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Trent Green: ‘Chargers Will Be Trying To Shut Down Dalvin Cook, Make It One-Dimensional Game’

Trent Green: ‘Chargers Will Be Trying To Shut Down Dalvin Cook, Make It One-Dimensional Game’

(WCCO)- The Minnesota Vikings are in control of their playoff hopes heading into Week 15. If they beat the Chargers this Sunday, followed by wins over the Packers and Bears in the final two weeks, they are assured of a postseason berth.

While Sunday’s matchup against the 5-8 Chargers is, on paper, the easiest of the final three games, Los Angeles presents some tough challenges for the Vikings. As NFL on CBS analyst Trent Green points out, the Chargers defense, led by coordinator Gus Bradley, has been better than they’re given credit for.

“Their defense has been good. I like what Gus Bradley is doing on the defensive side, they’re getting pressure with (Melvin) Ingram and (Nick) Bosa. It has been a big lift for them to get Derwin James back who missed most of the season because of that foot injury,” said Green. “I think that is going to be the key for the Chargers. Being able to put consistent pressure on Kirk Cousins and try to take it out of his hands.”

The return of James bolsters a secondary that was one of the league’s better units last season and it allows more time for Ingram and Bosa to attempt to collapse the pocket. Cousins has had difficulties when facing pressure before but, Green notes, the Vikings ability to dominate on the ground with Dalvin Cook gives the quarterback more room to operate. That makes it likely that the Chargers focus will be on slowing the star running back.

“With that said, Dalvin Cook is really how that offense runs. It runs through Dalvin Cook and the run game and that is when they get their opportunities to take some shots,” said Green. “The main key for the Chargers will be trying to shut down Dalvin Cook and making it a one-dimensional type game. If you do make it one-dimensional with Bosa and Ingram coming off the edges, it presents a problem.”

Stopping Cook has proven difficult for defenses this season with the 24-year-old averaging 85.2 yards per game and 4.6 per carry. The Chargers run defense has been just average this year, allowing opponents over 108 yards per game. The Vikes got even better news this week as wide receiver Adam Thielen is reportedly likely to return from the hamstring injury that has kept him out of the past four games. With Thielen in the mix, Green thinks that the Vikings will be able to spread the Chargers pass defense thin having to cover their multiple options.

But, perhaps the biggest advantage the Vikings have in this game is the fact that they still have something to play for. While Kirk Cousins and company are in the thick of the playoff race, the Chargers have been eliminated and are just playing out the string. As a former player, Green knows that situation can be difficult to “keep everybody focused on the task at hand.”

The Chargers and Vikings kickoff the late window for CBS at 3:25 p.m. Central Time.

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Author: Minnesota Vikings News and Updates from WCCO, CBS Channel 4 – WCCO | CBS Minnesota

What’d They Say: Chargers HC Anthony Lynn Preparing for Familiar Faces 

What’d They Say: Chargers HC Anthony Lynn Preparing for Familiar Faces 


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Author: Lindsey Young

Lunchbreak: Kirk Cousins Has Been ‘Under-The-Radar Elite’ in 2019

Lunchbreak: Kirk Cousins Has Been ‘Under-The-Radar Elite’ in 2019


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Author: Eric Smith

NFL announces nominees for Walter Payton Man of the Year Award

NFL announces nominees for Walter Payton Man of the Year Award

The NFL has announced this year’s nominees for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award given each year to a player based on their philanthropic and community work. There’s one nominee per team, each of whom will receive a donation of up to $50,000 to a charity of their choice. The winner of the [more]

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Author: Josh Alper

Kyle Rudolph Announced as Vikings 2019 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Nominee

Kyle Rudolph Announced as Vikings 2019 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Nominee


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Author: Lindsey Young

Dalvin Cook Ready to Go … to California

Dalvin Cook Ready to Go … to California


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Author:

Chargers Could Play Spoilers For Playoff-Minded Vikings

Chargers Could Play Spoilers For Playoff-Minded Vikings

COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Chargers will have an effect on the playoff picture.

Just not the one they hoped for coming into this season, or the position the underlying statistics suggest they should be in.

The Chargers can play spoiler when they host the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, which would help the Los Angeles Rams in their efforts to earn a wild card berth in the NFC. However, Chargers players said that helping out the team they will share a stadium with starting next season is not their main focus.

“We want to win for us,” quarterback Philip Rivers said. “It’s obviously been tough, every loss by one score, and obviously a tough stretch there right in the middle. So we’re playing for us. But certainly there’s a lot on the line for them. You know, the Rams are pulling for us as well, but it will be a heck of a game.”

The Chargers (5-8) were eliminated from playoff contention despite their 45-10 win at Jacksonville on Sunday, an emphatic rout that Rivers said reinforced how disappointing their inability to execute in critical moments has been.

Take away the knack for close losses, as the Chargers are 2-8 in games decided by one score, and most other metrics would indicate a team that should still be in the postseason chase. They are tied for third in yards per play (6.1), rank 11th in yards per play allowed (5.3) and eighth in points per game allowed (19.3). They have a plus-38 scoring differential, three touchdowns better than Pittsburgh, which currently holds the second wild card in the AFC.

But inopportune turnovers, penalties and gaffes have consigned the Chargers to being spectators for the eighth time in the past 10 seasons when the playoffs do arrive.

“It’s tough not to play the ‘what if’ game and the ‘woulda, coulda, shoulda’ game, especially being that the games were all so close, you know, every loss,” Rivers said. “It makes it tougher. Had we been blown out eight times, it’s hard to say we could have done this, could have done that, been sitting here differently. So it does make it tough to not do that, but we can only control what we have left.”

The Chargers already showed what they are capable of against an elite team from the NFC North in a 26-11 home win over Green Bay in Week 9. Now they can do so against the Vikings (9-4), who are one game ahead of the Rams for the second wild card in the NFC.

Rivers and running backs Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler helped the Chargers rack up 442 yards against the Packers, but they struggled in the red zone and on the edge of it to keep the game in doubt for longer than it should have been. Against a fundamentally sound Vikings defense, the Chargers know they will have to execute consistently like they did against the Jaguars.

Ekeler said the way they performed against Jacksonville was important in that it showed the Chargers could play well over the course of a game, not just in stretches. If they can do it again versus the Vikings, he thinks it could be a turning point for their future.

“It’s important for us just to, you know, try to put another consistent win together for us,” Ekeler said Wednesday. “Not necessarily motivated by spoiling them, but just for us, ourselves as individuals and our team.”

And if the Rams happen to benefit from it, “that’s great,” Ekeler said, “but we’re playing for people in this room.”

NOTES: LB Denzel Perryman will return to the starting lineup after he was sent home prior to the game against Jacksonville. “Last week, we had a disagreement, so he went home and he understands, and he’s back,” coach Anthony Lynn said. … CB Michael Davis will start after serving a two-game suspension for a violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy, Lynn said. Second-year CB Brandon Facyson will continue to see action after performing well when Davis was out.

(© Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Author: Minnesota Vikings News and Updates from WCCO, CBS Channel 4 – WCCO | CBS Minnesota

Wednesday’s Vikings-Chargers Injury Report

Wednesday’s Vikings-Chargers Injury Report


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Author: Vikings Digital

How to Watch & Listen to Vikings-Chargers in Week 15

How to Watch & Listen to Vikings-Chargers in Week 15


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Author: Craig Peters

Adam Thielen practicing with Vikings Wednesday

Adam Thielen practicing with Vikings Wednesday

Wide receiver Adam Thielen‘s practice week got off to a good start on Wednesday. Thielen didn’t practice at all last week and missed his fourth straight game on Sunday, but this week has gotten off to a better start. Per multiple reports from the portion of practice open to the media, Thielen is practicing as [more]

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Author: Josh Alper