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The Vikings found Cheap Tyler Conklin Jersey in space, and the third-year tight end was able to deliver two of Minnesota’s five longest receptions on Sunday against the Bears.
The plays from Conklin started with a 30-yard reception in the third quarter on which he gained 29 yards after the catch. He showed elusiveness through Bears tackles attempts for an extra 12 yards above expectation on the play, which Next Gen Stats ranked as the eighth-most in its listing of Week 15’s “incredible YAC.”
Conklin then scored his first career touchdown on a play with a similar design as the 30-yard reception, again capitalizing on getting the ball in space and gaining 20 yards after contact.
“It definitely would have been a lot better if we had come away with a win yesterday,” Conklin said Monday. “I mean, it’s my third year, and I felt like it was kind of starting to haunt me a little bit. I hadn’t gotten into the end zone yet, and to finally make that happen yesterday kind of felt great. I felt like a weight was off my shoulders.”
Conklin’s first score occurred in his 45th career game, a contest in which he played 44 offensive snaps as the Vikings were without 10-year pro Cheap Kyle Rudolph Jersey for a second consecutive game.
The 2018 fifth-round pick heaped credit toward Rudolph for the way he has passed along knowledge to the position group. He said he wants to continue to improve as an “all-around tight end.”
“I think the big thing for me is being able to get consistent reps,” Conklin said. “When you’re out there and you’re playing 40, 50 snaps and able to get into a rhythm of how a game is being played, how a defense is being played, it’s completely different than playing 10 or 15 snaps where you’re kind of in and out, maybe two or three plays a quarter, something like that. It’s a lot easier to grow and become comfortable and build confidence when you’re in a flow of a game and get a chance to go and play those higher snap counts.”
Dalvin Cook enters Week 16 with a career-best 1,484 yards, but he’s 195 shy of NFL rushing yardage leader Derrick Henry.
In attempting to defend his rushing crown, “King Henry” rumbled for another 147 yards Sunday, helping the Titans defeat the Lions.
Cook churned out an impressive 132 against the Bears as Minnesota remained committed to the run in trying to come back against Chicago, but he still fell further behind Henry.
The Florida natives have become friends and frequently talk. There’s a mutual admiration between the former second-round picks.
Cook, who was tabbed 41st overall by Minnesota in 2017, recently credited the 45th overall pick of 2016 for the way he “just keeps elevating” his game.
“I’ve just got to try to get somebody to stop him,” Cook said last week when asked about his own shot at becoming the first Viking to lead the NFL in rushing yards since Cheap Adrian Peterson Jersey did so with 1,485 in 2015.
Henry’s final two games are at the Packers and Texans in Weeks 16 and 17, respectively, so that doesn’t bode the greatest for Cook getting shutdown help.
Cook averaged 106.5 yards per game against the Packers and totaled 130 at Houston back in Week 4.
Minnesota’s final two games of the 2020 regular season are at New Orleans on Friday and at Detroit on Jan. 3, 2021.
The Saints defense ranks fourth in the NFL with a stingy 95.6 rushing yards allowed per game and second with a downright Scrooge-y 3.79 rush yards allowed per attempt.
The Lions are quite the opposite, allowing 137.3 rushing yards per game (29th in the NFL) and 4.47 rushing yards per play (19th).
Frame-By-Frame: Dalvin Cook’s Second Touchdown In Houston
View photos of RB Cheap Dalvin Cook Jersey second touchdown during the Vikings-Texans game on Sunday at NRG Stadium.
Tennessee’s position atop the AFC South via tiebreaker over Indianapolis (10-4) makes it unlikely the Titans will rest Henry in Week 17, so all of those factors might be too much for Cook, who has played one fewer game, to overtake him.
There are some impressive rankings in the Vikings record book that Cook can still chase.
Cook’s 1,484 yards entering Week 16 are the fifth-most in a Vikings season.
Only Adrian Peterson (three seasons) and Cheap Robert Smith Jersey (once) have had bigger years on the ground for Minnesota.
Peterson ranks first (2,097 in 2012), second (1,760 in 2008) and fourth (1,485 in 2015). Smith ranks third (1,521 in 2000).
Peterson won the rushing title in each of those seasons and set a Vikings record with 10 100-yard games in 2008 that he matched again in 2012. Smith had eight such performances in 2000.
Cook recorded his eighth of the season, along with his 15th rushing touchdown, which trails only Peterson’s 18 in 2009 for the most in a Vikings season.
Vikings Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak has seen plenty during his epic NFL career, including the rushing race between Denver’s Terrell Davis and Atlanta’s Jamal Anderson in 1998. Kubiak was the Broncos offensive coordinator when Davis rushed for 2,008 yards and Anderson finished second with 1,846 yards for Atlanta.
Davis totaled 1,801 rushing yards by Week 16 that season and carried a lead of 205 yards over Anderson heading into the final two games.
Here’s a recap of the two long catches by Conklin.
Q3, 4:54 remaining — First-and-10 at the Chicago 49
The Vikings have just gotten a gain of 26 on a pass from Cheap Kirk Cousins Jersey to Cheap Justin Jefferson Jersey.
Minnesota uses 12 personnel with Dalvin Cook at running back and tight ends Conklin and Irv Smith, Jr. The Vikings also have receivers Cheap Adam Thielen Jersey and Jefferson in the game.
Cousins lines up under center, and Minnesota uses play-action by faking a run to the left, drawing Bears safety Eddie Jackson to the middle of the field. Conklin blocks linebacker Barkevious Mingo, then releases. Mingo chases Cousins, who is bootlegging, but doesn’t have enough time to affect the throw to Conklin.
Next Gen Stats calculated a completion probability of 89 percent on the pass, with Conklin having 7.5 yards of separation from the nearest defender at the time of the pass and 8.14 yards of space when he secured the football.
Jackson eventually chases down Conklin, but not before the gain of 30.
Q4, 8:14 remaining — First-and-10 at the Chicago 20
The Vikings have just converted a third-and-5 with a 9-yard pass to Jefferson when they incorporate a similar concept with the same personnel grouping that again pays big dividends.
This time, however, the Vikings have grouped Thielen and Jefferson together on the left side of the formation and have Conklin and Smith on the right side.
Cousins again sells a fake for a run by Cook before bootlegging. Conklin is tasked with blocking linebacker Khalil Mack before releasing. Smith runs an outward-breaking route to clear a huge alley for Conklin, who decisively turns up the field, accelerates and powers his way through contact for the score.
Next Gen Stats calculated the completion probability of this throw at 91.8 percent. Conklin again had ample room, with 8.2 yards of separation at the time of the pass and 7.8 yards at the time of the catch.
“I had no idea what was going on behind me,” Conklin said. “Like you said, it was a similar design to my first catch of the day, and once I caught it and realized I was at the 10-yard line and saw the end zone, I just knew I had to get in there.”