The Vikings were able to light up the Miami’ defense, scoring 41 points in Kevin Stefanski’s first game as offensive coordinator. Stefanski’s play calling was in stark contrast to former offensive coordinator John DeFillipo’s, which never really established a threatening run game. Minnesota established that run game early on and ended up with 220 yards on the ground and three touchdowns as a team. Dalvin Cook led the way with 19 carries for 136 yards and two touchdowns, while backup Latavius Murray rushed for 68 yards and one touchdown on 15 carries. With the efficiency of the running game, Kirk Cousins wasn’t asked to do much but did throw for two touchdowns, proving that the Vikings offense is capable of having a balanced offensive attack.
Although the run game thrived against the Dolphins, the wide receiving duo of Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs was limited to a combined total of six receptions and 68 yards. The Dolphins were able to top Thielen by only allowing him to have two targets in the entire game. Kirk Cousins also had a terrible interception that Minkah Fitzpatrick returned for a 50-yard touchdown. Minnesota was able to blow out Miami but has to realize these mishaps are costly and must come to an end if the Vikings are going to be able to make a playoff run.
The Minnesota defense was able to get to Ryan Tannehill, sacking him nine times. Both Anthony Barr and Danielle Hunter were able to record two sacks and led the defensive effort. Tannehill and the Miami passing attack essentially were nonexistent as Miami ended the day with 11 completions for 108 yards. This performance by the Vikings defense shows the league that they still have the ability to dominate games and shut down opposing offenses.
The Minnesota defense gave up a 75-yard rushing touchdown to the Dolphins on the first play of the second half. This shrunk the Vikings lead to 21-17 and gave Miami an opportunity to get back into the game. Even with all the talent on the defense, it is necessary that Minnesota doesn’t become complacent and give up easy points that allow opposing teams to get back into the game.
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