The Minnesota Vikings defeat the Atlanta Falcons in season opener

Andrew Neururer
Sports Editor

The Minnesota Vikings started off the regular season with an impressive win over the Atlanta Falcons Sunday in Minneapolis. 

After a rather disappointing 2017-18 Vikings season, in which they failed to make the playoffs just a year removed from the NFC Championship game, the team is looking onward to a big year. That looks to be the case in the early going after the team defeated the Falcons 28-12.

Minnesota jumped out to a 28-0 lead, before Atlanta scored two touchdowns in garbage time. The Falcons tried going for the two-point conversion but came up short each time.

Minnesota was firing on all cylinders in Sunday’s victory. On offense, they didn’t have to pass the ball often because of how good its run game was. Running Back Dalvin Cook returned to action, healthy and performed well. After an injury riddled first two seasons in the NFL, Cook racked up 111 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carriers – averaging 5.3 yards per carry.

In fact, Cook joins Adrian Peterson as the only two Vikings who have ran for over 100 yards and two touchdowns in the season opener. 

Rookie running back Alex Mattison had a great first game of his career. Much like the success Cook had, Mattison ran the ball for 49 yards on 9 carriers. 

Quarterback Kirk Cousins had his lowest game of passing attempts in his career with just 10. In the small sample size, he was effective, completing 80% of the passes for 98 yards and a touchdown.

Minnesota State product Adam Thielen, picked up right where he left off last season, grabbing 43 yards and the Vikings only receiving touchdown.

Minnesota’s boasted a strong defense in recent years and it was on full display against the Falcons. The Defense came away with two interceptions and a fumble recovery. To go along with that the team had four sacks.

Anthony Harris was the team’s Most Valuable Player this Sunday. He came away with five total tackles and accounted for the team’s three turnovers.

The offense and defense were great in the dominating victory, but the special teams came up just as big.

The Kicking situation hasn’t been the greatest, but Dan Bailey connected on all four extra point attempts. 

To go along with Bailey and the rocky kicking situation, Minnesota signed veteran punter Britton Colquitt in recent weeks. He looked good in his first game in purple and gold, punting five times for an average of 49.4 yards and his longest being 57. 

Minnesota also blocked the Falcons punt, which ultimately allowed the Vikings to score on Cousins pass to Thielen.

It was a great victory for Minnesota who dominated in all three categories. They’ll now travel to Lambeau Field to take on division rival, Green Bay Packers. This will be a good test for the Vikings and it marks the first time they go head-to-head with Aaron Rodgers this season. That game will take place at noon on Sunday, Sept. 15.

Header photo courtesy of the Associated Press.

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