Dalvin Cook gained 226 yards from scrimmage and became the first Viking in over four decades to score four touchdowns in a single game as Minnesota defeated the Green Bay Packers 28-22 on Sunday.
After missing Minnesota’s last game with a groin injury, Cook looked just fine while accomplishing the mission he carried to Green Bay.
Cook's presence gave the Vikings a major edge on a day when winds started out at 23 mph and occasionally got stronger, making it difficult to throw downfield. Green Bay didn't have leading rusher Aaron Jones, who missed a second straight game with a calf injury.
Minnesota (2-5) needed this victory to have any realistic hopes of competing for a second straight playoff berth. Green Bay’s inability to contain Cook brought back reminders of the Packers’ NFC championship game loss to the San Francisco 49ers, when they allowed Raheem Mostert to run for 220 yards.
Green Bay (5-2) happens to be visiting San Francisco on Thursday night.
Each of the Vikings’ first four possessions ended with Cook touchdowns. He had two 1-yard touchdown bursts plus a touchdown run from 21 yards out. He also caught a third-and-9 pass behind the line of scrimmage and turned it into a 50-yard score that put Minnesota ahead 28-14.
The only other Vikings to score four touchdowns in a game are Ahmad Rashad in 1979 and Chuck Foreman in 1975.
Minnesota withstood a three-touchdown performance from Green Bay's Davante Adams, who had seven catches for 53 yards.
Green Bay made it interesting at the end.
The Packers cut the lead to 28-22 when Adams caught a 7-yard touchdown pass and Jamaal Williams ran in a two-point conversion with 2:42 left. Williams was initially ruled down shy of the goal line before replays determined he had scored.
Green Bay got the ball back and reached Minnesota's 41-yard line with 12 seconds and no timeouts left, but rookie D.J. Wonnum sacked Aaron Rodgers and knocked the ball loose. Eric Wilson recovered at the 24 as time expired.
Green Bay played a third straight game without cornerback Kevin King (quadriceps) and a second straight without Jones and offensive tackle David Bakhtiari (chest). Reserve safeties Vernon Scott and Will Redmond left with shoulder injuries.
The Packers play at San Francisco on Thursday.