DALLAS — Week 10 afforded a proving floor for the Minnesota Vikings, who entered and exited AT&T Stadium holding on to the No. 6 seed within the NFC playoff image after capturing a 28-24 win towards the Dallas Cowboys.
For the Vikings (7-3), it was an enormous win at a crucial level of the season, they usually succeeded at what had stymied them beforehand. Minnesota beat group (Dallas, 5-4, entered Sunday main the NFC East) on the street and overcame its personal pitfalls, significantly on protection.
Certain, the Vikings would have remained the No. 6 seed whatever the end result, however Sunday night time’s victory not solely shattered the notion that quarterback Kirk Cousins cannot come by way of within the largest video games, it gave Minnesota a preview of the kind of competitors it must beat if it reaches the postseason.
Minnesota is locked into the present playoff image, however has points that have to be ironed out if it desires to stay in that place and make a deep run in January. On Sunday, the Vikings took step one towards getting there and gained vital floor over different NFC hopefuls just like the Carolina Panthers (5-4), Philadelphia Eagles (5-4) and Los Angeles Rams (5-4).
Offensive superlatives galore: You may chalk this sport up as “The Kyle Rudolph particular” or “Dalvin Prepare dinner day” and each would precisely outline what labored offensively for Minnesota. Rudolph’s two 1-yard touchdowns on back-to-back drives within the first quarter allowed the Vikings to leap out to a 14-Zero lead and activate the passing assault on an evening they’d be with out Adam Thielen (hamstring damage). Prepare dinner recorded yet one more 100-yard dashing day towards one of many league’s greatest run defenses, and the assertion Minnesota made with its run sport performed out at a pivotal level. On their closing landing drive, the Vikings ran the ball 11 instances, culminating in a 2-yard landing run by Prepare dinner, adopted up by a 2-point conversion catch by Rudolph. The Vikings ripped off 5 runs of 10 yards or extra on Sunday, which ties the second-most such runs Dallas has allowed this season.
Defensive deficiencies: Trae Waynes’ absence made for a nightmare outing for Mike Hughes. Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott picked aside the second-year cornerback, who was focused 17 instances as the closest defender in protection, based on NFL Subsequent Gen Stats, which is probably the most for any participant in any sport this season. Hughes gave up 10 receptions for 139 yards and a landing, and allowed a number of third-and-longs, together with two third-and-12s on separate landing drives, and a third-and-14 later within the sport. As a complete, Minnesota let Dallas convert 9 of its 15 third-down makes an attempt, a price made worse by the dearth of cross rush and push up the center due to Linval Joseph’s absence as a result of damage
However when it mattered most: Eric Kendricks got here by way of, as he has so many instances this season. His big cease on fourth-and-5 allowed the Vikings to carry off Dallas’ late-game push. Kendricks entered Week 10 main all NFL linebackers with 10 passes defended, and added his 11th throughout probably the most crucial second of the sport. Ifeadi Odenigbo deserves credit score for his sort out for loss on Ezekiel Elliott the play earlier than as effectively.