3 things the Vikings showed us that prove they’re a legit playoff threat

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Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings still have faint hope of making the playoffs with a defense that can keep games close and an offense with exciting weapons.

The Minnesota Vikings looked dead in the water at the start of the 2020 season. After starting 1-5, playoff hopes were all but gone.

Then they went off on a three-game winning streak and got their season on the right track.

Even with a narrow loss to the Cowboys on Sunday putting them two games out of the wildcard race, the Vikings are still in the playoff hunt. Here’s why:

Dalvin Cook is a beast

The Vikings have the second-leading rusher in the NFL in 2020 in Dalvin Cook, who is having the best campaign of his career thus far.

Last year he put up career numbers with 13 touchdowns across 14 games. In nine games this year, he’s already matched that total. He leads the NFL in that mark too.

With a 5.3-yards per carry average, he’s in a class by himself at running back.

Any team with such an outstanding runner is bound to give defenses problems. A rushing attack led by Cook can keep the Vikings in any game.

The bad news for the Vikings is their two toughest games remaining are against the Saints and Buccaneers, who rank No. 1 and 2 in the NFL in rushing yards per game allowed. The good news is the Panthers, Jaguars, Bears and Lions are not so stout defending the ground game.

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