Dalvin Cook Breaks Vikings Record for Rushing Yards in Rookie Debut

Esther Moore
September 15, 2017

Sorry, it's been a while since the folks in Minnesota have seen anything like they witnessed in Monday night's 29-19 season-opening win for the Vikings over the Saints at U.S. Bank Stadium. By then, the Saints would still have to play three of the four teams from last year's playoffs (Lions, Packers and Falcons), as well as three additional games in the division.

It wasn't flawless, though. Punter Ryan Quigley had a great game for a first game and Kai Forbath, minus the extra point miss, came through nicely. The Vikings gained four yards on the play.

"You can't say enough about him", Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford said of Cook. Kyle Rudolph had a touchdown reception, too. And against New Orleans, he looked totally legit, completing 27 of 32 pass attempts for 346 yards and three touchdowns. That breaks the previous record for a rookie running back in his debut, set by Peterson. In seven of his 10 seasons, Peterson has surpassed the 1,000-yard mark, including a 2,000-yard rushing season in 2012.

The play went for a 10-yard gain but an unnecessary roughness penalty on rookie safety Marcus Williams added extra 15 yards. Cook is just getting started, but his performance Monday night on the national stage should have fans excited.

It was also amusing to see Adrian Peterson's face as Vikings rookie Dalvin Cook beat his Vikings record for yards in a game by a Minnesota rookie back. Time and time again, Sam Bradford converted from behind the eight ball, which is something he was often (rightly) criticized for being unable to do. After getting comfortable with a few short throws, similar to what we saw most of previous year, Bradford gained confidence and started taking chances downfield. Bradford is dealing with a knee injury that also didn't prevent him from playing every snap against the Saints. Just trying to take one week at a time.

The Saints defense got off to a disappointing start on Monday, compounded by an embarrassing error on the first play of the season. Brees ended up throwing for 291 yards and a touchdown, which didn't come until late in the fourth quarter with the game in hand. The entire Saints running game totaled 60 yards. Ingram has 96 catches in the last two seasons, allowing quarterback Drew Brees to have another weapon coming out of the backfield. The sack would've gotten the defense off the field, but instead the Saints got a first down. They've got a Super Bowl-winning coach over there.

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New Orleans did not have any similar mistakes the rest of the game.

Adrian Peterson made his return to Minnesota, but he was a bigger story on the sideline than on the field.

Kamara played 31 snaps, while Ingram played 26 snaps and Peterson lined up for nine snaps. The Vikings cut him in the offseason, so it wasn't his choice to leave.

Nearly as delicious as setting a record the first night you play a professional sport.

"Bradford had one of those games that reminds people why he was a No. 1 overall draft pick, and one of the most exciting prospects for years when he was drafted". The next test is Sunday at Pittsburgh, which won't be easy.

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