I've predicted everything but a loss this year but after last week, I feel like the Vikings are the superior overall team. The Falcons are still plenty capable of winning this game, but they will have to find a gear on offense they have lacked since September. This is the first strong team the Falcons have played in a while, and this will be the week where we see whether or not this Falcons team can rise to the occasion. Most of their games have been close, and I expect this one - win or lose - to be no exception.
Falcons 27 - Vikings 24
It's really weird, actually, if we were playing pretty much anyone else right now, I'd be predicting a loss here. I just have some weird, innate feeling we pull out a victory here. Matt Ryan, whether you know it or not, played probably his best game of November last week, and the defense played more than well enough to win. Atlanta is due a win, and I think it happens at home with their playoff dreams on the line.
Falcons 24 - Vikings 21
I don't know why, but I feel like the team was actually improving in the game against the Colts. The defense played a solid game and the offense moved well, but costly turnovers again did the team in. At some point, these mindless turnovers have to stop, and I'm going out on a limb and saying they stop this Sunday. The Vikings are a tough team - and the Falcons will have their hands full - but I refuse to give up on this team, even if everything I see is telling me this looks like a loss.
Falcons 16 - Vikings 24
The Falcons defense is a little overlooked right now, but the offense has been averaging under 18 points per game since the Texans game. The Vikings are a solid team and the Falcons are an offensive mess. The defense should keep the game close enough to get your hopes up, but without Matt Bryant or Devonta Freeman, this offense will be putrid.
Falcons 14 - Vikings 27
I'm just going to start picking the Falcons to lose every week since I keep expecting them to win and I've been consistently wrong lately. If the offense gets in sync, they can definitely beat the Vikings, but that doesn't feel particularly likely with Devonta Freeman out and considering the way the offense has looked over the past several weeks.
Nathan Butler Jr.
Falcons 24 Vikings 17
Although that Colts game fell apart in the second half, I truly think this team will be hungry for a win. Matt Ryan and the passing offense will be a huge part of why I think we'll win on Sunday. I don't think the Vikings secondary will be able to contain a phenom like Julio Jones. I am also expecting a surprisingly solid game from Tevin Coleman as well. Yes, he's been a turnover waiting to happen; however, I think he's talented enough to provide impact for a rushing attack that will be without Devonta Freeman on Sunday. Like every Falcons game, this won't be an easy game but I think Atlanta holds on for a close win
Falcons 17, Vikings 28
Prior to the Colts game, I had a hard time picking out losses for the Falcons in their remaining seven games. Now I'm having trouble finding wins. I can't see the Falcons ending their three-game losing skid against a tough Vikings team. Sure, Atlanta has the league's top-ranked rush defense, but now they're going up against the otherworldly Adrian Peterson. Then there's the fact the Vikings have one of the league's best defenses, spelling trouble for a struggling Falcons offense that will be without Devonta Freeman. Teddy Bridgewater hasn't been impressive this season and his offensive line is atrocious, but the Falcons don't have a pass rush capable of taking advantage.
Falcons 13, Vikings 23
With Devonta Freeman and Leonard Hankerson sidelined, the Falcons offense couldn't look more ordinary. There is no explosiveness outside of Julio Jones. They haven't ran the ball well over the past two weeks. Tevin Coleman doesn't add much as a receiver or blocker. The drop-off from Freeman to Coleman has become pretty substantial. Coleman is still a promising player, but the one-dimensional concerns coming out of college have been shown. Unless Atlanta forces multiple turnovers and somehow can win the turnover battle, it's difficult to see how they win this game. Not scoring enough points will put too much pressure on a overachieving defense. It's rare to see Atlanta look so overmatched on paper against an opponent. The schedule has been filled with such soft matchups. After wasting golden opportunities, they will continue to fade from the wild card race. Minnesota's defense will be all over them.
Falcons 20, Vikings 24
The Vikings are without Harrison Smith and Trae Waynes, while the Falcons are without Matt Bryant, Devonta Freeman and Leonard Hankerson. These are two banged-up squads, in other words, and at the end of the day I think the Falcons are both the lesser team and the one suffering more from its injuries. Unless Matt Ryan and the passing game can suddenly get rolling, this will be close, but ultimately a loss.