The Atlanta Falcons headed North on Sunday, where they received a 28-12 drubbing at the hands of the Minnesota Vikings.
If you were a Falcons fan, this game was ugly. The Falcons were not just bad, they were abysmally bad. They looked like a team that had not had the advantage of OTAs, training camp, or any preseason games. In fact, Atlanta looked so rusty on Sunday, that it seems doubtful that anything less than copious amounts of WD-40 will fix wait ails them.
There was not a moment in the contest that the Falcons were even it.
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was 33-for-46 with 304 yards and two touchdowns. Unfortunately, Ryan had a matching two interceptions to go with those scores.
Sophomore running back Ito Smith had an ineffectual showing, running only six times for 31 yards. Smith also added a single pass for nine yards
The 12 points the Falcons put on the board were merely trash points, coming in the fourth quarter after the Vikings had already finished scoring, apparently satisfied with the 28 points they put up in the earlier three quarters.
Atlanta fared no better on the defensive side of the ball, giving up 269 yards and 28 points.
The Vikings did a much better job of making the home crowd happy, putting up 28 points and playing stellar defense.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins eight-for-10 with a mere 98 yards and a single touchdown. However, that was not an issue as running back Dalvin Cook seemed to have been assigned scoring duties for the day.
Cook ran for 111 yards on 22 carries, picking up two touchdowns. The young running back added two receptions for eight yards.
Total offense for the Vikes: 269 yards.
The Vikings defense did a five-star job on the Falcons, forcing four punts. The defense also nabbed two Matt Ryan interceptions, forced and recovered one fumble, and stopped a pair of two-point conversion attempts.
“It is hard in this league to make big plays, so when you got the chance to convert on them you have to do so.”
– Vikings RB Dalvin Cook (Cook rushed for 111 yards and two TDs in the Vikings’ win)
Film review: Mike Zimmer teased "out-of-the-box" defensive adjustments this offseason, and we saw one Sunday vs. Atlanta.
Featuring Anthony Barr, the #Vikings' five-man front initiated the Falcons' tailspin: https://t.co/jL8cf1x4qO pic.twitter.com/HeVaR5Ue1s
— Andrew Krammer (@Andrew_Krammer) September 10, 2019
Dalvin Cook finished with 111 Rush yarss and 2 Rush TDs in the #Vikings win over the #Falcons
He is the 2nd #Vikings player with 100 Rush yds and 2 Rush TD in the team's opener (Peterson in 2009)
— Gabriel Schray (@schrayguy) September 8, 2019
#Falcons are getting beat up by the #Vikings, but this is an absolute dime from Matt Ryan. Sick touch. pic.twitter.com/0YXPN7ruAB
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) September 8, 2019
For the Falcons, there is both good news and bad news. On the plus side, the Falcons will play next Sunday night in front of their home crowd. Unfortunately, it’s against a team many NFL pundits have predicted will represent the NFC in this year’s Super Bowl: the Philadelphia Eagles, fresh off of a 32-27 victory over the Washington Redskins.
The Vikings will head to Wisconsin to take on their rival in the Green Bay Packers. The Packers won a low-scoring contest against the Chicago Bears Thursday night in the NFL’s first game of their 100th season.