Previewing This Week’s Vikings Game: Week 9 at Atlanta Falcons
The Minnesota Vikings have climbed all the way back to 4-4 following their 1-4 start to the season.
Of course, they now have to navigate the rest of the season without QB Kirk Cousins, making every game more of a challenge for Kevin O’Connell’s crew. This week is the first test sans-Cousins, and it comes against a fellow 4-4 team: the Atlanta Falcons.
Atlanta is tied for the lead in the NFC South, and like the Vikings, they are trying to jostle for position in the NFC playoff race. Heading into the battle between these two teams, here is everything you need to know about this week’s Vikings game.
How to Watch This Week’s Vikings Game
The game between the Falcons and Vikings is scheduled for 12 PM Central at Mercedez-Benz Stadium on Sunday, November 5th. The game will be broadcast on FOX, so those fans in the Minneapolis area will be able to tune in on FOX9.
Throughout the history of the two franchises, Atlanta and Minnesota have met a total of 32 times, including a pair of playoff matchups. In total, the Vikings are winning the all-time series with a record of 20-12 against their NFC counterparts. Minnesota is also 1-1 against the Falcons in the playoffs, and we all know what happened in their loss to Atlanta.
However, the Falcons won the most recent game between the two teams. They last met on October 18th, 2020, and Atlanta dominated the game to the tune of a 40-23 victory. Prior to that meeting, Minnesota had won four consecutive games in this series.
Trade Deadline Shakes Up Both Rosters
The NFL trade deadline arrived on Tuesday, and both teams were active in the days and hours ahead of the deadline. Atlanta lost their star DT Grady Jarrett to a torn ACL, so they swung a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles to bring in Kentavius Street.
Meanwhile, the Vikings were one of the busier teams on the day of the deadline, making two moves. They traded for Joshua Dobbs, sending a 2024 sixth-round pick to the Arizona Cardinals to bring in the QB. They also traded away Ezra Cleveland to the Jacksonville Jaguars, getting another 2024 sixth-rounder in return.
Vikings Spotlight Player: QB Jaren Hall
Of course, all eyes will be on Vikings rookie QB Jaren Hall this weekend. He is poised to make his first career NFL start against Atlanta, and it comes on the road in a hostile environment. Minnesota drafted him in the fifth round of the 2023 NFL Draft after a strong career at BYU, and now, he has to step up for this team to make a run to the playoffs.
The Falcons defense has been one of the better units in the league this season, particularly against the run. They’ve allowed just 3.8 yards per carry this season and only one rushing TD on the year. This puts even more pressure on Hall to perform at a high level.
Falcons Spotlight Player: RB Bijan Robinson
Bijan Robinson was selected 8th overall in this spring’s draft by Atlanta, and while there are always going to be raised eyebrows when a team selects a running back that highly, Robinson has lived up to it. The rookie already has 655 yards from scrimmage this season as well as three TDs.
Robinson is ninth in the NFL with 466 rushing yards, and he is one of six RBs averaging more than five yards per carry. The Vikings have gotten back on track in part because of their ability to control the clock. They will have their hands full stopping this young playmaker and getting their defense off the field in a timely fashion.
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Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.