Studs and Duds from Vikings 27-22 Week 13 win vs. Jets

The Minnesota Vikings never make things easy on themselves. They beat the New York Jets by a score of 27-22.

The Vikings had a 20-3 lead with less than a minute before halftime and had a 12 point lead midway through the fourth quarter. They decided to truly test the bend, but don’t break philosophy and stressed out the fanbase to no end.

The game itself was a very competitive one. Both defenses came up big when they needed to, but the Vikings were just a little bit better and got the stop when the desperately needed one.

Here are the Studs and Duds from week 13’s win.

Stud: Dalvin Cook

Dec 4, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (4) celebrates his touchdown against the New York Jets during the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings tried to establish the running game early and Cook was a big part of that. He got things going early with a 21-yard run and scored the Vikings’ first touchdown of the game from four yards out. He looked relatively fresh and saw the field incredibly well all game long. Cook finished with

Stud: Red Zone defense

Dec 4, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith (22) returns an interception off New York Jets quarterback Mike White (not pictured) as cornerback Patrick Peterson (7) and wide receiver Elijah Moore (8) look on during the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings’ method of defense being bend, but don’t break wasn’t more true than it was on Sunday against the Jets. Through the first three quarters, the Jets had gotten into the red zone three times and the Vikings forced field goals on all three possessions. In the fourth quarter, they came up huge, allowing just one touchdown and seven total points, including a game-ending interception by Camryn Bynum. They tightened up massively once the Jets started to approach the end zone with both coverage and pressure.

Dud: Duke Shelley

Nov 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver DeVante Parker (1) catches a pass as Minnesota Vikings cornerback Duke Shelley (20) defends during the third quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings’ hand was forced once again when Akayleb Evans was forced out of the game by the officials after a heavy hit in the third quarter. Shelley came in and got a key pass breakup against Tyler Conklin in the red zone, but on the Jets’ first touchdown drive, Shelley was called for pass interference on Garrett Wilson. The penalty put the ball inside the five-yard line and the Jets scored on a fourth and one quarterback sneak from Mike White. It’s tough to see Shelley make those kinds of mistakes, but he also isn’t supposed to be playing a lot of snaps as the fourth cornerback on the depth chart.

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Stud: Justin Jefferson

Dec 4, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) reacts after a first down as New York Jets safety Jordan Whitehead (3) and defensive end John Franklin-Myers (91) look on during the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The numbers weren’t incredibly flashy because the Jets have one of the best defenses in the National Football League, but Jefferson still found ways to win and get involved. He caught seven passes for a paltry 46 yards on 11 targets, but he was cooking in the short game and ran a beautiful route on his touchdown against D.J. Reed. Despite the limited production, Jefferson was very impactful.

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Dud: Kirk Cousins

Dec 4, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) looks to pass while New York Jets defensive end John Franklin-Myers (91) defends during the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

What happened to Cousins today? He struggled early on missing his first five passes and saw some uncharacteristic misses. Twice in the first half, Cousins threw a corner route while the receiver ran an out route. He was out of sync all day with his receivers, including missing a wide-open T.J. Hockenson on a leak route. These were games that the Vikings would have lost the last four seasons but they found a way to win in spite of Cousins’ poor performance.

Stud: Camryn Bynum

Dec 4, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Camryn Bynum (24) reacts with safety Josh Metellus (44) after an interception late during the fourth quarter off New York Jets quarterback Mike White (not pictured) at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

After a rough outing against the New England Patriots last Thursday, Bynum was excellent on Sunday against the Jets. He knocked the ball up into the air for Harrison Smith to intercept and caught the game-clinching interception. The Vikings needed the performance from Bynum to seal the deal and, with Lewis Cine’s status in doubt long-term, some more performances from Bynum like this will help the Vikings feel good about their secondary.

Story originally appeared on Vikings Wire