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Expect To See More Of The Same From The Falcons Defense In Week 4

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The Falcons will likely attack at the Vikings as they attacked the Buccaneers.

Scott Cunningham

The Falcons are unlikely to blow the Vikings to Valhalla in the same way they did to Tampa Bay on Thursday, but there's reason to believe the defensive gameplan will be much the same against Minnesota.

The reasons for that should be immediately evident. The Falcons went with lighter, more agile defensive fronts throughout much of the Buccaneers game because they didn't really fear Bobby Rainey and they knew they could attack Josh McCown with success. That meant guys like Jonathan Massaquoi, Stansly Maponga and Corey Peters got more snaps, and they were rushing the passer at a much greater clip with those snaps.

Looking at the Vikings offense, you'd be hard-pressed to argue against the team choosing to repeat that strategy. Adrian Peterson isn't with the team, leaving plodding Matt Asiata and raw Jerick McKinnon as the team's top two running backs. Matt Cassel has thrown four picks against three touchdowns, and he's absorbed six sacks against the Patriots and Rams. The Vikings aren't a dynamic offensive team to begin with, and with Cassel under center and AP out, they're even less potent. Gotta take advantage of that.

The difference? The Vikings have the extremely dangerous Cordarelle Patterson, the kind of player that the Falcons have struggled to stop in 2014 thus far, and a much better offensive line than Tampa. That alone will likely prevent the Falcons from being as aggressive as they truly want to be, but I'd still expect Nolan to enter the game with an attacking mindset. Forcing Cassel into mistakes and putting together a quality offensive performance should put the Falcons in an excellent position to win.

If you were Nolan, how would you go after the Vikings offense?