Coming off of the mini-by for the Thanksgiving week, the Minnesota Vikings are now turning their attention to the Atlanta Falcons in their first ever trip to the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in the ATL. These two teams certainly have a history against one another, although we’re not going to spend any time talking about. . .that game in this post. Largely because I don’t want everyone freaking traumatized, because that’s exactly what would happen.
We’re only going to look back at the regular season history between these two teams, and as it stands now both the all-time history and recent history tip in favor of the Vikings. Hopefully it will stay that way this week to give the Vikings a nice start to the season’s home stretch.
As always, the facts and figures used in this post come from the good folks at Pro Football Reference.
Games between the Vikings and the Falcons: 27
All-time record: Vikings, 17-10
Total Vikings’ points scored, head-to-head: 643 (23.8 points/game)
Total Falcons’ points scored, head-to-head: 452 (16.7 points/game)
Longest Vikings’ winning streak against Falcons: 4 (twice, most recently from 22 November 1987 to 8 September 1996)
Longest Falcons’ winning streak against Vikings: 2 (twice, most recently from 21 December 2008 to 27 November 2011)
Most recent Vikings’ road win in series: 29 November 2015 (final score 20-10)
Most recent Falcons’ home win in series: 27 November 2011 (final score 24-14)
Biggest Vikings’ road win in series: 30 points, 20 December 1970 (final score 37-7)
Biggest Falcons’ home win in series: 20 points, 2 October 2005 (final score 30-10)
Current streak: Vikings, 2 wins
Minnesota has taken the last couple of contests from the Falcons, including the teams getting together at the Georgia Dome a couple of seasons ago. The big highlight from that game was Anthony Barr chasing down Tevin Coleman on what had been a huge running play and punching the ball free for Antone Exum to recover. The Vikings’ defense showed up in a big way all afternoon in that one, keeping the Falcons out of the end zone until just after the two-minute warning. That was too little, too late, however. Minnesota’s defense forced three turnovers, including two interceptions of Matt Ryan, and Adrian Peterson’s two rushing touchdowns helped to cement a 20-10 victory over the Falcons.
The start before that? Well, that’s one we all remember. The game was at TCF Bank Stadium, and was the first NFL start for one Teddy Bridgewater. Though Bridgewater did put up over 300 yards passing in his first career start (and ran for his first NFL touchdown), it was Matt Asiata that was the scoring star for the Vikings, as he had one of his patented three-touchdown performances in that contest. Atlanta actually took a 28-27 lead into the fourth quarter, but Asiata’s third score of the day put the Vikings ahead for good, and two field goals from Blair Walsh iced things for the purple as they went on to win, 41-28.
The last time the Falcons knocked off the Vikings was during Minnesota’s dreadful 2011 season. The Vikings went into the Georgia Dome and actually put up a fairly decent fight. However, one play in that game sort of encapsulated the entire Vikings’ season, as Percy Harvin had what is still the longest non-scoring play in NFL history with a 104-yard kick return. That set the Vikings up with first-and-goal from the Atlanta 3-yard line. . .and Minnesota failed to score a touchdown that would have pulled them to within three. The Falcons didn’t need to do much else, as they went on to a 24-14 victory to drop the Vikings to 2-9.
That’s a short look back at the recent history between the Minnesota Vikings and the Atlanta Falcons, folks. Hopefully the Vikings can run their current streak against the Falcons to three in a row.