The Minnesota Vikings took care of business in Week 1, cruising to a resounding 28-12 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday at U.S Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The season-opening victory was huge for the Vikings, who proved to everybody that they can win a ball game despite a so-so showing from starting quarterback Kirk Cousins.

Cousins completed eight of only 10 passes for 98 yards and one touchdown.

Thankfully for Minnesota, their running backs delivered as Dalvin Cook rushed for 111 yards on 21 carries and two touchdowns, while rookie Alexander Mattison ran for 49 yards on 9 carries.

Veteran football analyst Peter King of NBC Sports observed something different in the Vikings running game this season. He thought Minnesota running backs were now well-suited for Mike Zimmer’s punishing running game with the way Cook and Mattison performed against the Falcons.

Two-headed Monsters

By looking closely at the tapes of Minnesota’s two leading rushers, King believed the Vikings coaching staff has gained more confidence that they can now use Mattison the same way they utilize Cook in the coming weeks, since both running backs seem to be a cut from the same cloth. They are both physical specimens capable of barreling through contact.

If the Vikings want to improve from their 8-7-1 regular-season record in 2018, their running backs – especially Cook and Mattison - must make their impact in every game.

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King is confident Minnesota will be successful this year as long as their running backs continue to stick with Zimmer’s bludgeoning running game.

“Now Mike Zimmer’s being clear, he wants a physical, inside run game. In every game, if you want to be a complete offense. You are going to have to make the tough yards between the tackles,” King said in his analysis on the NBC Sports video.

Green Bay scouting on Dalvin Cook

The Minnesota Vikings will visit their NFC North rivals, the Green Bay Packers, in Week 2.

And right now, analysts are certain on what should be done for the Packers to come up with the victory: Cook should be stopped from wreaking havoc.

Paul Bretl of Dairyland Express gave his take on why slowing down Cook should be the first priority for the Packers this Sunday.

"Out of Cook’s 111 yards, 62 came on only three rushing attempts. Meaning, that over his remaining 18 carries, he had an average of only 2.7 yards per rush.

So for this Green Bay Packers’ defense, limiting the big play is a must,” Bretl wrote on Dairyland Express.

Cook, 24, is putting up the best stretch of his NFL career after an ACL injury derailed his rookie campaign and affected his performance over the next two seasons. But the arrival of Gary Kubiak and his outside-zone run scheme appears to have revitalized Cook, who sustained an impressive preseason campaign highlighted by a scintillating 85-yard touchdown run.

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