Dalvin Cook Leaves Vikings’ Super Bowl Drought to Try and End Another in New York
The Minnesota Vikings have never won a Super Bowl over the course of the franchise’s history. Now, former Vikings RB Dalvin Cook has a chance to help end another extensive Super Bowl drought after signing a deal with the New York Jets.
The Jets won Super Bowl III back in 1968, but they haven’t been able to get to that mountaintop again since Joe Namath led them there. Even more pitifully, New York has failed to make the playoffs in each of the past 12 years, giving them the longest active playoff drought in the league and longest in franchise history.
This year, though, things look very different in New York. Not only did the team just sign a four-time Pro Bowler at running back, but they also traded to acquire four-time MVP QB Aaron Rodgers this offseason, creating a QB-RB tandem that features a former Green Bay Packer and former Minnesota Viking. It’s a combination of talent that will make NFC North fans cringe, but it should prove effective.
Meanwhile, defensively, New York remains one of the scariest groups in the league. Last year, the group ranked 8th in defensive EPA and 5th in defensive DVOA behind rookie CB Sauce Gardner, LB C.J. Moseley, and DT Quinnen Williams. As long as they stay healthy, this unit should be one of the top defenses in the league once again.
All the questions with the Jets last year were with the offense. Rookie RB Breece Hall tore his ACL mid-season, so that took a lot of the air out of their tires in the ground game. The combination of Zach Wilson, Joe Flacco, and Mike White largely proved underwhelming as well. The trio combined to throw for 3931 yards, 14 TDs, and 14 INTs. Overall, New York’s offense ranked 26th in DVOA and 28th in EPA
Rodgers went through it during his final season with the Green Bay Packers, passing for just 3695 yards, 26 TDs, and 12 INTs. It was the lowest yardage total in a season where he played at least 10 games and the highest INT total since his first season as a starter in 2008.
Even if Rodgers is unable to unlock his MVP form at age-39, he may not need to for the Jets to find success. New York has a terrific young core on offense in Hall and WR Garrett Wilson alongside the veterans Cook, WR Allen Lazard, WR Randall Cobb, and WR Mecole Hardman. It’s a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation for opposing defenses.
If the Jets had scored exactly 21 points in every game that they played last year, they would have finished the year with an 11-6 record. Instead, they averaged 17.4 points per game, the fourth-fewest in the NFL and finished the season 7-10. With a revamped offense that includes Cook in the backfield, they should be strong contenders this year even in a truly loaded AFC East division.
Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.