MIAMI GARDENS, Florida — The Vikings closed out another one in the fourth quarter Sunday thanks to a 53-yard touchdown run by Dalvin Cook and two takeaways forced by the defense.
Cook finished with 77 yards on 13 carries at Hard Rock Stadium, the venue he's played at since high school. His thrilling run put the Vikings up by 14 with 3:15 remaining.
Miami put together one final touchdown drive led by former Minnesota QB Teddy Bridgewater, but Camryn Bynum secured the ensuing onside kick to wrap a 24-16 victory.
Cook's run followed a fumble forced by Harrison Smith that Bynum recovered and returned 15 yards.
Another South Florida native (Fort Lauderdale), Patrick Peterson, picked off Bridgewater and returned the ball 7 yards with 3:01 remaining.
The key takeaways were the second and third of the day by Minnesota, which also benefitted from a remarkable interception by Smith.
Despite being on the field for more than 35 minutes, the Vikings limited the Dolphins to 4-of-14 on third downs, limited Miami to 73 rushing yards and recorded six sacks and eight passes defended.
Here are four more observations presented by Minnesota Eye Consultants, the Proud LASIK Partner of the Minnesota Vikings, followed by a scoring summary:
1. Nifty pick
Harrison Smith recorded his 31st career interception with a nifty pick that required him to get his hands under the ball after it bounced off Miami receiver Jaylen Waddle.
The ball lifted upward and then doinked off Eric Kendricks' helmet before Smith eventually ended the game of hot potato.
Miami was trying to be aggressive at the end of the half but enabled Minnesota to turn the takeaway into points with just 15 seconds.
Smith moved into a tie with Nate Wright for the fifth-most in franchise history. It was Smith's
2. Specials returned with a vengeance
One week after having a bad showing against the Bears, the Vikings special teams delivered an impressive bounce back.
Rookie punter Ryan Wright boomed a career-best 73-yarder on his second punt of the day, providing a major field flip from the Minnesota 7 to the Miami 18.
Kris Boyd provided pressure on punt returner Jevon Holland, who muffed but recovered his first punt return of the day.
Wright punted 10 times for 441 yards and placed six inside the 20-yard line. He worked hand in hand with the coverage team to only allow 2 net punt return yards by the Dolphins.
Josh Metellus snuffed out a fake punt to tackle Dolphins safety (personal protector on the punt) Clayton Fejedelem for a loss of 1.
Greg Joseph pushed an extra point wide right, but made one and kicked a 34-yard field goal.
View Week 6 action photos from the Vikings-Dolphins game at Hard Rock Stadium on Oct. 16.
3. Finding Jefferson enough
Jefferson faced plenty of attention from Dolphins defenders, but the Vikings were still able to get him open for some chunk plays.
He finished with 107 yards on six catches for his 18th career game with 100-plus receiving yards, which is tied with Jake Reed for the fifth-most in franchise history.
4. Withstanding a lopsided first quarter
Miami controlled the first quarter, possessing the football for 11:28 and running 18 plays, compared to eight by Minnesota.
The Dolphins picked up six first downs and netted 109 yards while allowing zero first downs and just 12 net yards.
Minnesota got a timely sack from Patrick Jones II to end the first Dolphins possession and push Miami out of field goal range.
Wright's 73-yard punt was capped a 2-yard loss on the return by Tyreek Hill.
The Dolphins drove into Vikings territory quickly with a 30-yard pass to Jaylen Waddle and a 16-yard run by Raheem Mostert and made it all the way to the 24 before committing five penalties for 40 yards in a seven-snap span. Miami was forced to punt again.
Despite losing the first quarter in so many metrics, the Vikings and Dolphins remained tied at 0 after the first quarter.
Q2, 6:05 remaining
Dolphins 3, Vikings 0
Jason Sanders kicks a 44-yard field goal [9 plays, 36 yards, 5:33 time of possession]
Leaning on the run: Teddy Bridgewater attempted one pass during the drive, and it resulted in a 17-yard completion to Mike Gesicki. The Dolphins then leaned on the running game to grind for another 19 yards. The final play before the field goal was a pass, but Bridgewater stumbled coming from under center and tried to scramble. He was stopped for no gain by Jordan Hicks.
Q2, 2:32 remaining
Vikings 7, Dolphins 3
Irv Smith, Jr., catches a 1-yard pass from Kirk Cousins (Greg Joseph kicks PAT) [7 plays, 75 yards, 3:33 time of possession]
Breaking the dam: The drive featured Minnesota's first first down of the day, a 14-yard completion to Adam Thielen. Minnesota then gained 11 and 20 yards on passes to Thielen and Justin Jefferson.
Minnesota also converted its first third down of the day (third-and-6) with a 24-yard pass to Jefferson, who had been freed up by a route run by K.J. Osborn.
Q2, 0:00 remaining
Vikings 10, Dolphins 3
Joseph kicks a 34-yard field goal [3 plays, 26 yards, 0:15 time of possession]
Making the most: The Vikings capitalized on an interception by Harrison Smith and a 21-yard pass interference penalty on Noah Igbinoghene. Minnesota managed the remaining time well with a run by Cook, followed by their final timeout with 0:07 remaining. Minnesota gave a look at a pass that Cousins eventually threw incomplete to stop the clock and set up Joseph's field goal.
Q4, 14:13 remaining
Vikings 16, Dolphins 3
Thielen catches a 2-yard pass from Cousins (Joseph PAT misses wide right) [7 plays, 73 yards, 4:09 time of possession]
Finishing the third: Prior to that possession, the Vikings had minus-9 yards in the third quarter. The Vikings gained 65 before the quarter changed, highlighted by a 47-yarder to Jefferson.
Q4, 10:04 remaining
Vikings 16, Dolphins 10
Mike Gesicki catches a 4-yard pass from Teddy Bridgewater (Sanders kicks PAT) [7 plays, 75 yards, 4:09 time of possession]
Improv in the red zone: Bridgewater was able to scramble for a gain of 10 to move the ball to the 4. He then was able to corral a snap that was off the mark before finding Gesicki in a zone.
Q4, 3:15 remaining
Vikings 24, Dolphins 10
Dalvin Cook rushes for 53 yards (Cousins completes 2-point conversion pass to Thielen) [2 plays, 59 yards, 0:55 time of possession]
Bottleneck to breakthrough: Cook had been stymied for much of the game, but he weaved his way through contact and multiple defenders to break free and scamper.
Q4, 1:24 remaining
Vikings 24, Dolphins 16
Gesicki catches a 3-yard pass from Bridgewater (Bridgewater's conversion pass fails) [6 plays, 83 yards, 1:13 time of possession]