No Adrian Peterson? No Kyle Rudolph? No Brandon Fusco?
The Minnesota Vikings managed to come out of their Week 4 contest against the Atlanta Falcons with a much-needed victory, and they did it with one of the more explosive offensive displays that we've seen in recent history.
Rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater set a Minnesota Vikings' record for passing yards in his first start, and the Vikings scored four rushing touchdowns en route to a 41-28 victory at TCF Bank Stadium.
Bridgewater was brilliant, completing 19-of-30 passes for 317 yards in his first career NFL start. He did not throw a touchdown pass, but he did run for a 13-yard touchdown in the second quarter. He also found Rhett Ellison on a 2-point conversion play in the fourth quarter to make the score 35-28.
The Vikings led at halftime of this game, 24-14, but allowed the Falcons to come back with two third-quarter touchdown drives. The injury situation got so bad for Atlanta that they lost enough offensive linemen to force tight end Levine Toilolo to line up as the team's right tackle for much of the fourth quarter of play.
The Minnesota running game did a lot of damage as well, as the Vikings racked up 241 yards on the ground. Jerick McKinnon had one of the Vikings' most explosive plays of the day with a 55-yard run that led to Bridgewater's touchdown run in the second quarter, and wound up with 135 yards on just 18 carries. Matt Asiata made some fantasy football players pretty happy, as he was responsible for three of Minnesota's four rushing touchdowns on the day.
(EDIT: The original article said that both Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon went over 100 yards. That was erroneous. My apologies.)
Another guy that had a big game was wide receiver Jarius Wright. He got off to a fast start with a 52-yard catch-and-run in the first quarter, and finished up the day with eight catches for 132 yards. Greg Jennings also chipped in with three grabs for 72 yards on the afternoon.
The Minnesota defense, who gave up their fair share of yards and was relatively awful on third downs on the afternoon, sealed the game late with a Harrison Smith interception. The pick led to Blair Walsh's fourth field goal of the afternoon to provide the final margin of victory. Josh Robinson also collected an interception, picking off Matt Ryan's last-second desperation pass.
Vikings fans got a bit of a scare in the fourth quarter, as Bridgewater appeared to twist his ankle attempting to dive into the end zone on a third-and-goal play. Bridgewater stayed in the game and completed the two point conversion following Matt Asiata's third touchdown of the afternoon, but went back to the locker room for x-rays. X-rays came back negative, showing just a sprain for Bridgewater, allowing Vikings' fans to breathe easy.
Both teams move to 2-2 on the season, with the Vikings having a quick turnaround before heading to Green Bay to take on the Packers on Thursday night.
We'll have more on this game in the next day or so. For now, it's time to celebrate another Minnesota victory!