Minnesota Vikings vs Falcons: Experts like the purple and gold in Week 1

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Trae Waynes
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Trae Waynes /

Week 1 in the NFL is hard to predict because of how the teams haven’t really been tested but experts think the Minnesota Vikings could beat the Falcons.

The NFL’s regular season has finally arrived and the Minnesota Vikings will face off against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 1. This will be one of the biggest challenges for the purple and gold as they should be tested by a high-powered offense and strong defense.

Trying to figure out who will win the game is tough. Since no regular-season games have been played by either team, there is a limited amount of tape on the teams and expectations are the only real measuring stick, seeing how experts view the matchup can be a lot of fun.

Let’s take a look at each team and which experts think the Minnesota Vikings will win in Week 1 and who belives the Atlanta Falcons will emerge as the victors.

Picking the Vikings

  • Bleacher Report – Michelle Bruton: Vikings 24-21
  • Bleacher Report – Kristopher Knox: Minnesota 27-25
  • CBS Sports – LaCanfora, Brinson, Wilson, Breech, Richard, Eisenberg
  • Complex.com: Adam, Zion, Angel
  • ESPN – McClure, Cronin: “Miami friends and former Florida State Seminoles Dalvin Cook and Devonta Freeman will each go for 100 rushing yards. But it’s Cook and the Vikings who come up with the win.” – McClure.  Vikings 24, Falcons 21
  • NFL.com: Bowen, Clay, Kimes, Riddick, Seifert, Wingo
  • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – Gerry Dulac: “Are there two more overpaid quarterbacks in the league than Matt Ryan and Kirk Cousins?” Vikings, 27-24
  • SBNation: Brady, Hardy, McDonald, Schwartz, White, Damien
  • Yardbarker – Chris Mueller: “Dalvin Cook is healthy after a knee injury in his rookie season and a hamstring problem that plagued him last year.” Vikings 34 Falcons 31

The reason for picking the Vikings is pretty simple. The team kept their defensive nucleus intact for the most part and should return as a dominant force. In the past, Xavier Rhodes has done a good job against Julio Jones, who is known for taking control of a game.

Meanwhile, the team has improved its offensive line and plenty of great weapons. Dalvin Cook is healthy and Kirk Cousins should love having Adam Thielen and other pass catches available to show off what should be a high-powered offense.

Picking the Falcons

  • CBS Sports – Prisco, Dubin
  • CBS Sports – Cody Benjamin: “This might be the toughest Week 1 game to pick. Minnesota is really well-rounded, and Kirk Cousins and Co. will have the benefit of opening at home.” Falcons 26, Vikings 23
  • Complex.com – Chopz: ” Yes, they’re on the road, but I really don’t trust Kirk Cousins.”
  • NFL.com: Golic, Graziano, Wickersham
  • SBNation: D’Andrea, Stites, Rosie
  • Sporting News – Tadd Haislop: “Even though Atlanta is on the road, it has the better quarterback and, at this point, the more athletic defense.” Falcons 31, Vikings 27

The Falcons offense is built around Julio Jones. While they have a strong running game with Devonta Freeman and talented receivers in Mohamed Sanu and Calvin Ridley, they will need strong offensive line play against a tough Vikings pass rush.

Defensively, Atlanta has talent but have underachieved in the past. If they can put things together to pair their offense and defense, the Falcons could be one of the top teams in the league this year and once again be a contender to reach the Super Bowl.

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This is a game the Minnesota Vikings should be able to win. Since the contest is a home game and the purple and gold are relatively healthy, it would be disappointing to see them lose to the Falcons. Still, anything can happen on any given Sunday.