BY THE NUMBERS
Dalvin Cook’s carries (41)
Twenty-four-year-old Dalvin Cook probably feels like an old man being asked for help crossing the street every time a reporter worries that he’s carrying the ball too many times.
The Vikings’ third-year player has 41 carries through two weeks of the season. He’s posted consecutive 20-carry games for the first time in his career. And …
“I’m good,” he says.
Cook ranks second in carries behind Colts running back Marlon Mack, who has 45. Cook also has 46 touches while leading the league in yards from scrimmage (311) and rushing (265).
Cook’s 41 carries are the most he’s had in consecutive games as a pro. His 46 touches match the most he’s had in consecutive games as a pro.
“When I go out there, I’m locked in,” Cook said. “I don’t even hear the fans. All I hear is the play call, reading defense and trying to make plays. I don’t get caught up in the whole number of carries. I worked extremely hard in practice to not have to keep up with those things. If a guy is well-conditioned, he’s ready to tote the ball.”
So let’s all just sit back, relax and enjoy however many totes Cook gets.
SPOTLIGHT PLAYER and coach
Mitch Trubisky, Bears QB
Now that kicker Eddie Pineiro has exorcised the double-doink demons in Chicago, Bears fans can go back to worrying about a familiar woe that’s plagued the franchise for eons: quarterback play. Trubisky ranks 32nd in passer rating (65.0). He’s two spots below Jameis Winston and eight behind rookie Kyler Murray. Although it’s a road game, Monday night’s game against Washington should help Trubisky. The Redskins rank 30th defensively, 25th against the pass and 30th in points allowed.
Mike Tomlin, Steelers HC
The vultures have been circling since that 30-point loss to the Patriots in Week 1. Now Ben Roethlisberger is out for the season, James Conner has a knee injury and the Steelers are staring at a very un-Pittsburgh-like 0-3 as they head to San Francisco as six-point underdogs. It’s official all-out us-against-the-world mode for the Steelers’ locker room. Can promising young QB Mason Rudolph and a defense that’s capable of playing much better salvage a lost season?MARK CRAIG