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Photo: Dalvin Cook breaks free against the Packers
Dalvin Cook breaks free against the Packers. Photo courtesy Minnesota Vikings

But then, you knew that, didn’t you?

Still, it’s fun to take a look at just how amazing Dalvin Cook is. Former NFL offensive lineman Brian Baldinger breaks down Cook’s runs against the Raiders.

It is always instructive to hear a lineman break down a play because of their emphasis on the blocking. In this video, Baldinger highlights the zone blocking scheme Gary Kubiak has brought to the team.

Here’s his analysis of Cook’s game against the Falcons.

Here’s some in-stadium footage I shot of Cook’s rush during the Falcons game when he destroyed linebacker Deion Jones.

Dalvin Cook’s trucking of Jones illustrates the power with which he runs. That power lends itself to breaking tackles, at which he excels between the tackles.

But then he has speed as well.

NFL Next Gen Stats breaks down Cook’s 75-yard touchdown run against the Packers, illustrating his accelleration from zero to a top speed of 20.39 miles per hour.

But it is his combination of power and speed that makes him so elusive; he can break angles as easily as he breaks tackles.

On this play against the Raiders, Cook breaks three tackles on his way to a 15-yard gain.

This NFL Next Gen Stats animated chart visualizes the run, highlighting both Cook’s power and speed.

GIF: Dalvin Cook 15-yard Run

ESPN’s Courtney Cronin reports that Cook excels even when the Vikings are at a blocking disadvantage:

He’s averaging 5.3 yards per rush on 21 carries in that situation and is averaging 2.68 seconds to reach the line of scrimmage. Last season, Cook averaged 2.2 yards per rush on 31 carries with a blocking disadvantage while taking 3.32 seconds on average to reach the line of scrimmage.

A TD threat with each touch: Inside Vikings RB Dalvin Cook’s roaring start

I gave the offensive line a game ball for its performance against the Raiders. Baldinger’s breakdown of Cook’s runs illustrates why they deserved it.

It’s gonna take a complete group effort to have success running the ball against the Chicago Bears on Sunday. That Bears defense is a beast.

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