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Notebook: Offense, defense and special teams all click in Vikings’ win

The Vikings seemed to be firing on all cylinders Sunday afternoon.

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Minnesota Vikings Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings blew out the Miami Dolphins 41-17 on Sunday afternoon at U.S. Bank Stadium. There were a lot of positive takeaways from Sunday’s contest and if you want a breakdown of the game, the Daily Norseman has a recap for you here.

I’ll have some notebook type thoughts that I saw throughout the game, nothing to fancy, but just some more post-win readings and some more material to spark conversation for the readers.

I’ll break it down with a few takes from the offense, defense and special teams:


I can’t say the Vikings soared offensively because of interim offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski, and I can’t say it would be the same story if John DeFilippo was calling plays. Regardless, the offense had a type of spark that I haven’t really seen this season.

Minnesota jammed the run game down the throat of the defense throughout the game and it was such a relief to see. The Vikings ended the day with 204 rushing yards off 34 carries between Latavius Murray and Dalvin Cook.

Cook absolutely took advantage of his carries as he averaged 7.2 yards per tote off 19 carries, and managed two touchdowns.

Well, look here— Kirk Cousins only threw the ball 21 times for 215 yards and Minnesota still came out with a win. Head coach Mike Zimmer was looking for some balance on offense, and that definitely happened.


What's there not to say about the defensive performance. Nine total sacks on the day... NINE! It’s pretty obvious that Ryan Tannehill was used as a tackling dummy.

There was a point where I saw the Dolphins’ offensive line gassed and that’s when fresh legs like Danielle Hunter and Sheldon Richardson got rotated into the game. You could see the depth and stamina our defense had compared to Miami’s offense.

The defense only allowed ten points all game and shutout Miami in the first and fourth quarter.

Anthony Barr led the team with seven tackles and managed two sacks.

Other than that 75-yard touchdown run by Miami running back Kalen Ballage, the Vikings managed to hold Miami to only 81 rushing yards. Tannehill only managed a little over 100 yards passing, the second lowest this season for him.

Special Teams:

Wooohoooo. I swear, I never hear a fanbase cheer louder after a made extra point than Vikings fans. Dan Bailey made all five of his extra points and hit both of his field goals. So it’s always nice when you can finally breathe.

Marcus Sherels was a tank on the punt return. He returned four punts for 116 yards, averaging about 23 yards per return. He did break loose for a big 70-yard return.

He holds the record for most punt return yards in a game with 119. That was back in 2013 when Minnesota faced the New York Giants.

Moving forward:

Hopefully the momentum can continue heading into next week’s matchup against Detroit. The Vikings still control the sixth seed in the NFC, so although Detroit isn’t having the best season the Vikings still need to be in top-form.