Will There Be Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen?
When Minnesota and Buffalo square off, there may be a concern about how the Cook family will need to cheer. Considering Dalvin Cook is the Vikings main ball carrier while his brother James is a highly anticipated rookie for the Bills, there can only be one winner.
It has been somewhat of a mixed bag for the Vikings Cook through eight games. His 76 yards per game on the ground represent a career low, aside from his limited action in year two. Despite figuring to be more involved in the passing game for Kevin O’Connell, his receptions and yards per game totals have also never been lower.
There have also been high moments for Cook. He ripped off a 53-yard scamper to score in Miami in front of his hometown fans. His 5 touchdowns on the ground are just one shy of where he finished last season, and he’s already scored through the air, which didn’t take place in 2021.
Still, there’s no denying that Dalvin is looking for something to hang his hat on this season. The lone 100-yard game came against the Arizona Cardinals two weeks ago when he posted 111 yards on 20 carries. His 6 targets each of the past two weeks tied a season-high, but he’s yet to generate more than 30 yards through the air.
Minnesota is going up against a good all-around team, and controlling the time of possession through a strong output from Dalvin could be key. It’s not going to be an easy team to open up holes against, but the more the elder brother can do — the better.
That brings us to the younger James.
Devin Singletary is still the lead back in Buffalo, but the team also recently acquired former Colts speedster Nyheim Hines. Cook’s position on the team is not in jeopardy by any means, but his opportunities could be harder to come by. His 11 carries in Week 2 against the Titans are still a season-high, and he’s not topped five in any week since.
Facing the New York Jets in a surprising loss last week, Cook carried the ball four times for 15 yards. He was targeted 4 times in the passing game, hauling in two of them for 18 yards. No matter where he sprinkles into this gameplan, and regardless of who’s under center for the Bills, you can bet he’ll be out to prove something to big brother.
The Bills certainly don’t feature their 2nd-round pick like the Vikings feature their established star at this point, but seeing them compete on the same field will be a blast for all involved. Dalvin had plenty to prove coming out of Florida State and slipping to the 2nd round. James wasn’t necessarily considered the same slam dunk of a player, but he’ll continue to find matchups and hope to make his way there.
No matter what dish you’re hoping the chef provides on Sunday, you can bet Dalvin and James’ family will find it cooked to perfection.
Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.