The Falcons may have started out 5-0, but things have turned sour for the team playing under first-year coach Dan Quinn. Quarterback Matt Quinn and Co. have now lost four of their last five games and have lost 13 turnovers in the same stretch. If the season would have ended after last week, Atlanta’s 6-4 record placed them one game behind Minnesota in the wildcard race for the playoffs. Therefore, Sunday’s game will be an important one for both teams; a win for the Vikings would be huge, especially after their recent loss to Green Bay.
Let’s see how Minnesota’s offense will match up against the Falcons.
The offensive line has been holding its own, especially considering its patchwork makeup, but Week 11 was a different story entirely. Green Bay’s defense shook the offensive line significantly, and the results were undeniable. The Packers sacked Teddy Bridgewater six times, and beyond that he received plenty of pressure on (seemingly) most plays. The Vikings were the least-penalized team heading into last week, but they finished the game with eight penalties that cost them 110 yards; four of those were against offensive linemen, and three were against tackle Matt Kalil, who has been having a strong season thus far.
The unit also struggled with blocking, unable to create many holes for Adrian Peterson. Atlanta’s defense ranks No. 10 overall, but its pass rushing is not as much of a threat as one might expect, with only 12 total sacks on the season. That being said, there’s no question: Minnesota’s O-line needs to step it up Sunday in order for the Vikings to be successful. Bridgewater had his highest passing yards of the season against Green Bay, despite being on the ground so often; just think what could happen if he had solid protection.