158 yards and two touchdowns rushing from Adrian Peterson helped the Vikings knock off the Atlanta Falcons 20-10 improving their overall record to 8-3 on the season.
Anthony Barr forced two fumbles and Captain Munnerlyn and Terence Newman each intercepted Matt Ryan as the defense held the Falcons to 22 first downs and 329 total net yards.
Teddy Bridgewater connected on 20-of-28 attempts for 174 yards and 1 interception. Kyle Rudolph was his top target on the day grabbing 7 receptions for 53 yards while Stefon Diggs caught 4 balls for 33 yards. Bridgewater hit 7 different receivers helping the Vikings convert on 7-of-12 third down opportunities.
Peterson’s 1-yard touchdown run gave the Vikings an early 7-0 lead in the first quarter as the Vikings marched 78-yards on a nice 13 play drive on their second possession of the game.
Atlanta got on the board with a second quarter 31-yard field goal from Shayne Graham after Bridgewater was picked off trying to find Kyle Rudolph in the end zone on a 2nd-and-8 from the 22 yard line.
The Falcons took the opening second half drive all the way to the Minnesota 10 yard line. An incomplete pass and an Antone Exum -4 yard tackle for loss set up a big 3rd-and-14 in the red zone. Newman then picked off Ryan in the end zone deflating the Falcons drive.
The defense came up big again in the fourth quarter with the Vikings holding on to a 13-3 lead with 4:40 to play and the Falcons faced with a big 4th-and-1 from mid field. Atlanta lined up with a 5 receiver set and Zimmer blitzed Barr from the A gap up the middle and stripped sacked Ryan before he had time to set and fire the pass.
The Vikings offense may have won the time of possession battle, but it was an opportunistic defense that earned the win.