Atlanta Falcons’ Timing Is Perfection for Vikings

Ex-Vikings DT Heads to Falcons
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From the moment the Minnesota Vikings saw Kirk Cousins leave for the Atlanta Falcons, the opponent on their schedule took on a heightened level of performance. It was known to be a home game, but following the NFL schedule release, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.

Atlanta Falcons’ Timing Is Perfection for Vikings

Atlanta was set on paying Kirk Cousins this offseason, and it seemed they were also intent on not allowing anyone to get in their way. Being investigated for tampering and offering him a sum that would almost always go unmatched, they should have never truly felt in jeopardy of him being outbid.

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Set to be their starter out of the gate and into the foreseeable future, the Atlanta Falcons are betting on Kirk Cousins being the difference maker to get them to the Super Bowl. Desmond Ridder certainly wasn’t it, and Taylor Heinecke didn’t have that upside either. Grabbing a veteran playcaller to pair with Drake London and Kyle Pitts is a logical decision.

For the Minnesota Vikings, it’s great that the matchup with Atlanta doesn’t come in Week 1 or even in the first half of the season. Kevin O’Connell’s team has plenty of exciting narratives to work through on their own, and Cousins returning to U.S. Bank Stadium would all but dominate those out of the gate.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports | Nov 18, 2023; College Park, Maryland, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) on the field against the Maryland Terrapins during the first half at SECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports.

Sam Darnold is expected to start for the Minnesota Vikings in Week 1, but Week 14 represents a very real chance that rookie J.J. McCarthy will have taken over. If that happens to be the case, then Cousins’ return will come against the guy who replaced him for the franchise he spent the past handful of years with.

Watching McCarthy go up against Cousins at U.S. Bank Stadium would be a welcomed showdown for even the former Vikings quarterback’s biggest supporters. It isn’t as though Cousins left on bad terms, but he chased dollars again, leaving the franchise in a position where an incoming rookie could play hero.

Bijan Robinson Slyly
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It remains to be seen how competitive Minnesota will be this season, and much of that should be figured out by the time Atlanta comes to Minneapolis. A pair of good teams meeting with all the storylines at U.S. Bank Stadium would provide quite the homecoming.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.