Say it along with me, ladies and gentlemen. . .it wasn't necessarily pretty, but it certainly wound up being effective.
On the back of a powerful defense and another great performance by Adrian Peterson, the Minnesota Vikings physically dominated the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday afternoon, leaving the Georgia Dome with a 20-10 victory and a one-game lead in the NFC North.
After the teams exchanged punts on their first possession, the Vikings got on the board first. Teddy Bridgewater led a very impressive drive down the field, completing 5-of-7 passes on the drive, and Adrian Peterson took the ball over from the 1-yard line to give the Vikings an early 7-0 lead. Each team then had a turnover, after Anthony Barr popped the ball away from Falcons' running back Tevin Coleman for a fumble that was recovered by Antone Exum Jr. On the ensuing drive, the Vikings pushed deep into Atlanta territory, but Bridgewater was intercepted in the end zone by Ricardo Allen.
Atlanta got on the board next, as substitute kicker Shayne Graham hit a 31-yard field goal to cut the Minnesota lead to 7-3. That's how they wound up going to the locker room for the half, thanks to a Captain Munnerlyn interception of Matt Ryan late in the second quarter. Blair Walsh missed a 51-yard field goal attempt on the ensuing drive to keep the halftime score at 7-3.
Minnesota got the first points of the second half, but they didn't come until late in the third quarter, as Walsh connected on a 29-yard field goal attempt to make the score 10-3. The Vikings then made it a two-score game midway through the fourth, as Walsh connected from 39 yards out to make it 13-3. After another Atlanta turnover, Adrian Peterson put the icing on the cake with a 35-yard touchdown run to make the score 20-3. The Falcons did get a late touchdown pass from Matt Ryan to Nick Williams to make it 20-10, but it was too little, too late.
Looking at the stats, Teddy Bridgewater had a pretty efficient game. He completed 20-of-28 passes for 174 yards and an interception. The star, however, was Peterson, who carried the ball 29 times for 158 yards and two scores. In the receiving column, Kyle Rudolph had a career-high seven receptions for 53 yards.
On the Atlanta side, Matt Ryan completed 22-of-31 passes for 230 yards and a touchdown, but also had two critical interceptions that really hurt the Falcons' chances of winning this one. Tevin Coleman did go over the century mark, carrying the ball 18 times for 110 yards. Jacob Tamme wound up leading the Falcons in receiving with five catches for 69 yards. The Vikings managed to hold Julio Jones to just 56 yards on five receptions.
The Vikings now move to 8-3 on the season, and have their first four-game road winning streak since 1998. They will host the Seattle Seahawks (5-5, playing the Pittsburgh Steelers in the late games) at TCF Bank Stadium next weekend. The Falcons fall to 6-5 on the year, and will travel to Tampa Bay to take on the Buccaneers next weekend.
The Minnesota Vikings get another victory, defeating the Atlanta Falcons by a score of 20-10 at the Georgia Dome. Thanks to everybody that got their coverage of this weekend's game right here at The Daily Norseman!