NEW ORLEANS — Marcus Williams is inactive and Stefon Diggs is gone, so there is no chance that the Vikings will mimic the Minneapolis Miracle today at Superdome.
I've been walking around New Orleans the last two days. I've been coming to this city for sporting events and vacations for more than 30 years, and this is my strangest trip. Even stranger than those following Hurricane Katrina.
I'll get more into the atmosphere and strangeness of this game in my postgame column.
For now, let's look at the star running backs in this game.
In 2017, five running backs were chosen in the first 67 picks.
Leonard Fournette went No. 4 to Jacksonville. That helped the Jags qualify for one AFC title game but did not last long or end well. He's a role player for Tampa Bay now.
Christian McCaffrey went No. 8. He's a phenomenal runner and receiver who has been hurt most of this season.
Of course, we know now that every team that chose before pick No. 10 should have taken Patrick Mahomes.
The Vikings used the 41st pick on Cook. The Bengals chose Joe Mixon at No. 48. The Saints chose Alvin Kamara at No. 67.
Cook leads the NFL in combined yards rushing and receiving. Kamara leads the league in receiving yards by a running back.
Cook has produced 1,833 yards from scrimmage. Kamara has produced 1,516.
Both are exceptional, well-rounded talents. Cook has been more valuable this year, but the Saints will be judged by what they do in the playoffs, and entering the playoffs with Kamara healthy is more important to New Orleans than getting every possible yard from him now.
I'd take Cook over Kamara, but I'd also be concerned that Cook's usage is so high that his prime may be shortened.
We have our usual team coverage at startribune.com today. Thanks for reading.