The all-consuming pressure to win is off the Atlanta Falcons now. Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff are gone, and if we take the players at their word, they were desperate to keep DQ and win some games for him. With that no longer being the case and the Falcons all but officially eliminated from the playoff picture, this team might be playing a little looser.
They’ll walk into an immediate challenge, albeit one that is less significant than anticipated. The Vikings are good one year and mediocre the next as a rule under Mike Zimmer, and they’re firmly in a mediocre year right now. They are also a talented team who has dominated Atlanta of late, however, so I don’t expect this to be anywhere close to easy.
The truth is that the pressure is off fans right now, as well, which I hope means you can watch this game without desperately hoping for a win or hate-watching for a loss because you want an outcome at head coach. That should make for a slightly less stressful Sunday, at the very least.
Here’s how you can watch.
Atlanta Falcons @ Minnseota Vikings, Week 5
When: Sunday, October 18, 1:00 p.m. EST
Where: US Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Announcers: Brandon Gaudin, Daryl Johnston, Pam Oliver
Radio: 92.9 The Game
Key Questions: What will this team look like with a new head coach and two new coordinators? Will Matt Ryan get out of his funk, possibly with Julio Jones returning to the field? Can the secondary keep a lid on Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen and the gang with A.J. Terrell and Kendall Sheffield back in action?
Prediction: The Falcons will probably bounce a little bit with change in the air, but will they beat a Vikings team that nearly held on against the Seahawks? Nah, probably not. Falcons 27 - Vikings 31.
SB Nation Opposition Site: Daily Norseman
2020 Falcons Schedule (0-5)
Week 1: Loss vs. Seattle Seahawks
Week 2: Loss at Dallas Cowboys
Week 3: Loss vs. Chicago Bears
Week 4: Loss at Green Bay Packers
Week 5: Loss vs. Carolina Panthers
Week 6: at Minnesota Vikings — Sunday, October 18, 1:00 p.m.
Week 7: vs. Detroit Lions — Sunday, October 25, 1:00 p.m.
Week 8: at Carolina Panthers — Thursday Night Football, October 29, 8:25 p.m.
Week 9: vs. Denver Broncos — Sunday, November 8, 1:00 p.m.
Week 10: BYE
Week 11: vs. New Orleans Saints — Sunday, November 22, 1:00 p.m.
Week 12: vs. Las Vegas Raiders — Sunday, November 29, 1:00 p.m.
Week 13: at New Orleans Saints — Sunday, December 6, 1:00 p.m.
Week 14: at Los Angeles Chargers — Sunday, December 13, 4:25 p.m.
Week 15: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Sunday, December 20, 1:00 p.m.
Week 16: at Kansas City Chiefs — Sunday, December 27, 1:00 p.m.
Week 17: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Sunday, January 3, 1:00 p.m.