Vikings cornerback Chris Cook has 20 tackles, one sack and a team-high 10 passes defended. He is in his third season but was limited in playing time during the first two by injuries and legal issues.
"I had a lot of time off my first two years," he said. "I'm not saying it's an excuse or anything like that. But I definitely feel I can play better. And, with more reps, I feel I will."
Cook said he is especially excited to play in Washington, D.C., this weekend since he is from nearby Lynchburg, Va.
"I'll be a little more amped up this week," he said.Numbers game
The Vikings are tied for fourth in the NFL with nine drives that have lasted five or more minutes. Of those nine drives, four resulted in touchdowns and eight ended in points.
Chicago ranks first with 11 five-minute drives. The Bears, however, have scored only two touchdowns on those drives. Eight of them have ended in points.
For the entire 2011 season, the Vikings had 18 five-minute drives. This year's total through five games has them on pace for 29.
In addition, the Vikings are tied for eighth in the league with 10 drives that have lasted 10 plays or longer. Four of those 10-play drives have resulted in touchdowns while nine have ended in scores.
And the Vikings lead the league in fewest pre-snap procedural penalties with one. The Packers are second with two.Henderson just plays
Linebacker Erin Henderson returned to the field Sunday after missing two games because of a concussion. He said he had no symptoms during the game.
Jasper Brinkley played so well in nickel situations replacing Henderson that the coaches kept him in that role. Henderson played fewer than 20 snaps against a Titans team but had two tackles for loss.
"I just play football," Henderson said. "I just do what they tell me to do when they tell me to do it. Every time I'm out there I play well. That's all I can control."Better recovery
Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said Christian Ponder's reaction to throwing back-to-back interceptions Sunday was completely different than it would have been during his rookie season last year. Ponder rebounded after the gaffes to complete 12 of 13 passes for 100 yards, two touchdowns and no more picks.
"In the past, those two interceptions, I just think back to a year ago where I would have come over and say, 'Hey, c'mon Christian, get your head up. Let's go. You got to go back out there,'" Frazier said.
"This time, it wasn't necessary. He handled it the way you need the quarterback of your team and one of the leaders of your team to handle it.
"He went over to the bench, looked at the pictures, talked to the coaches and went right back out. He had no ill effects from it. That's a great sign for our players because they look to him and his body language and his approach afterwards."Smith relieved
Harrison Smith was ejected from the Vikings' game Sunday with the Titans for making contact with an official, and expected to be fined or suspended, or both.
But the NFL issued no additional discipline this week for the rookie safety's second-quarter shove of back judge Steve Freeman.
"I anticipate the worst in most things," Smith joked. "Because then you can't be disappointed. ... I'm just happy to get back on the field. That's the main focus."A difficult memory
Adrian Peterson suffered a serious knee injury in a Christmas Eve game against the Redskins at FedEx Field, so Washington coach Mike Shanahan said he was delighted with the Vikings tailback's recovery.
"Watching him on film, you can tell he has worked extremely hard to put himself in the position he's in," Shanahan said. "Everyone was pulling for him. Our players were sick when it happened."