Handing out midseason awards for the 2019 Vikings

There are plenty of candidates for offensive MVP.
Publish date:
Dalvin Cook

With the Vikings halfway through their schedule in 2019, it's time to hand out midseason awards.

After a rocky start in which it seemed the sky was falling and Minnesota was just 2-2 through four weeks, the team has rattled off four consecutive victories.

Although Kirk Cousins has looked much more like the quarterback the team hoped he would be in his second season in Minnesota, he doesn't get the nod for offensive MVP yet. 

Offensive MVP

With so many playmakers on this offense, there are plenty of candidates to choose from but Dalvin Cook gets the nod here.

Through eight games, Cook leads the NFL with 823 rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns. He's also averaging 5.3 yards per carry, and 139 all-purpose yards per game.

If Cook keeps up this pace, he'll finish with 1,646 rushing yards and well over 2,000 total yards. 

With the running game and play action so effective, it's safe to assume the offense runs through Cook from here on out. I he goes down with an injury, things could go off the rails quickly.

Defensive MVP

Similar to the offense, multiple players should be in consideration for defensive MVP. To name a few: Eric Kendricks, Harrison Smith and Anthony Harris, but I have to lean towards defensive end Danielle Hunter.

Hunter, who's still just 24 years old in his fifth NFL season, has eight sacks, 10 tackles for a loss and 39 total tackles this season.

Even before Thursday's game against Wasington, Hunter had 49 pressures through seven games, according to Pro Football Focus. 

J.J. Watt holds the site's record of 119 pressure in 2015 and Hunter could be in line to challenge that.

Because of his dominant season, Hunter should be in line for not only All-Pro status but he also should be in the conversation for the league's defensive MVP.

Rookie of the Year

First-round pick Garrett Bradbury is starting to get comfortable after a shaky start, but Minnesota's draft class as a whole has already made contributions to this year's 6-2 campaign.

Second-round tight end Irv Smith Jr. and seventh-round wide receiver Bisi Johnson have had their moments, but Alexander Mattison has made the biggest difference this season. 

Drafted in the third round to back up Cook and replace Latavius Murray, Mattison has gone above and beyond the call of duty.

Through eight games, the former Boise State standout has 331 rushing yards and 14 first downs while averaging just under five yards per carry.

I'm not sure there's a statistic to measure this, but Mattison has to lead the league in yards taken away due to penalties. Even in the Washington game alone, there were multiple flags that negated big rushing yards. That could've easily been a 100-yard game for the rookie. 

The Vikings have used Mattison a ton in the 4th quarter to put games away, which is a huge reason why Cook has remained healthy this season.

People love to rag on Rick Spielman for always trading down and sometimes getting too cute in the draft, but you have to tip your cap to the general manager because this has been one of his most successful draft classes to start a season in his tenure.

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