Date and Time: Sunday, 18 October, 2020, noon Central time
Location: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Television Coverage: KSTP-9 in the Twin Cities, FOX affiliates around the country, DirecTV Channel 712
Radio Coverage: Vikings Radio Network, Sirius Channel 134, XM Channel 226, SiriusXM App Channel 820
Line: Vikings -4, Over/Under 54
Chris’ Prediction: Vikings 30, Falcons 27
1) Withstand the early flurry - The Falcons come into this one with an 0-5 record and a new head coach, as they fired Dan Quinn last week and replaced him with Raheem Morris. As weird as it sounds, teams seem to have new energy under new head coaches, and the Falcons could come out of the gate hot. The Vikings need to be able to take that shot and counter it as best as possible.
2) Let Alexander. . .uh, Mattison - Okay, it doesn’t have the same ring as “Let Dalvin Cook,” but since Cook is out for this one, Alexander Mattison is going to get the start and the majority of the work out of the backfield. He did a great job against the Seahawks once Cook went out, and he’s going to be plenty amped to get his first NFL start today. The Vikings need to give him Cook’s workload to balance out the offense.
3) Hit some big plays - The Falcons’ pass defense is, in a word, terrible. They’re dead last in passer rating allowed and second-to-last in passing yardage allowed this season. They’ve also allowed 15 touchdown passes through five games, seven of which have gone to tight ends. That bodes well for Kirk Cousins, Adam Thielen, Justin Jefferson, Kyle Rudolph, and Irv Smith Jr., or at least you would hope that it would.
Know the Foe: The Falcoholic
We will be going back to quarterly Open Threads for this week, as I’m comfortably back at home and not traveling, so keep your eyes out for those. With that, let’s hope that we’ll be celebrating the Vikings’ first home win of the season here in about three hours. If we’re not, I reckon things are going to get a little ugly.