Resting Cook for the playoffs payed off for Minnesota as his big day coupled with some clutch moments from quarterback Kirk Cousins led the Vikings to victory over the Saints in a controversial overtime (more on that later).
With 130 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns, Cook was a problem for the Saints defense all day:
Cook has been a monster in the red zone this year and Sunday afternoon was no different:
.@dalvincook scores his 2nd touchdown to extend the @Vikings lead, 20-10! #Skol #NFLPlayoffs— NFL (@NFL) January 5, 2020
: #MINvsNO on FOX
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Watch free on mobile: https://t.co/BngxhzS5KF pic.twitter.com/i7DURSMsFS
It’s been over 10 year’s since a Minnesota running back put together a playoff performance like Cook’s. You may have heard of him, and he recognized Cook’s efforts following the game:
It was a tough afternoon for Williams, who not only ended up on the losing side of Sunday’s overtime, but was the defensive back beat for the controversial game-winning touchdown:
The play in question has already been hotly debated due to Minnesota’s Kyle Rudolph’s apparent push-off, which some argued rose to the level of offensive pass interference:
You know what would help the NFL?— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) January 5, 2020
A rule that allowed them to review PI. Maybe someone should propose it this offseason to prevent officials from ruining playoff games. pic.twitter.com/u7OPL1xbz7
Kyle Rudolph 6-6 265.— Emmanuel Acho (@thEMANacho) January 5, 2020
PJ Williams 6’ 195.
You can debate whether or not this should be Offensive PI, but what’s not debatable. It’s near impossible to play defensive back in the #NFL. #WhoDat #Saints pic.twitter.com/D5coYH700S
Pro Football Talk argued that Rudolph’s push was consistent with what has been ruled OPI this year, but VP of officiating Al Riveron defended the call following the game:
Like Williams, Brooks also had a tough night at the office. Brooks, who has been dealing with a groin injury, entered the game in place of injured starter Patrick Chung and was instantly picked on for a touchdown:
TANNEHILL TO FIRKSER, TOUCHDOWN TITANS!— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) January 5, 2020
Tennessee has the early lead. pic.twitter.com/IoD0vGbqUx
It was a bad night for New England’s defense overall with Tennessee RB Derrick Henry exploding for over 200 total yards and 2 touchdowns, but Brooks took the loss especially hard:
Terrence Brooks looks like he’s taking this loss exceptionally hard. Most of the Patriots have cleared out. He’s still sitting at his locker, hoodie on, head down.— Chris Mason (@ByChrisMason) January 5, 2020
Other Notable Statlines
Xavier Rhodes, Minnesota Vikings: Recorded 4 tackles (3 solo) and a pass defended.
Mario Edwards Jr, New Orleans Saints: Recorded 2 tackles (1 solo) and a TFL.
Nigel Bradham, Philadelphia Eagles: Recorded 5 tacles (4 solo) as the injury-plagued Eagles were knocked out of the playoffs:
Timmy Jernigan, Philadelphia Eagles: Recorded two tackles.