. Ham played 31 snaps on Thursday, and Alexander Mattison was on the field for 13 plays. He had six carries for 27 yards.
— Tyler Conklin played 49 offensive snaps, catching two passes for 20 yards. Luke Stocker played 16 snaps, and Chris Herndon was on the field for nine snaps. Herndon had one catch for 17 yards.
— Blake Brandel was on the field for 17 snaps as an extra lineman and drew praise from Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer. Ihmir Smith-Marsette (three snaps) and Dan Chisena (two snaps) each also played sparingly on offense at wide receiver.
— Defensively, the Vikings had five players — Xavier Woods, Harrison Smith, Patrick Peterson, Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks — who were on the field for all 74 snaps. Smith had a sack and helped force an incompletion on the game's final play, and Kendricks also recorded a sack.
— Mackensie Alexander played 64 snaps as the slot cornerback, and Minnesota rotated through a handful of players opposite Peterson throughout the game. Bashaud Breeland played 50 snaps (and had an interception) but also missed a chunk of the game due to illness. Kris Boyd (12 snaps) and Cameron Dantzler (11 snaps) each saw the field for double-digit plays against the Steelers.
— D.J. Wonnum (67 snaps) led the way at defensive end. Sheldon Richardson played 56 snaps and had a sack in the win. Kenny Willekes played 31 snaps in a reserve role, and Patrick Jones II was on the field for 17 plays.
— Armon Watts led all defensive tackles with 39 snaps and also had a sack. Dalvin Tomlinson played 38 plays and Michael Pierce got to the quarterback and recorded his first forced fumble on one of his 30 snaps. James Lynch played 18 snaps against the Steelers.
— Nick Vigil played just 10 snaps in the Vikings base defense, and Camryn Bynum was on the field for a single defensive snap after missing the past two games with an ankle injury.
— Blake Lynch, Minnesota's top special teams player in terms of playing time, was out with an ankle injury. The Vikings had five players — Ham, Chisena, Bynum, Troy Dye and Josh Metellus
View game action photos between the Vikings and Steelers during the Thursday Night Football matchup at U.S. Bank Stadium.
— log 22 snaps apiece in the third phase.
— Vigil played 21 snaps on special teams, while Boyd (17 snaps), Stocker (16 snaps) and Tuf Borland (15 snaps) also saw ample playing time. Borland made his NFL debut after being elevated from the practice squad.
— Ryan Connelly played 11 snaps on special teams before leaving with an injury.