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Chiefs defense 'took all 11' players to slow RB Cook

The Kansas City Chiefs had been getting tortured by running backs all season. Last week alone, Andy Reid's team gave up 226 scrimmage yards to Green Bay Packers RB Aaron Jones. K.C. had allowed 100-plus yards rushing in six of eight games.

With Dalvin Cook, the NFL's leading rusher, heading to town, it looked like a smash spot for the Minnesota Vikings.

Instead, K.C. did a bang-up job slowing the powerful running back, holding him to 71 rushing yards on 21 carries for a 3.4 yards per attempt average.

"He's a great running back and the best going right now," Reid said, via Herbie Teope of the Kansas City Star. "So, our guys buckled down and took that challenge."

Cook got loose some in the second half, particularly in the screen game, after being held to 40 scrimmage yards on 11 touches (10 carries for 36 yards with a long of 9).

"All that (expletive) talking," Chiefs defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah said of the motivation behind the defensive performance. "We felt like we still got to play. We went out there and did our thing. The game plan that Coach Spags (defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo) had? Shoot. That's all she wrote."

Cook was held to 100 rush yards in consecutive games for the first time this season.

"At the end of the day, we just had to focus on just playing the man in front of us," defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi said. "If Dalvin couldn't get a gap to go to, we got him. Knowing him, he's a strong back, so he's going to try and power through, but it took all 11 of us to really stop all of that."

Getting Chris Jones back in the middle of Spags' defense provided a huge boost for K.C. that can't be understated. Jones compiled a sack, two QB hits, three tackles and a tackle for loss. Pro Football Focus graded Jones as the Chiefs top run defender and also tallied him with three stops.

With the Tennessee Titans and Derrick Henry next on tap, K.C. will need another big day from its run D to keep the momentum going.

"I feel like it's something we've been working on this whole year," defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon said. "We've been getting better every week and I just feel we're going to continue to get better because that was the best running back in the league right now."

With several defensive starters, including defensive end Frank Clark, still missing due to injury, the Chiefs' D could be getting better for the stretch run.

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