Dalvin Cook makes an unlikely MVP run

USA TODAY Sports

The NFL’s MVP in most years needs a full season to become clear. This year, an unlikely candidate could be making a second-half push for consideration.

Although it has become largely a quarterback prize, running backs can still win it. It last happened in 2012, when Vikings running back Adrian Peterson stole it from Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. It could happen in 2020, if Vikings running back Dalvin Cook keeps doing what he started doing in Week Three.

Cook, despite missing a game and a half with a groin strain, leads the league with 858 rushing yards in seven games played. (Others have played as many as nine games.) That’s a rate of 122.6 rushing yards per game, and it projects to 1,837 rushing yards over the course of a full season.

With eight games to play in 2012, Peterson had 775 yards; he finished with 2,097.

Cook also is averaging 147.3 yards from scrimmage per game, putting him on track for 2,209 yards from scrimmage for the season.

His current trend points to an even better finish. Setting aside the Seahawks game, which he exited with 65 rushing yards, Cook has rushed for 680 yards in his last four games. That’s an average of 170 rushing yards per game. If he somehow could sustain that pace for the next eight games, Cook will finish the season with 2,218 rushing yards.

It’s highly unlikely that Cook will continue his four-game pace, especially given the ever-present risk of injury. But if he remains healthy and effective and passes the single-season record of 2,105 yards in what will be NFL’s final 16-game season, how does Cook not get MVP votes? If the Vikings turn their 1-5 start into a playoff berth thanks to Cook’s uncanny performances, he arguably becomes the favorite.

Although the definition of the MVP term is often malleable and subject to various interpretations, Cook has shown without question that he is the most valuable member of the 2020 Vikings.

Currently, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson remains the favorite at +125 (bet $100 to win $125). Cook has odds of +4000, a significant change from last week’s number of +8000.

Don’t be shocked if that number starts to shrink, especially if Cook keeps doing what he has been doing in recent weeks. By the time it’s all said and done, quarterbacks like Wilson and Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers could neutralize each other’s numbers, creating an opening for Cook to do what he’s been doing all year: Take it to the house.

53 responses to “Dalvin Cook makes an unlikely MVP run

  1. Guy is electric. And definitely team MVP. Wins will help his cause for sure. And at the moment I’d put Mahomes over Wilson. Russ turning it over a lot last few gamea.

  2. Have you seen the Seattle defense? Wilson will definitely be MVP. Cook will miss some more games, too. Maybe they’ll give him Offensive Player of the Year.

  3. Cook is a great running back, but those numbers are inflated a bit since he’s already played us twice this year.

  4. Reclaiming My Time says:
    November 10, 2020 at 12:11 pm
    Have you seen the Seattle defense? Wilson will definitely be MVP. Cook will miss some more games, too. Maybe they’ll give him Offensive Player of the Year.

    ———————

    The Seattle defense threw two interceptions and lost two fumbles last week?

  5. a runningback needs to get it someday soon just to remind people how important the position is to the game even if it is a risky longterm investment.

  6. Scoring 4 TDs against the Packers definitely created some momentum. If the Vikes make the playoffs and his performances stay relatively consistent, he’ll deserve as much consideration as anyone else.

  7. The Wilson has never won it before argument is sad… dude already has 8 interceptions. Seattle’s Everyone deserves a trophy mentality is wrong. Reading why he deserves it the main argument is he leads in TD’s… Id much rather have 3 less TD’s and 7 less picks, and a better record.

  8. husky1881 says:
    November 10, 2020 at 12:36 pm
    He’s put the team on his back.

    —–

    The Seahawks would be lucky to win a game without Wilson

  9. Hard to envision Mahomes not winning the MVP if he ends the the season with 40+ TDs and less than 5 picks with a record of 13+ wins. Russ would be the only one who I think could make an actual run at it. I think Cook is one of the funnest players to watch in the NFL but he ain’t winning the MVP.

  10. Wasn’t it around this time last season where they were pitching Cousins as a dark horse MVP candidate? I mean….

  11. At those odds I could see throwing $20 on Cook just in case he pulls an AP type season and Mahomes becomes human or something… but this is Patrick’s to lose at this point.

  12. Mahomes so far in 2020:
    – 25 TDs with 1 INT
    – Fastest QB in history to 100 TDs and only has 19 INTs
    – Team is 8-1 and marching toward a title defense

    MVP is his to lose at this point.

  13. Dalvin Cook is awesome. Very exciting. We saw last year how Christian McCaffrey had one of the all time great seasons for a running back, and still his team finish 5-11. Doesn’t mean RB’s aren’t some of the greatest players. It’s just hard when you use the word valuable. The teams with the best QB’s usually win the most games. Maybe they should change the name of the award to the most awesome player. Then Cook would be in the running.

  14. He’s earned a spot in the conversation halfway through the season. He’ll have to be even better the second half to win it. Which is going to be tough with Bears, Bears, Bucs and Saints on the schedule.

  15. There’s Dalvin Cook & Christian Mccaffrey, and then there’s everybody else. How’s that big fat contract for Elliot working out, Jerrah?

  16. I think a RB needs an Eric Dickerson like season to be MVP (like AP a few years back), and Cook is unlikely to hit that type of yardage either due to health or opponents. The Vikes running game hasn’t fared well against this version of the Bears defense and they still have 2 games to play against them. On the good side, he is earning his contract, and pretty much everyone (other than certain delusional cheesers) acknowledges that Cook and Kamera are the best RBs in the NFC.

  17. I’m a Vikings fan, Cook is having a great season, but Mahomes is the best player and MVP, it’s not even really close IMO.

  18. packerlies says:
    November 10, 2020 at 1:28 pm

    He’s so valuable his team is winning 33% of its games!
    ________

    3 out of 8 is 37.5%. #math

  19. Reclaiming My Time says:
    November 10, 2020 at 3:47 pm
    packerlies says:
    November 10, 2020 at 1:28 pm

    He’s so valuable his team is winning 33% of its games!
    ________

    3 out of 8 is 37.5%. #math
    *********
    Yeah, because that really changes the overall argument. 🙄

  20. Reclaiming My Time says:
    November 10, 2020 at 3:47 pm
    packerlies says:
    November 10, 2020 at 1:28 pm

    He’s so valuable his team is winning 33% of its games!
    ________

    3 out of 8 is 37.5%. #math

    ____________________

    He Missed a game and a half so 46.15% of games he played

  21. A RB getting hot for a few games against mediocre defenses on a team going nowhere is not getting anywhere near the MVP.

  22. collectordude says:
    November 10, 2020 at 12:43 pm

    Imagine if the Vikings had a decent QB.

    ***************************
    They do. They just don’t have a GREAT QB.

  23. Alan Light says:
    November 10, 2020 at 4:43 pm
    If only we can play the pathetic Green Bay defense every week…
    //////////////
    😆 Ha Ha Ha!
    The Vikings defense is even worse!

  24. I don’t know a about the real world but he has single handedly kept my fantasy team in contention since I whiffed on Lamar Jackson.

  25. How Russell Wilson is the favorite over Patrick Mahomes is just ridiculous! Take Patrick away from the chiefs, and were probably 3-5 instead of 7-1. Our Defense is not all that its hyped up to be.

  26. Half of Wilson’s picks are 4th and goal running for his life who cares just throw it and see along with Olsen brain farting a perfect pass through his hands pick 6. Cook couldn’t even stick out the Seahawk game without leaving with his 9th or 10th nagging boo boo.

  27. The Vikings lofty 3-5 record wouldn’t be remotely possible without Delicate Dalvin’s heroic efforts.

  28. Dalvin Cook will never be MVP for 2020. He might be good, but his team is about average at best. That could happen years ago before the constant hype of certain teams. Take my word for it: the MVP will play for a team that has a chance to go deep in the playoffs.

    If the Vikings turn it around and show the win against Green Bay was no fluke and he continues to play well, then maybe he can get enough votes by those who choose the award. I doubt it will happen, though.

  29. The dude is good…really, really good. And playing my Lions twice in your 16-game schedule makes him even better.

  30. The MVP usually comes from a winning team with one of the league’s best win-loss records. That alone makes it unlikely for him to be MVP even if he wins the rushing title. Patrick Mahomes is the number 1 candidate fro MVP. His team only has 1 loss (compared to two losses for the Sea Dorks). Big Ben is also a contender for the MVP since his team is unbeaten. Drew Bress is also a contender. The 35 million dollar dude from Putrid Sound is a pretender, not a contender. He compiled a good record against some losing teams and he has lost to 2 teams with winning records.

  31. He’s the best overall running back the Vikings have had since Chuck Foreman. And I think he’s better than Foreman. Peterson is a great runner, but the rest of his game doesn’t equal Cook’s game.

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