Minnesota Vikings at Atlanta Falcons: 5 keys to victory


The Minnesota Vikings face a tough challenge this weekend when they head to Georgia to take on the Atlanta Falcons. They need to execute these 5 things to win.

Coming off a big division loss to the Green Bay Packers, the Minnesota Vikings will look to rebound against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, November 29, 2015.

This will be a hard-fought game between two teams looking to make a name for themselves in the NFC. However, if the Minnesota Vikings want to walk out of the Georgia Dome with a victory, they’ll have to play solid football and not make a lot of mistakes.

In fact, I’ve put together a list of my 5 keys to success for the Vikings on Sunday.  Here they are, in no particular order:

  • Keep tabs on Julio Jones. There’s a reason Jones leads in the NFL in receiving yards per game (118.9). He can constantly find separation and make challenging catches. That is why Falcons QB Matt Ryan often looks to him for passing first downs, where the WR is second in the league (57). The Vikings will have to pay close attention to his location on the field at all times.
  • Nov 22, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) looks on during the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers at TCF Bank Stadium. The Packers defeated the Vikings 30-15. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

    Don’t give up on Adrian. When Adrian Peterson is finding success running the ball, the Minnesota Vikings seem to have an easier time in every phase of the offense. However, that will be no simple task since Atlanta is giving up the fewest yards on the ground to opposing teams this season (87.4 yards per game). I’ll be frustrating, but eventually pay dividends.

  • Stop the run. It’s a little weird to be focusing on the running game when Devonta Freeman will likely be sitting this game out, but there’s a bad trend that happens when the Vikings lose. In fact, in each of the three Minnesota losses, the team has allowed a 100 yard rusher.
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    Make quick, accurate passes.

    Teddy Bridgewater has a bad habit of holding on to the ball too long in hopes that something will develop down the field. Atlanta has been holding quarterbacks to the 8th worst quarterback rating in the NFL (83.5), so they’re doing things right when it comes to disrupting the pass game. Minnesota can’t fall into that habit this weekend.

  • Be sure tacklers after the catch. Atlanta is a YAC machine, with star Julio Jones gaining 395 yards after the catch this season and RB Devonta Freeman notching 307. The Minnesota Vikings are typically a disciplined team that brings down ball carriers without letting them do major damage after the catch, but that is definitely a specialty of the Falcons.
  • Those are my five keys to victory for Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons. Do you disagree with my keys? Do you have any that you’d like to add? Be sure to discuss them in the comments below.