Week 6 Recap: Atlanta Falcons vs. Minnesota Vikings

Matt Ryan

The Atlanta Falcons finally scored their first win of the season against the Minnesota Vikings. This game was expected to be a high-scoring affair. However, the point margin that the Falcons were able to put up against the Vikings was not. The Vikings were non-existent in the first half allowing the Falcons to run away with this one in a big way.

For Atlanta, it was the status quo. Quarterback Matt Ryan threw for 371 passing yards and four touchdowns. Likewise, Julio Jones hauled in two touchdown catches and 137 receiving yards. Jones had struggled to get involved in the offense in the early weeks. However, against Minnesota, he was Ryan’s favorite target leading the team in targets (10) and receptions (eight). Combining the Falcons offensive performance with the Vikings lack thereof through the first half, Atlanta cruised to a 40-23 victory.

Defensively, the Falcons were able to force Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins into several mistakes. Thus, Cousins threw three interceptions in the first half, including the first play from scrimmage. Linebacker Deion Jones snagged a pass out of the air, putting a bad taste in the Vikings’ mouth from the get-go. Jones would also break up two other pass attempts. Fellow linebacker Foyesade Oluokun and rookie cornerback A.J. Terrell would also grab an interception off of Cousins. Terrell also led the Falcons in tackles this week with seven and picked up a tackle for loss. The Falcons defense held the Vikings to just 210 total yards until their final two drives. 

For the Vikings, not much else could have gone wrong for the majority of this game. Minnesota could not get the ball moving on the ground as Alexander Mattison had just 10 carries and 26 rushing yards. As mentioned, Cousins threw three picks, and the offense could not get anything going until they were down by 26 points in the fourth quarter. The defense allowed too many big plays, including a fourth-down attempt from Atlanta that saw Julio take a pass 40 yards to the house.

The Vikings should not lose all hope. Wideout Justin Jefferson had a phenomenal performance in the Vikings loss taking nine receptions for 166 yards and two touchdowns. Jefferson how has surpasses 100 receiving yards three times this season. Despite the performance, the Vikings failed to put it all together with a dismal run game, no points in the first half, and a poor defensive performance.


Jones hauls in a 20-yard pass from Ryan for the score.

Ryan tosses it to Jones for a 40-yard touchdown on fourth down.

Jefferson hauls in a 49-yard touchdown pass from Cousins.

Moving forward, the Falcons have proven they have an excellent offense. Ryan has made several connections with Jones and Calvin Ridley through the first six weeks. However, the offense isn’t good enough to continually make up for the defense. Luckily the Vikings shot themselves in the foot a lot this game preventing the shootout we all thought this game would be.

For Minnesota, Cousins needs to play better. The Vikings defense does not look good at all right now, and if the offense isn’t able to keep them in games, they will lose several more in the same fashion. Hopefully, running back Dalvin Cook will be able to return in Week 7 after the Vikings bye week and bring some life back into their offense.

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