Atlanta Falcons vs. Minnesota Vikings Matchup Preview (10/18/20): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream (Watch Online)
Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings are coming off of a heartbreaking loss against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday Night Football. Meanwhile, the Falcons have started off so badly that they have fired Dan Quinn from his head coaching job. Both teams will be looking to win and get back on track this Sunday.
For odds movement and full matchup history, visit the Atlanta Falcons at Minnesota Vikings Matchup Page.
Date: Sunday, January 5th, 2020
Time: 1:05 PM ET
Location: U.S. Bank Stadium – Minneapolis, Minnesota
TV Coverage: FOX
Falcons vs. Vikings Live Stream
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Atlanta Falcons Analysis
The Falcons finally got rid of Dan Quinn and as an Atlanta fan, you should be rejoicing. The team had been set back by terrible roster moves and horrible defensive play-calling for far too long. So far this season it has been a real struggle to watch a Falcons game. The offense plays well, builds a lead, and then Dan Quinn gifts that league back to the other team. It is almost as if he wanted to get fired. Raheem Morris, the defensive coordinator, is now the interim head coach. I do not think that things will be that much better, but hopefully, the firing boosted the spirits in the locker room.
To win this game, Matt Ryan is going to have to be at his best which he was not at, against the Panthers. A horrible interception and a lack of pushing the ball downfield cost the Falcons this game. However, Ryan’s weapons also let him down. There were multiple drops in this game and it seems like Russell Gage is exactly who I thought he was, not a good football player. There is hope that Julio comes back in this game. Regardless if he does, these WRs need to step up. They are playing a joke of a secondary in the Vikings and should pass all over them.
When it comes down to it, the defense will have to get some stops on this Vikings team. This will start with putting a stop to Alexander Mattison on the ground. One thing that the Falcons will look to do is force Mattison outside on his rushes, where he is not nearly as effective. I believe that the speed that his LB core possesses will be enough to slow down Mattison in the passing game and that the Falcons can possibly force Kirk to pass.
The problem with forcing the Vikings into passing downs is that there are no good healthy secondary players in this squad, besides AJ Terrell. However, even Terrell cannot cover Adam Thielen. Then you have the outstanding talent that is Justin Jefferson making plays across from Thielen. What the Falcons will need to do to slow down the passing attack is forget about covering the WRs. Instead, they need to pressure Cousins. Force Cousins to be uncomfortable and he falls apart. Then even with a wide-open WR running down the field, you will likely get a positive play for the defense.
Atlanta Falcons Depth Chart
Minnesota Vikings Analysis
The Minnesota Vikings were heartbroken on Sunday Night Football by the Seahawks. We finally saw some ballsy calls by Mike Zimmer and they backfired. However, they backfired because Mattison choked on the 4th down run. He could have bounced it out for an easy 1st down and score; however, even in the hole he hit, he should have powered through for the 1st down. Now the Vikings are sitting at 1-4, a defense in shambles due to health, and an offense held back by an atrocious guard combination.
Kirk Cousins is going to have to win this game against Atlanta. While that seems okay on the surface, Cousins is a good QB with two elite WRs in Jefferson and Thielen. This should scare Vikings’ fans. This is because Dru Samia at the RG position is the worst player in the NFL. Not the worst guard, but the worst player according to PFF. Brian Dozier on the other side has had his struggles in pass protection as well. When a QB cannot step up in the pocket, it is extremely difficult to go deep, which is why we constantly see wide open WRs for Minnesota down the field, but no targets for them.
Alexander Mattison will have to replace the best RB in the NFL, and I do not believe that he can do that. This team is primed to score big points in this game by rushing the ball and setting up deep passes, but I fear that the Vikings will not be able to put that together. While Mattison had a good showing in Seattle, he has had plenty of drive-killing plays the previous 4 weeks. He cannot make the magic that Cook does when Dru Samia turns into a revolving door on the line. When the Vikings get negative plays on 1st down they are not built to get out of it, and the drive is essentially over.
On the defensive side of the ball, Eric Wilson had his best game ever at LB. I believe that is a great sign for Minnesota and that they should be able to stop Gurley and Brian Hill. The scary part about this game is Matt Ryan against these atrocious CBs. We saw Cameron Dantzler, the supposed #1 for this team, cost the Vikings the game when he forgot how to play defense on 4th down on Sunday Night. Calvin Ridley will be able to exploit this, and if Julio is active it is game over. Matt Ryan will be able to score at will. The Vikings will need Ngakoue and Odenigbo to create tons of pressure this game and help out this young crew of CBs.
Minnesota Vikings Depth Chart
Betting Corner Vikings -3.5
Spread: MIN -3.5
Moneyline: MIN -186 | ATL + 165
I believe that this game stays close throughout. However, I just think that the Falcons will find a way to lose the game like they have been doing the past few weeks. What I do expect is a shootout. When Mattison inevitably gets stuffed a couple of times, Kirk will be forced to air it out. However, being forced to air it out against the Falcons is a good thing. Jefferson, Thielen, Ridley, and Julio, if he plays, should all have huge weeks.
31-24 Vikings over the Falcons.
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Daily Fantasy Picks
Kirk Cousins at $6,100 is a great option at QB. I think that deep shots down the field and huge plays will be the name of the game. To get that at such a cheap price point is a godsend. He is one of my top QBs this week due to the price and the ability to stack with one of two WRs where you know at least one of them is going to score you big points.
Speaking of Minnesota WRs, Justin Jefferson at $6,000 would be my choice to go with. Justin Jefferson had a disappointing game in Seattle; however, I think that he comes back strong against this Falcon’s secondary. Stack Cousins and Jefferson for $12,100 which is an extremely reasonable price point that gives you a bunch of wiggle room.
Julio Jones at $6,700 is a contrarian play that could lead to huge dividends if he is in fact healthy for the game. The Vikings have struggled against big physical deep threats i.e. Metcalf, Mo Allie Cox, etc. Ridley will still have a good game, but I believe that this is Julio’s coveted 30+ point game that he gets each year if he plays. No one on this team can cover Julio and a lot of the attention will be on Ridley. A GPP dream play.