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Falcons 40, Vikings 23: A dominating win reflects strongly on Raheem Morris

Seriously - where the hell has this team been?

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Minnesota Vikings Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons had a tumultuous week coming into this game. The firing of head coach Dan Quinn and GM Thomas Dimitroff. Moving Raheem Morris to interim head coach. Another couple of COVID positive tests for Marlon Davidson and John Cominsky and the facilities being shut down on Thursday. Can the team overcome so many hurdles and capture a win on the road in Minnesota? Read on to find out.

First quarter

After winning the toss and electing to receive, the Vikings offense starts from their 24 with a Kirk Cousins pass that is intercepted by Deion Jones. Falcons take over in great field position.

The Atlanta offense starts with a nice run by Todd Gurley that bounces outside for 9 yards. After Gurley picks up the first on another run, he loses 4 yards on the first down toss to set up 2nd and 14. After Matt Ryan checks down to Gurley for 3 yards, on 3rd and 11 Ryan hits Julio Jones for the touchdown.

Falcons 7, Vikings 0

From their 27, the Vikings offense starts with a pass to Justin Jefferson that is stopped for a 2 yard loss. After Alexander Mattison carries for 7 on 2nd down, on 3rd and 5 the pass to Chad Beebe is short of the sticks and the Vikings decide to punt.

From inside their 15, the Atlanta offense starts with a nice run by Todd Gurley for 6 yards. After a false start by Gurley makes it 2nd and 9, Ryan hits Jones with the WR screen for a big 23 yard gain and the first. After a nice end around by Calvin Ridley picks up 8 and Gurley is tackled for a 1 yard loss, on 3rd and 3 Ryan connects with Hayden Hurst for the first. After an incomplete pass on 1st and Ryan picks up 5 with his feet, on 3rd and 5 Gurley runs it but comes up 1 yard short. The Falcons decide to go for it and on 4th and 1 and Gurley plows ahead for the first. After a short pass to Ridley picks up 5 and a toss to Brian Hill loses 2 yards, on 3rd and 7 the Falcons run it for a one yard gain. What the hell was that. Younghoe Koo comes on and punches in the 50 yarder.

Falcons 10, Vikings 0

The Vikings offense starts with a toss to Mattison that Keanu Neal wipes out for a 3 yard loss. After a check down to Mattison gains 3, on 3rd and 10 Cousins tosses it incomplete to Beebe, forcing the punt. A nice 22 yard return by Brandon Powell puts the ball near the Falcons 45.

Ryan starts the drive with a nice 19 yard pass to Russell Gage and the first. After a pass to Keith Smith gains 3, Brian Hill takes the toss for a nice gain but fumbles it and the Vikings recover.

The Vikings offense starts with Cousins passing to Irv Smith for 38 yards off the play action.

Falcons 10, Vikings 0

Second quarter

The second quarter starts with a run by Mattison for no gain but the pass to Kyle Rudolph gains 20. Cousins then connects with Justin Jefferson for the big gain to setup 1st and goal from the 2. After Foye Oluokun blows up the first down run and Mattison is stopped short again on 2nd down, on 3rd and goal Irv Smith can’t hang on to the pass after a great play by Deion Jones. On 4th down, the Vikings go for it and Mike Boone is stopped short of the goal line.

Starting from their 2 yard line, the Falcons offense starts with a 4 yard run up the middle by Gurley. He then picks up 10 yards and the first. After the toss to Gurley loses 3 yards, on 2nd and 13 Ryan checks down to him for a gain of 3 but a personal foul against the Vikings sets up Atlanta nicely. Ryan follows that with a nice pass to Ridley for 18 yards and the first. Ryan had to take the sack after a reverse is blown up and on 2nd and 14 he is sacked again. On 3rd and 17 Ryan is forced to throw it into the dirt after a blitz. Falcons punt.

From their 16, the Vikings start with a big run for 15 yards by Mattison. After Cousins can’t find an open receiver (and Neal destroyed him) and Mattison gains nothing on 2nd down, on 3rd and 10 Cousins is intercepted by A.J. Terrell.

After Gurley picks up 2 on a first down run, Matt Ryan connects with Ridley for a short pass, but he puts the moves on to get the first down. Ryan connects with Ridley for 9 yards and Gurley is dropped for a 2 yard loss to setup 3rd and 3. Ryan easily converts the first with a pass to Julio. A quick out to Julio gains 5 and after the 2 minute warning Ryan finds Calvin Ridley for the touchdown.

Falcons 17, Vikings 0

From their 25, Cousins completes the pass to Adam Thielen for 12 yards and the first. He immediately connects with Rudolph for 9 and Mattison picks up the first on the ground. The pass to Ameer Abdullah picks up 8, but an offsides on Atlanta repeats the first down. On 1st and 5, Cousins is picked off by Foye Oluokun to kill the drive.

With 1 minute left and 2 timeouts, the Falcons start with a short pass to Brian Hill for 3 yards. After Ryan’s pass is tipped by Julio and nearly picked, on 3rd and 7 Ryan converts on the pass to Russell Gage who picks up 15. A quick pass to Gage for 4 and a pass to Hill for 3 sets up 3rd and 3. On that down, Ryan hits Ito Smith out of the backfield who takes it to the 3 yard line. After a missed pass to Julio on 1st down, Brian Hill is stopped short on the inside run. Atlanta takes their final timeout to setup for the short field goal, which Koo comes on and punches in.

Falcons 20, Vikings 0

Third quarter

After a Powell return that is nearly fumbled away, the Falcons offense starts from their own 16 with a pass to Olamide Zaccheus, who can’t hang on after a big hit. After a pass to Ridley gains 7, on 3rd and 3 Ryan connects with Russell Gage down the right sideline for a big gain and the first down. An incomplete pass on 1st down is followed by a 7 yard pass to Julio Jones. On the money down, Ryan completes the pass to Hayden Hurst who picks up the first. A screen to Brandon Powell goes nowhere but a holding penalty on the Vikings gives the Falcons the first. A Gurley run for 4 is followed by an incomplete pass and on 3rd and 6, Ryan can’t connect with Christian Blake. Younghoe Koo comes on and makes the 47 yarder to extend the lead.

Falcons 23, Vikings 0

The Vikings offense starts with a deep pass to Jefferson over Kendall Sheffield for a gain of 35. After a penalty that sets up 1st and 5, Deion Jones blows up the following run play for a 4 yard loss. Offensive holding sets up 2nd and 24 and after a 19 yard gain to Jefferson, on 3rd and 5 Cousins hits Jefferson again for the first down. After Debo takes the soul from Cousins on first down and the screen pass to Boone goes for 6, on 3rd and 4 Cousins misses Chad Beebe in the end zone. Minnesota stays on for 4th and 4 and Cousins keeps the drive alive with a pass to Irv Smith. Cousins finishes the drive with a touchdown pass to Jefferson.

Falcons 23, Vikings 7

After Powell sets the Falcons up on their 31, the offense starts with a run by Brian Hill for 4 and he carries it again for the first. Ito Smith comes in for a 4 yard run and Ryan connects with Julio for 6 and the first down. After Ryan has to throw it away on 1st down, he runs it for 8 yards and sets up 3rd and short. On 3rd down, Gurley is stuffed for no gain. The Falcons offense stays on the field and on 4th and 3 Ryan scrambles to buy time and passes it to Julio Jones for his 2nd touchdown of the game.

Falcons 30, Vikings 7

From their 25, the Vikings drive starts with a sack by Allen Bailey. After a missed pass on 2nd down, on 3rd and 20 Cousins hits Jefferson for 11 and Minnesota is forced to punt.

A short 2 yard run by Todd Gurley takes us into the final quarter of play.

Falcons 30, Vikings 7

Fourth quarter

Todd Gurley picks up a few more on 2nd down and on 3rd and 4 Ryan passes to Gurley to keep the drive alive. Gurley picks up 3 on 1st down and 6 on the second down run. On 3rd and 1, Gurley loses 2 on the run setting up 4th and 3 and the Falcons punt.

Down 23, the Vikings start with an incomplete pass as Allen Bailey blows up Cousins again. The 2nd down run by Mattison picks up 4 and on 3rd and 6, Isaiah Oliver bats down the pass intended for Chad Beebe to set up 4th down. The Vikings surprisingly bring on the punt team.

Matt Ryan starts the drive with a pass down the left to Julio Jones for 31 yards and the first down. Brian Hill gains nothing on the ground and Ryan hits Hurst for an 8 yard gain. On 3rd and 2, Todd Gurley runs up the middle and picks up the 1st. After a miscommunication leads to an incomplete pass to Zaccheaus and Ryan connects with Powell for the short gain, on 3rd and 5 Matt Ryan is sacked to end the drive. Koo comes on and nails the 43 yarder.

Falcons 33, Vikings 7

Starting from their 25, Cousins hits Jefferson for a 14 yard gain and the first. A quick pass to Olabisi Johnson and a Falcons penalty gives Minnesota another first. A pass for no gain to Abdullah is followed by a 3 yard gain to Rudolph and on 3rd and 7 Cousins finds Adam Thielen deep down the right sideline for a big gain and the first down. From the Falcons 15, Cousins connects with Beebe for 9. and after Rudolph can’t bring it in on 2nd down on 3rd and 1 the Vikings pick up the first down with a run by Ameer Abdullah. The drive is finished off with a touchdown pass to Adam Thielen. The two point conversion is successful.

Falcons 33, Vikings 15

After Atlanta thankfully recovers the onside kick, Brian Hill starts the drive with a nice run for 9 yards. His 2nd run gains nothing and on 3rd and 1 Hill falls just short of converting. The Falcons offense stays on the field and on that down, Ryan passes to Hayden Hurst who is wide open and takes it in for the sealing touchdown.

Falcons 40, Vikings 15

With just over 2 minutes left, the Vikings start with a 20 yard pass to Rudolph. After the 2 minute warning, Cousins completes the pass to Irv Smith for another first down and a moving clock. Cousins then hits Jefferson for the deep bomb and the touchdown. The two point conversion is good again.

Falcons 40, Vikings 23

After the Falcons recover the onside kick, Ito Smith runs it up the middle for 4 yards. The Vikings realize what is coming and allow the Falcons to use the victory formation to close out the game.

Final: Falcons 40, Vikings 23