Vikings Shine in Season Opener
The Minnesota Vikings nearly shut out the Atlanta Falcons on their way to winning their season and home opener at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The Vikings came out swinging in the first quarter. Atlanta went three and out on their first drive, and a blocked punt set up a 23-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins to Adam Thielen. Anthony Harris intercepted a Matt Ryan pass intended for Julio Jones, and Dalvin Cook ran in Minnesota’s second touchdown of the day.
The Vikings went three and out to start the second quarter, but Trae Waynes forced a Falcons fumble that was recovered by Harris. Two defensive pass interference penalties kept Minnesota’s drive alive and Cousins found the end zone with a one-yard QB sneak. At the half, the Vikings led Atlanta 21-0.
After the break, Minnesota continued to dominate. The Vikings went three and out to start the third quarter, but Everson Griffen got a well-timed sack on the Falcons’ next possession. Harris caught his second interception of the game in the end zone. Minnesota marched back down the field and Cook found the end zone for his second TD of the game.
The Falcons ended the shutout in the fourth quarter. Ryan found Calvin Ridley for Atlanta’s first touchdown, but the Falcons failed to complete their two-point conversion attempt. With just over a minute remaining in the quarter, the Falcons scored their second touchdown and failed another two-point conversion for a final score of 28-12.
Minnesota turned three Atlanta turnovers into 21 points. Cousins went eight of ten for 98 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions. Cook finished with 21 carries for 111 yards and two touchdowns. Thielen had three catches for 43 yards and a touchdown. Stefon Diggs had two catches for 37 yards. The Vikings’ defense ended the day with two interceptions and four sacks. Dan Bailey kicked a perfect four of four extra-point attempts.
The Vikings improve to 1-0. They will travel to Green Bay on Sunday to take on the Packers.