The Vikings have won back-to-back games for the first time, as Minnesota sits at 3-5 at the halfway point of the 2020 season.
Minnesota concludes its three-game run against NFC North teams on Monday Night Football in Chicago, and looks to sweep the stretch after getting wins over Green Bay and Detroit.
Here's a look at where the Vikings rank before Week 10:
No. 16 (up 4 spots): Dan Hanzus – NFL.com
Adrian Peterson is the last running back to win Most Valuable Player honors, earning the coveted award following his 2,000-yard season in 2012. Eight years later, another Vikings superstar has announced his presence in the MVP race. Dalvin Cook rushed for 206 yards and two scores in Sunday's 34-20 win over the Lions and has now put together back-to-back games with more than 200 yards from scrimmage. Cook is up to four games this season with at least two scores, and his relentless playmaking ability has allowed Kirk Cousins to settle in after a dreadful start to his season. Cousins threw three touchdown passes on Sunday and didn't have a turnover for the second consecutive week. With a forgiving schedule ahead, the Vikings might just work themselves back into the playoff picture after a 1-5 start.
No. 17 (up 8 spots): Frank Schwab – Yahoo! Sports
The Vikings might be better than the 3-5 record indicates. They have been better lately. And nobody has been hotter than Dalvin Cook. Maybe this is a team that gets on a roll in the second half of the season.
No. 19 (up 5 spots): Pete Prisco – CBS Sports
They have won two straight games and at 3-5 they have a soft schedule the next few weeks. Can they get back into playoff contention?
No. 19 (up 5 spots): NFL Staff – Bleacher Report
It's Dalvin Cook's world. The rest of us are just living in it.
One week after gashing the Green Bay Packers for 226 total yards and four touchdowns over the Green Bay Packers, Cook went ballistic again against the Detroit Lions. The fourth-year pro averaged over nine yards per carry on 22 totes, piled up a staggering 252 total yards and found the end zone twice.
Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer talked up his star running back after the game:
"Dalvin is a terrific player because it doesn't matter to him. Obviously, he wants to get 200 yards every week but he's going to do all the dirty work ... he's going to do everything. That's why he's a captain. That's why he comes to work every single day. He's a terrific leader, he's energetic and guys in the locker room really love him."
Thanks to Cook, the Vikings have life. And while there's a long way to go before we can start talking about a Wild Card berth, they're going to keep ascending these rankings if Cook keeps playing like this.
Look back at photos over the course of time featuring games between the Vikings and the Bears.
No. 17 (up 3 spots): Conor Orr (The MMQB) – Sports Illustrated
Are the Vikings surging? Maybe not quite yet. But if they can beat the struggling Bears on Monday night, a date with the Cowboys is the only thing between them and getting back to the .500 mark. Dalvin Cook is playing like the best running back in the league right now.
No. 19 (up 4 spots): Vinnie Iyer – Sporting News
The Vikings are creeping back into the NFC Wild Card race. Consider four of their losses are to above-.500 times, including the Packers, the Seahawks, the Colts and the Titans. Dalvin Cook and a favorable schedule makes them a team to watch in the second half.
No. 18 (up 3 spots): Nate Davis – USA TODAY Sports
Don't look now, but RB Dalvin Cook's two-week explosion has vaulted him past Derrick Henry for the league rushing lead (858 yards).
No. 19 (up 2 spots): Courtney Cronin – ESPN.com
An expanded field could help Minnesota keep its postseason hopes alive after a 1-5 start. If their last two wins are a sign of second-half turnaround, the Vikings are inching closer to getting in contention for the last spot in the playoffs. They'll need the 49ers and Rams to stumble and hope Chicago continues to falter in order to jump up in the standings, but a favorable schedule the rest of the way might help their case.
No. 18 (up 2 spots): Mike Florio – Pro Football Talk
If they keep playing like they've been playing, they'll take a 7-5 record to Tampa Bay next month.
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