To get their big Week 13 matchup against the Minnesota Vikings underway, the Atlanta Falcons won the coin toss and chose to defer to the second half, giving the Vikings the football first. Marcus Sherels took a short kickoff from Matt Bosher and took it to the 24-yard line to start the drive. Case Keenum started things up with a short screen pass to Stefon Diggs for 13 yards and a first down. However, the Vikings couldn’t convert on 3rd-and-3 as Robert Alford knocked a pass away from Diggs to stop the drive. Ryan Quigley’s punt was fair caught by Andre Roberts at the Atlanta 22-yard line, setting Atlanta up for their first possession of the afternoon.
Matt Ryan led the Falcons’ offense out on the field, and the Vikings’ defense appeared to have had a three-and-out, but Mackensie Alexander was flagged for interference against Mohamed Sanu to give the Falcons a first down. Atlanta then converted another third and long on a pass from Ryan to tight end Levine Toilolo, and the Falcons were into Minnesota territory at the 48. A penalty on the Falcons for an illegal block in the back pushed them back ten yards, and a pass from Ryan to Tevin Coleman brought up a 4th-and-2 at the Minnesota 39-yard line. Dan Quinn and company elected to go for it, and Ryan found Coleman again for a big 15-yard gain down to the Minnesota 24.
Atlanta was then flagged for another holding penalty to push themselves backwards again, putting them into a 1st-and-17. The Falcons couldn’t overcome that, however, and called on Matt Bryant for a 38-yard field goal attempt. Bryant drilled the kick, and the Falcons took an early 3-0 lead.
Bosher’s kickoff was downed for a touchback by Sherels, giving the Vikings’ offense a start at their own 25 on their second possession. A holding penalty on the Falcons gave the Vikings a fresh set of downs. Keenum then found C.J. Ham on a screen, and he battled for 12 yards and another first down. Keenum then found Jerick McKinnon for another first down, and the Vikings were into Atlanta territory at the 39. After a long pass from Keenum to Diggs was (correctly) ruled out of bounds, the Vikings had to bring Quigley in to punt it away once again. Quigley did a great job on the punt, angling it towards the corner and getting it to go out of bounds at the 2-yard line.
Atlanta took over at that spot, and the Vikings’ defense forced a three-and-out. Atlanta had to bring Bosher on to punt the ball away, and Sherels called for a fair catch at the Minnesota 48-yard line. As we move to the second quarter, the Vikings are looking at a 2nd-and-2 from the Atlanta 45-yard line after a nice run by Latavius Murray.
We are through one quarter of football in Atlanta, and the Falcons have a 3-0 lead. Come on in and join us for the second quarter of play!