4 Vikings players the Panthers should be worried about in Week 12

(Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Dalvin Cook
(Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Dalvin Cook /
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Carolina Panthers
(Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports) Dalvin Cook /

Dalvin Cook – RB

The emergence of Dalvin Cook as the NFL’s best running back is almost complete, especially as Christian McCaffrey has missed most of the campaign through injury. His level of production this season has been nothing short of extraordinary and he will see this game against the Carolina Panthers as another big opportunity to put up some significant numbers.

Cook is the undisputed bell-cow on the Vikings and it is a role he takes extremely seriously. He has accumulated an eye-watering 109 carries in four games since their bye week, which has been the driving force in Minnesota’s turnaround.

The former Florida State standout already has 1,303 all-purpose yards and 14 touchdowns to his name this season. Cook is averaging 5.3 yards-per-carry, has 541 yards-after-contact, and an 89.3 grade from Pro Football Focus to further reflect just how dominant he’s been in 2020.

Stopping the run is something the Carolina Panthers have had trouble with this season. They have progressed somewhat following their dismal efforts in this area of the field in 2019, but much more will be needed moving forward.

Carolina is giving up 116.8 yards-per-game on the ground, which is ranked No. 18 in the NFL. Cook is the biggest force they’ve faced this season and he’ll be looking to stake his claim for the rushing crown with another strong display.