NFL

Dalvin Cook's return powers Vikings past Steelers

Dalvin Cook rushed for 205 yards and two touchdowns in his faster-than-expected return from a shoulder injury, and the Minnesota Vikings held on to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 36-28 by forcing an incomplete pass in the end zone on the final play Thursday night.

Running back rushes for 205 yards and 2 touchdowns

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - DECEMBER 09: Dalvin Cook #33 of the Minnesota Vikings carries the ball in the second quarter of the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at U.S. Bank Stadium on December 09, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Dalvin Cook rushed for 205 yards and two touchdowns in his faster-than-expected return from a shoulder injury, and the Minnesota Vikings held on to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 36-28 by forcing an incomplete pass in the end zone on the final play Thursday night.

Ben Roethlisberger's throw to Pat Freiermuth was on target, but Anthony Barr and Harrison Smith sandwiched the rookie tight end at just the right moment to dislodge the ball and give the Vikings (6-7) a critical victory after they nearly squandered a 29-0 late-third-quarter lead.

All but one of Minnesota's games this year have been decided by eight points or less.

Roethlisberger had touchdown passes to Najee Harris, James Washington and Freiermuth in the second half, and Harris ran for a score, too, as the Steelers (6-6-1) recovered from their abysmal start. The Vikings had a 300-66 advantage in total yards in the first half, but Ahkello Witherspoon intercepted Kirk Cousins twice after halftime to fuel the rally.

Just as vital as all the turf he tore up on the ground was the 17-yard catch Cook made on a seam route on third-and-9 from the Minnesota 26 with 2:38 left. That forced the Steelers to use all their timeouts, leaving Roethlisberger 96 yards and 2:16 to go after Jordan Berry pinned a punt deep against his former team.

Roethlisberger hit Chase Claypool for 48 yards while Bashaud Breeland was committing pass interference to reach midfield. Claypool pulled in a fourth-and-2 slant to reach the Minnesota 34. Diontae Johnson set up the last play from the 12 by taking a crossing route 12 yards out of bounds, but Roethlisberger and the Steelers, who failed on a 2-point conversion try earlier in the fourth quarter, wound up just short.

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now