The Minnesota Vikings sprinted out of the gate on Sunday afternoon against the Miami Dolphins at U.S. Bank Stadium, and finished with a flourish as well.
(We’ll ignore the middle part, pretty much.)
A 21-point first quarter and a 17-point fourth quarter, coupled with a suffocating performance from the Minnesota defense gave the Vikings a huge 41-17 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday afternoon at U.S. Bank Stadium.
The Vikings got off to a very fast start, as they scored touchdowns on their first three possessions. The first one saw Kirk Cousins connect with Stefon Diggs for a 13-yard touchdown to give the Vikings an early 7-0 lead.
Making it look easy early.#Skol pic.twitter.com/xMuGKyy3YP— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) December 16, 2018
On their next possession, the Vikings got the running game into the act, as Dalvin Cook found the end zone from 13 yards out, extending the Minnesota lead to 14-0.
The post-John DeFilippo era is off to a good start— SB Nation NFL (@SBNationNFL) December 16, 2018
: @NFL pic.twitter.com/MUtrB6z4M9
To top off the quarter, the Vikings got their other running back into the end zone as well, as Latavius Murray rambled in from 18 yards out to give the Vikings a big 21-0 lead before the first fifteen minutes had elapsed.
Tay Train Touchdown!!!— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) December 16, 2018
The Dolphins chipped away at the lead after that, as they got a big 50-yard pick six from rookie Minkah Fitzpatrick near the end of the second quarter to cut the deficit to 21-7, and a field goal from Jason Sanders to make it 21-10 going into the locker room at halftime.
Another rookie, running back Kalen Ballage, made a huge play for the Dolphins, as he broke off a 75-yard touchdown run on the first play of the third quarter to cut the Minnesota lead to 21-17. Both offenses sort of stalled after that, as the Vikings got a 36-yard field goal from Dan Bailey in the third quarter and one in the opening minutes in the fourth quarter to increase their lead to 27-17.
Minnesota got a huge play midway through the fourth quarter, as Cousins found a streaking Aldrick Robinson for a 40-yard strike to make the score 34-17.
Right on the money.@KirkCousins8 hits @AldrickRobinson for the dagger. pic.twitter.com/BLmnYo0uGk— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) December 16, 2018
After stopping the Dolphins on a fourth down deep in their own territory, Cook found his way into the end zone again on this beautiful 21-yard run to make the score 41-17.
#Vikings Cook has some of the best moves in the leaguepic.twitter.com/Q0k7yeTHZj— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) December 16, 2018
That was how this one ended after the Vikings stopped the Dolphins on yet another fourth down late.
The Vikings’ defense was a huge part of this victory for Minnesota, as they sacked Ryan Tannehill nine times on the afternoon. Anthony Barr and Danielle Hunter each tallied a pair of takedowns, while Tom Johnson, Eric Kendricks, Everson Griffen, Mackensie Alexander, and Tom Johnson each had one of their own.
Cousins had a mediocre day, completing just 14-of-21 passes for 215 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. He came out hot early, cooled off considerably during the middle portions of the game, and then had the great throw to Robinson for the touchdown in the fourth quarter.
On the receiving side, your yardage leader was actually rookie tight end Tyler Conklin, who had a pair of grabs that tallied 53 yards. Stefon Diggs actually led the team in catches with four, putting up 49 yards and a touchdown. Aldrick Robinson had two grabs for 44 yards and a score, and Kyle Rudolph had three catches for 23 yards. Adam Thielen was limited in this one, hauling in just two catches for 19 yards.
Offensively, however, this game belonged to Dalvin Cook. He carried the ball 19 times on the afternoon for 136 yards and a pair of scores, as well as picking up a 27-yard reception. Latavius Murray carried 14 times for 61 yards and a score of his own on the afternoon.
The victory takes the Vikings to a record of 7-6-1 on the season, still firmly in control of their postseason destiny, and they’ll travel to take on the Detroit Lions next Sunday. The Dolphins fall to 7-7, damaging their playoff hopes greatly, and they’ll host the Jacksonville Jaguars next Sunday afternoon.
The Minnesota Vikings get a desperately needed victory, blowing out the Miami Dolphins at U.S. Bank Stadium by a final score of 41-17 in Week 15 NFL action. Thank you to everyone that got their coverage of this week’s game right here at The Daily Norseman!