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Lunchbreak: Vikings Could Use Collective Effort to Replace Dalvin Cook

Dalvin Cook currently ranks third in the NFL with 354 rushing yards and is also third overall with 444 total yards from scrimmage.

But the Vikings rookie running back won't be adding to those stats in 2017 as he is out for the remainder of the season with a torn ACL.

With a key piece of the Vikings offense sidelined, Matthew Coller of 1500ESPN.com took a look at who will need to step up in Cook's absence. 

Coller wrote:

*Since Cook was the team's leader in yards from scrimmage, replacing him is nearly impossible. Few running backs in the NFL have his big-play capability and versatility. *

Coller said that a handful of players at multiple positions will be counted on to help ease the pain of losing the promising young running back.

He mentioned quarterback Sam Bradford, running back Latavius Murray and receiver Michael Floyd as options who could combine to help Minnesota's offense. Here's what Coller wrote about Bradford:

[Vikings Head Coach Mike] Zimmer said Monday that Bradford remains "day-to-day" with a knee injury that has kept him out since Week 1. There has been no clear indication when he will be back under center.

If the Vikings starting quarterback can return at 100 percent, he is still set up well to lead an effective offense.

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3rd-down outcomes correlate with wins, losses

Whether it was turnovers on offense or missed opportunities on defense, there were a myriad of reasons why the Vikings lost to the Lions on Sunday.

But now that Minnesota is 2-2 a quarter of the way through the 2017 season, Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune noticed a trend on a certain down that correlates with whether or not the Vikings win.

Goessling noted that when the Vikings offense has sustained success on third down and can move the chains, they usually come out ahead on the scoreboard. If not, a loss is more likely.

Goessling wrote:

In the Vikings' two wins, they're a combined 16-for-27 in converting third downs. In their two losses, they're 8-for-25, including a 3-for-10 showing Sunday.

It's part of the reason their offense has been so maddeningly inconsistent, capable of both flashy showings and single-digit point production, and if the Vikings want to have any kind of sustained success, it will start with consistent drives.

The Vikings have converted 24 of 52 total third-down attempts, good for fifth in the NFL with a 46.2 conversion rate.

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