With Dalvin Cook out, Jerick McKinnon steps up

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With Vikings running back Dalvin Cook lost for the year, the team turned to a two-headed attack featuring Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon. One of those heads showed up on Monday night.

McKinnon made the difference, with 146 yards from scrimmage on 22 touches in the 20-17 win. He rushed for 95 yards on 16 carries, including a 58-yard touchdown run, and McKinnon added 51 yards on six catches.

“When you can run the football, it makes it tough,” coach Mike Zimmer told reporters after the game. “Defenses start loading up and give you a better chance to throw the ball some. The play-actions were better, we had a couple [bootlegs] in there we hit for first downs. I think all those things are important. In the first half, the running game was OK, but it wasn’t really moving.”

Murray added 31 yards on 12 attempts, and 12 more yards on two catches. Some will say he is still fighting to get up to speed after an ankle injury limited him significantly in the offseason.

Regardless, McKinnon has emerged as the guy. And he’ll likely be the guy for as long as he is healthy enough to be the guy.

It’s not the first time McKinnon has stepped up. Last year, with Adrian Peterson out for most of the year, McKinnon had 85 rushing yards on 16 carries in a Monday night win over the Giants and 89 yards on 16 carries in a Week 17 win over the Bears. (His best game came in 2014, with 135 yards against the Falcons during Peterson’s suspension.)

The timing for an emergence is even better this year for McKinnon, who is in the last year of his rookie contract. If he can get it done, he can get paid on the open market in 2018, since the Vikings will remain all in with Cook.

26 responses to “With Dalvin Cook out, Jerick McKinnon steps up

  1. I’m amused by Vikings fans comments after this win.

    “Overcoming all these injuries,” and “in a class by themselves” are the funniest.

    Remember: The bears started a rookie QB on Monday night football, the bears lost linebacker after linebacker, already had a linebacker suspended, lost both of their starting wide receivers and more, and it took the refs to help you win against them.

    Let’s be realistic here. The vikes are going to be in 3rd in the division this year, and for the foreseeable future.

  2. He was lucky the Bears weren’t ready on that long run. The Vikings tried to use him as a power back and he’s too small. If they want to run him like AP then trade for the real thing. The other options aren’t good out there. Apparently the Saints taught him how to catch.

  3. I will give the vikings fans a pass since the only one talking ridiculous is the troll with 15 log on’s. My friends who are vikings fans are realists and know that this team was lucky to beat the Bears last night and ironically probably did so with a phantom holding call. The Bears were down to their 5th linebacker signal caller and half their team is hurt. Rookie QB with little to no weapons and they still almost beat the vikings.

    Can we please now knock off this “top 5 defense” foolishness. Somewhere between 8 and 12 is a fair estimate.

  4. Wow, a lot of Packer fans are having a real problem with that Vikings victory last night. Kind of funny to see them complaining about officiating and minimizing the effect of injuries. If it were their team, we’d be hearing endless odes to their team’s great “depth.”

  5. “I will give the vikings fans a pass since the only one talking ridiculous is the troll with 15 log on’s. My friends who are vikings fans are realists and know that this team was lucky to beat the Bears last night and ironically probably did so with a phantom holding call. The Bears were down to their 5th linebacker signal caller and half their team is hurt. Rookie QB with little to no weapons and they still almost beat the vikings.”

    That’s what I was thinking too. I expected Viking fans to come on these boards and comment how relieved they are that they got the win, but some of these (maybe all the same person with multple IDs) actually seem to think it was an epic performance. If MN plays like that next week, they have no chance. They weren’t good at anything except completing dump off passes.

  6. Gutty performance by McKinnon. That’s the angriest I can remember him running – probably the result of his fumble and uncharacteristic poor play against the Lions last week. But he is not built to take that kind of punishment. He needs to be smarter and protect himself a little better if he’s going to make it through the season. And we’re going to need him, because Murray looks slow and goes down too easy.

  7. truthbetold109 says:
    October 10, 2017 at 10:34 am
    I will give the vikings fans a pass since the only one talking ridiculous is the troll with 15 log on’s. My friends who are vikings fans are realists and know that this team was lucky to beat the Bears last night and ironically probably did so with a phantom holding call. The Bears were down to their 5th linebacker signal caller and half their team is hurt. Rookie QB with little to no weapons and they still almost beat the vikings.

    Can we please now knock off this “top 5 defense” foolishness. Somewhere between 8 and 12 is a fair estimate.

    *****

    I love it. Didn’t matter what the outcome of the game was going to be, the Vikes were gonna get dogged. Vikings have historically played poorly at Soldier field regardless of how good or bad the team is. With parity, its hard to predict what team is going to show up. Bears gave Falcons and Steelers a run for the money, the Vikes have obvious fixes they need to make. Rookies have won games in the past, and Trubisky seems like he has a lot of talent and upside. Vikes should never have started Bradford who was clearly not 100%. Had Keenum played the whole game, we have a different picture.

    Note to Packer fans: I’m not predicting a Superbowl win or that Keenum is a HOF quarterback.

  8. I’m just glad we could get the Sam Bradford experiment over with against the Bears instead of watching that performance against the Packers. Now Keenum will have all week of practice knowing he’s starting. It will be a tough game, so every little bit helps.

  9. Remember Vikings fans — according to cheesers you are not allowed to be happy about a victory. Instead, you must admit that the win was all luck, smoke and mirrors and grandfathered in by the refs. We should all know by now That only Packer fans are allowed to sing praises for their team after Aaron Rodgers delivers them another victory — a team with a Super Bowl quality offense and a NFCN division defense.

  10. I’m searching for the hyperbolic Vikings fans, and all I’m seeing is people referencing these non-existent hyperbolic Vikings fans.

    I suppose I can’t be annoyed; I go to the comments section to see the same ol’ people spewing the same ol’ nonsense.

    I miss the guy who used to say “Better football for better people.” I appreciated his devotion to the mantra.

  11. purpleguy says:
    October 10, 2017 at 12:22 pm
    Remember Vikings fans — according to cheesers you are not allowed to be happy about a victory. Instead, you must admit that the win was all luck, smoke and mirrors and grandfathered in by the refs. We should all know by now That only Packer fans are allowed to sing praises for their team after Aaron Rodgers delivers them another victory — a team with a Super Bowl quality offense and a NFCN division defense.
    _____________________

    Happy about a win is great. Calling them a top 5 defense and saying they are in a class all by themselves following a win against a severely depleted Bears team with a rookie QB is where you are getting called out. Notice that I said, I was not calling out all vikings fans. Also, just pointing out that all teams get calls their way sometimes and the vikings sure got the lion share of those last night. All we hear is how the ref’s are against the vikings.

  12. I’m all for celebrating wins. And I was going to come on this morning to congratulate the vikes on a gritty performance, but the posts I saw made that pretty much impossible. The gloating and holier-than-thou posturing–made even more preposterous by 57 years of not winning it all–is just too much.

    You guys need to just chill out.

  13. minneanderthals says:
    October 10, 2017 at 2:11 pm
    I’m all for celebrating wins. And I was going to come on this morning to congratulate the vikes on a gritty performance, but the posts I saw made that pretty much impossible. The gloating and holier-than-thou posturing–made even more preposterous by 57 years of not winning it all–is just too much.

    You guys need to just chill out.

    **
    I don’t buy this comment at all. You were the third comment on this post this morning and nobody before you was gloating anything.

  14. 13worldchampioinships says:
    October 10, 2017 at 11:03 am
    minneanderthals says:
    October 10, 2017 at 10:29 am
    “We’re the vikings! We’re the only team that ever has any kind of injuries ever!”

    lolz

    ***

    You put that in quotes, who said that?

    ——————————–

    Probably just one of the voices that lives in his, or her, head.

  15. 13worldchampioinships says:
    October 10, 2017 at 2:18 pm
    minneanderthals says:
    October 10, 2017 at 2:11 pm
    I’m all for celebrating wins. And I was going to come on this morning to congratulate the vikes on a gritty performance, but the posts I saw made that pretty much impossible. The gloating and holier-than-thou posturing–made even more preposterous by 57 years of not winning it all–is just too much.

    You guys need to just chill out.

    **
    I don’t buy this comment at all. You were the third comment on this post this morning and nobody before you was gloating anything.

    —-

    Interesting. Did you look at the posts from last night, which is what I read before commenting? Pretty glaring. The first post I read was about the late interception. The game wrap up.

    Beyond that, believe me or not, I don’t care.

  16. Vikings rank #7 overall, and higher in some individual categories. That puts them behind some powerhouse squads like Cleveland (#5) and -ironically- the Chicago Bears…who, according to the Packer trolls could be beaten by your average community collage team. GB is 12th.

  17. That only Packer fans are allowed to sing praises for their team after Aaron Rodgers delivers them another victory —
    ———
    Packers fans think they are special and the best fans in the world anywhere. And in some ways they might be right. Nobody and I mean nobody can sit on the ass and watch a sporting event like a Packers fans. They are just better than everyone else in that way. It is a skill that truly makes them special. So when they cheer on Mark Murphy’s preseason Super Bowl prediction and declare the Green Bay offense unstoppable remember their special skill that allows them to do this and not you.

  18. truthbetold109 says:
    October 10, 2017 at 1:14 pm
    purpleguy says:
    October 10, 2017 at 12:22 pm
    Remember Vikings fans — according to cheesers you are not allowed to be happy about a victory. Instead, you must admit that the win was all luck, smoke and mirrors and grandfathered in by the refs. We should all know by now That only Packer fans are allowed to sing praises for their team after Aaron Rodgers delivers them another victory — a team with a Super Bowl quality offense and a NFCN division defense.
    _____________________

    Happy about a win is great. Calling them a top 5 defense and saying they are in a class all by themselves following a win against a severely depleted Bears team with a rookie QB is where you are getting called out. Notice that I said, I was not calling out all vikings fans. Also, just pointing out that all teams get calls their way sometimes and the vikings sure got the lion share of those last night. All we hear is how the ref’s are against the vikings.

    **

    Is truth be told and minneanderthals the same person? You two keep quoting the “in a class by themselves.”

    One person said this. That does not mean the entire fan base says this.

  19. NO offense:
    Vs Vikings – 344
    Ave vs others – 379
    PITT offense:
    Vs Vikings – 335
    Ave vs others – 331
    TB offense:
    Vs Vikings – 342
    Ave vs others – 385
    Det offense:
    Vs Vikings – 251
    Ave vs others – 298
    Chic offense:
    Vs Vikings – 274
    Ave vs others – 308

    See a pattern here? This is how defenses should be rated, by how they performed against a team in comparison to the rest of the teams that team played. On average, the Vikings hold their opponents to 9% fewer yards than other teams do. Anybody want to do their own team?

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