Kirk Cousins looks solid against overmatched Raiders

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Vikings dominated in every facet of their 34-14 victory on Sunday, defeating an Oakland Raiders team they gave little chance to do much of anything.

There may not be much to glean from a game against such an overmatched opponent, but the win puts the Vikings at 2-1 -- a good position as they head to Soldier Field for their second NFC North showdown next Sunday.

Knock on wood if you're with me.

QB breakdown: Kirk Cousins earned a much-needed win, restoring some confidence in the quarterback's ability to orchestrate this offense. Cousins completed 15 of 21 passing for 174 yards and a touchdown and finished with a 112.0 passer rating. Most importantly, Cousins didn't turn the ball over and looked confident and in control. The Vikings carved out such a sizable lead that they didn't have to throw in the fourth quarter. Now Cousins needs to perform this way against a stronger opponent. Check back next week when the Vikings play the Bears.

They are who we thought they were: Sunday's win felt like a preseason game. The Raiders are not a very good football team. Derek Carr is not a very good quarterback. This game was over well before halftime because of the way the Vikings outgained and outperformed their out-of-conference opponent from the very start. Carr made some horrendous decisions, missing wide-open receivers with poorly thrown passes (especially on third down), misfiring on a QB draw, handing an interception to Harrison Smith and compounding mistake after mistake on offense. It's still hard to fathom why any team would run up the gut against Minnesota's Linval Joseph on fourth-and-1, which should tell you everything you need to know about the state of this Raiders team. Defensively, Oakland sold out for the run (it didn't work -- the Vikings ran for 211 yards as a team), allowing Cousins to find success in the passing game.

Tough sledding ahead: Dalvin Cook looked fantastic, as he has in every game so far. His output has been the most consistent thing this offense has to offer, averaging 6.5 yards per rush in three games (57 carries, 375 yards, 3 touchdowns) while carving out an important role in the passing game (4 receptions, 33 yards against the Raiders). Cook became the first player to notch 100 rushing yards with a rushing touchdown in each of the first three games of a season since DeMarco Murray did it with the Dallas Cowboys in 2014. Cook became the first player in Vikings history to rush for 100 yards in each of the team's first three games and the first Minnesota player with 100 yards rushing in three consecutive games since Adrian Peterson in 2015. Minnesota may need to change up the way it uses Cook against a Bears run defense that is allowing just 3.0 yards per rush and holding opponents to under 70 yards rushing per game. Taking a page out of Matt Nagy's book by drawing up some misdirection plays out of the backfield and using Cook more regularly as a receiver could be the trick against a tough run defense.