Can the Minnesota Vikings defeat the Atlanta Falcons this weekend with 2023 fifth-round draft pick Jaren Hall as their starting quarterback?
For the first time in his career, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is going to miss significant time due to an injury after he tore his Achilles trying to avoid a sack against the Green Bay Packers last Sunday.
Just when it seemed that the Vikings were putting it all together and playing their best ball, they lost the leader of their locker room, and their playoff chances took a huge hit.
Still, Minnesota has the ninth-easiest remaining schedule in the NFL, and their defense has started to ramp up their operation.
The Vikings may not need to rely on rookie quarterback Jaren Hall this Sunday as much as people think as long as Minnesota defensive coordinator Brian Flores and his unit continue getting better each week.
Will Hall and the Vikings get the job done against the Atlanta Falcons this week and keep their playoff hopes alive without Cousins and Justin Jefferson on the field?
Well, let's take a look at some reasons why Minnesota has a good chance to leave their upcoming Week 9 matchup against the Falcons.
1. Vikings defensive front > Falcons offensive line
The guys up front for the Vikings' defense have been playing some of their best football the last two weeks. With the NFL's current sack leader, Danielle Hunter, on their side, Minnesota should be able to get to Atlanta quarterback Taylor Heinicke on Sunday, early and often.
The Falcons have given up the fourth-most sacks in the league this season, as their offensive line has struggled all year long in pass protection.
Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores should bring the blitz as much as he possibly can to disrupt Heinicke from getting into any sort of rhythm.
If Minnesota can replicate the performance they had against Christian McCaffery and the San Francisco 49ers run game in Week 7, and force Heinicke to beat them with his arm, then the Vikings should be able to control this game.