Minnesota Vikings studs and duds: Kirk Cousins comes up short in the clutch

Minnesota Vikings, T.J. Hockenson. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
Minnesota Vikings, T.J. Hockenson. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) /
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Who were the studs and duds for the Minnesota Vikings as they finally lost a one-score game with the New York Giants eliminating them from the playoffs?

The Minnesota Vikings had a great season but it came to an abrupt end in the Wild Card Round as they had no answers for Daniel Jones and the New York Giants.

Minnesota continued to fight in this one but it wasn’t enough as they lost 31-24 as Kirk Cousins threw it short on fourth and eight in the final minutes. Here, we look back at the game and identify who stood out as studs and duds for the Vikings.

Minnesota Vikings studs and duds from Wild Card Round loss

Danielle Hunter, Minnesota Vikings
Danielle Hunter, Minnesota Vikings. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) /

Stud: Danielle Hunter, EDGE

Looking at the box score, it might be hard to believe anyone on the Minnesota defense played well. That wasn’t the case though as Danielle Hunter was one of the standouts for them.

Hunter finished with four tackles and one sack but was disruptive all game. He had his way with Evan Neal and forced Daniel Jones to move around in the pocket often. Minnesota ended up getting gashed when Jones would take off but Hunter was doing his job all game.

Dud: Dalvin Tomlinson, DT

Dalvin Tomlinson did step up with one big tackle for a loss but he also missed on a couple of plays. Early in the game, he took a bad angle on Daniel Jones and was nowhere near quick enough to catch up afterward.

But the play that will really haunt him came midway through the fourth quarter. With the game tied up at 24, Tomlinson made it into the backfield on a goal-line play and had Saquon Barkley in his grasp. The New York running back was able to keep his legs moving and wound up scoring to take a 31-24 lead.

Barkley is a tough player to bring down but the Vikings signed Tomlinson to a big contract to make stops like that. And at 325 pounds, he should be able to come through when he squares up on any running back.