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Falcons at Vikings: Second quarter recap and third quarter discussion

The Vikings take a three-score lead into the locker room

Atlanta Falcons v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Taking a 14-0 lead into the second quarter, the Minnesota Vikings were finally forced to punt by the Atlanta Falcons’ defense, as we got to see Britton Colquitt in purple for the first time. The Vikings had gained a first down into Atlanta territory on their first play of the second quarter, but a penalty on Riley Reiff wiped it out and things unraveled from there.

The Falcons then put together their best drive of the afternoon so far, pushing near the red zone. However, the Vikings’ defense stepped up big again, as Trae Waynes forced a Devonta Freeman fumble, and it was recovered by Anthony Harris to squelch the threat.

Atlanta gave the Vikings a hand on the next drive, committing a couple of third down penalties to give the purple free first downs. Alexander Mattison missed his first NFL touchdown by a few inches, as he had a long run where he was pushed out of bounds inside the 1. On second-and-goal, Cousins went over on a sneak for the touchdown, and Dan Bailey’s extra point made the score 21-0 with just under five minutes left in the quarter.

After the touchdown, Cousins did this:

I have no idea what that is. I’m not sure if he knows what that is.

That’s how the second quarter ended, as neither team was able to add any more to the scoreboard, and the Vikings head into the locker room with a 21-0 lead.

The big story of the first half was the Vikings running game, and specifically Dalvin Cook. Cook carried the ball 12 times for 74 yards and a touchdown, and has been getting big chunks of yardage throughout the first half. Alexander Mattison has chipped in as well, toting the rock four times for 39 yards, including the longest run of the game, a 23-yarder that set up the Vikings’ third touchdown.

The passing game hasn’t done much today and. . .well, they haven’t really had to. Cousins has completed five-of-seven passes for just 47 yards. Half of those yards belong to Adam Thielen, whose 23-yard touchdown pass to open the scoring makes him the team’s leading receiver. Cook has two catches for nine yards, Chad Beebe has one catch for nine yards, and Stefon Diggs has one catch for six yards.

Minnesota’s defense has been stout, with Danielle Hunter and Anthony Barr each collecting sacks of Matt Ryan for the Vikings early on. The total yardage figures for both teams are about the same, with the Vikings picking up 167 yards of total offense to the Falcons’ 166, but the Vikings have taken advantage of several Atlanta mistakes to build their margin.

We’re ready for the second half of the 2019 season opener at U.S. Bank Stadium, with the Vikings holding a 21-0 lead over the Atlanta Falcons and getting the ball first to start the second half of play. Come on in and watch the game with us, won’t you?