Love your analysis of this play.VikingLord wrote: ↑Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:06 pmI just watched the game highlights, and I have to say, that 1st TD run by Dalvin Cook was just amazing.
For reference, here is video of the play:
https://www.vikings.com/video/cook-flie ... -touchdown
When Cook takes the handoff, it looks like the play is designed to go left of the center, and the Vikings OL gets a good push in that direction, but while the Falcons ceded a few yards after the snap, they're not conceding any holes. If Cook tries to take it where the play appears designed to go, he's going to pick up maybe 2-3 yards before the Falcon defensive tackle or linebacker on the play side makes the stop.
There is a cutback lane that opens up in the area where Jones pulls to the left, but this is rapidly filled by an aggressive Falcons defender. Had Cook not sensed this, he might very well have tried to cut back into this area, only to be tackled quickly or seriously slowed down.
But Cook senses the pressure, both immediately in front of him as well as back to his right and makes a really amazing cut sharply to his left. This cut is so sharp and effective that in the blink of an eye any Falcons defender near the LOS and in a position to make a play on him is literally removed from consideration as a tackler. The aggressive rusher coming from the area vacated by the pulling Jones? Not a factor. The Falcon DT who is eating up that interior space on the play side? Please. The free Falcon linebacker on the play side? He's coming up to supplement the interior tackle, which would have been the right decision except Cook's cut is so sudden and decisive to the outside that the Falcon LB can't recover from his false step and gets caught up in trash. He got shaked and the baked.
Cook's vision in this situation is remarkable. I can't remember the last Vikings RB who could have, and most importantly, *would have*, made that same decision in that situation (maybe AP). I think the majority of NFL running backs would have either plowed it forward play side to take what they could get, or maybe cut it back against the grain, which in this case would have most likely resulted in even less yardage. But to cut it sharply outside to the play side like Cook did literally caught every Falcon near the LOS flat footed. They never had a chance.
I really hope Dalvin stays healthy all year. He's a special player and it's been a long time since we Vikings fans have had the chance to watch a special RB with the ability to alter the flow of games like that.
When he made that run, the first thing out of my mouth was, "Wow ... the VISION!" My wife was like, "What do you mean, vision?" So when they ran the replay, I explained it to her in a way similar to what you described (only not as much detail). She said, "Oh, OK. That makes sense."
There are many things that make Dalvin Cook special. His burst is off the charts. He's patient. He runs with purpose and finishes like a train. But that vision ... it's truly top-crust. Go back and watch the long TD in the preseason against the Cardinals. It's almost a carbon copy, only the other direction. If he can stay healthy, and the O-line can stay healthy, he could have a true breakout season that puts him in the very upper echelon of NFL running backs.