The Vikings dominated on Sunday, topping the Oakland Raiders 34-14 at U.S. Bank Stadium in a game that featured another hot start for the home team. Another 21-0 start morphed into a 34-7 lead at one point and a late Oakland touchdown was rendered inconsequential as the Vikings improved their record to 2-1.
Here are five takeaways from the Vikings win over Oakland.
1. Vikings offensive line overpowers Raiders defense
One game might be a coincidence. Two games starts to look like a trend. Three games…well, you can pardon the team for feeling like it may be onto something. The Vikings offensive line overpowered Oakland's defense on Sunday, paving the way for a rushing attack that produced 211 yards and three touchdowns on 38 carries. Oakland came into the game tied with the Vikings for the most tackles for loss, but on Sunday they recorded zero stops behind the line of scrimmage. The Vikings pass protection was sound on Sunday, as Kirk Cousins enjoyed clean pockets regularly and was not sacked on 21 dropbacks.
2. Dalvin Cook stays hot
Cook entered Week 2 as the NFL's leading rusher and after his production against Oakland on Sunday it's likely he'll exit Week 2 as the NFL's leading rusher. Cook added 110 yards to his rushing total and also had four catches for 33 yards. Cook now has four 100-yard rushing games since Kevin Stefanski started calling plays in Week 15 last year and he's topped 108 yards from scrimmage in five of those six contests. Cook's three straight 100-yard games to start a season marks the first time a Vikings running back has accomplished the feat since Chuck Foreman in 1975.
3. Eric Kendricks paces dominant defensive effort
The Vikings don't want to make playing without Anthony Barr a regular thing, but on Sunday it wasn't a problem because several players stepped up in the four-time Pro Bowlers stead. None were more impactful or obvious than middle linebacker Eric Kendricks, who made the first tackle of the game and was involved in seemingly every other tackle the rest of the day. Eric Wilson started in place of Barr and was solid, as well, unofficially leading the club in tackles with 11 and adding 2.0 sacks, as well. Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter each had sacks, as well.
4. Bailey, Colquitt perfect on the day
In a game where former kicker Daniel Carlson returned to U.S. Bank Stadium for the first time since the Vikings cut him last summer, it was current Vikings specialists who stood out. Kicker Dan Bailey was two of two on field goal tries, including a 50-yarder in the 4th quarter. Bailey was also four of four on extra points and he blasted touchbacks on all seven kickoffs. Punter Dustin Colquitt executed well as Bailey's holder and flipped the field on both of his punts, averaging a net of 47.5 yards and downing one of the punts inside the 20.
5. Still sloppiness to clean up
The Vikings were penalized six times for 59 yards, Chad Beebe muffed a punt and Raiders tight end Darren Waller topped 100 yards, so it wasn't a perfect game by any stretch for the Vikings on defense or offense. Head Coach Mike Zimmer and his staff will have plenty to pour over when they look for areas that can use fine tuning as the Vikings turn their attention from the Raiders to the defending NFC North champion Chicago Bears and their contest next Sunday at Soldier Field.