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Minnesota Vikings at Atlanta Falcons: First Quarter Open Thread

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Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
MINNESOTA VIKINGS (9-2) WK 13 ATLANTA FALCONS (7-4)

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Date: 3 December 2017
Location: Atlanta, GA
Time: 12:00 PM Central Stadium: Mercedes-Benz Stadium
TV: FOX
DirecTV Ch 711
Radio: Vikings Radio Network
XM Ch 82 (ATL)
Sirius Ch 137
TV Announcers: Kevin Burkhardt
Charles Davis
Know Thy Foe: The Falcoholic
Weather: Indoors
Line: Atlanta -3, Over/Under 47.5 (Thanks to the SB Nation odds page)
Chris' Prediction: Vikings 23, Falcons 20
Final Score: Vikings 14, Falcons 9

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With the mini-bye for the Thanksgiving holiday behind us, it is once again time for Minnesota Vikings football! This week, the Vikings take to the road for the second game of their three-game road swing by heading into Mercedes-Benz Stadium to take on the Atlanta Falcons, who are in a battle for the top of the NFC South.

So, what do the Vikings have to do to chalk up their eighth win in a row and get to a 10-2 record on the season?

1) Continue running the football - The Vikings' run game had a tough go of it last week in Detroit, but the Falcons' run defense has been suspect even during their recent three-game winning streak. They've allowed 112 yards/game on the ground over the past three weeks, and that's something that Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon need to take advantage of this week. If the Vikings can keep Case Keenum and company in manageable down and distance situations, they should be able to make some plays against a depleted Atlanta defense.

2) Don't let the Atlanta run game get on track - The Falcons have their own two-headed monster at running back in the form of the returning Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. A lot of the Atlanta offense centers around being able to move the ball on the ground, and the Vikings need to be able to slow those two guys down. If they can keep putting the Falcons behind the chains, they can let the NFL's best third down defense come after Matt Ryan to snuff out Atlanta possessions. This is essential, as the Falcons aren't really the sort of team you can get into a shootout with.

3) Keep limiting mistakes - The Vikings continue to do a good job of not turning the ball over, but they've had some special teams issues in recent weeks. Against a team like the Falcons, those sorts of things need to be corrected. As is the case against most opponents, if the Vikings can keep themselves from giving the Falcons short fields, they're going to have a hard time scoring points against this defense.

We are less than an hour away from kickoff at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, ladies and gentlemen. As always, keep your eyes peeled for the new Open Thread at the start of each quarter, and enjoy today's game!

SKOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL VIKINGS!!!!