Over the first three weeks of the 2019 NFL season, you could make a pretty convincing argument that Minnesota Vikings’ running back Dalvin Cook has been the best in the league at his position. With the Sunday Night Football contest near completion and Monday Night Football yet to be played, Cook is currently the NFL’s leading rusher, 67 yards ahead of Carolina’s Christian McCaffrey, and is second in the NFL in rushing touchdowns with four.
But, with his performance on Sunday, where he carried the ball 16 times for 110 yards and a score, he joined some pretty elite company, courtesy of the venerable Gil Brandt.
Dalvin Cook is the fifth player in NFL history with 110+ rushing yards and a rushing touchdown in each of his team's first three games of a season, joining Jim Brown (1958), Curtis Martin (2004), the RB who played for USC and the Bills (1975), and Emmitt Smith (1995).— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) September 23, 2019
Cook is now the fifth player in NFL history to have 110 yards rushing and a touchdown in each of his team’s first three games to start a season. The other four guys that have done it? They’re pretty good.
- Jim Brown (1958)
- O.J. Simpson (1975)
- Emmitt Smith (1995)
- Curtis Martin (2004)
Those four guys are all in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Obviously, I’m not saying that we need to start molding Dalvin Cook’s bust for Canton or anything like that yet. But, through the first three games of this season, Cook has been performing at an elite level, and he’s carried the Vikings’ rush offense along with it.
Courtesy of our friend Drew Bunting from the Good Morning, Gjallarhorn podcast, through the first three games of this season, the Vikings have 581 yards rushing, which is an average of 193.7 yards/game. Through the first three games of last season, they had a grand total of 198 yards rushing, which is 66 yards/game.
This is how Mike Zimmer, apparently, wants to win football games. . .and, as long as Dalvin Cook remains healthy and performing at this level, there will probably be a lot of that happening for the Vikings.