The Atlanta Falcons and Minnesota Vikings came into this season with so much hope, especially Atlanta. Through eight weeks of the season, both find themselves at 4-4, reeling from major injuries and just trying to muddle through trouble and make a playoff push in the NFC.
That will be harder for the Minnesota than the Falcons, because the Vikings just lost Kirk Cousins for the season. Cousins has been good-to-great this season and was leading the charge alongside Minnesota’s improving defense as they battled back to .500, but now he’s gone and the Vikings have to decide whether to go with Jaren Hall or make a trade to try to give themselves a more established starter. Either way, it’s likely to dent their chances of making the playoff push they seemed on the cusp of making, which is cruel.
The Falcons are having their own troubles, having lost stud defensive tackle Grady Jarrett and navigating the question of who will be under center on Sunday against the Vikings. They’ve gone 2-4 since a 2-0 start and have played a lot of frustrating football along the way, but remain talented enough to get out of this morass if they can just actually play better on a consistent basis. Sadly, that has been elusive.
This is a battle, then, between two teams trying to hang on to their hopes despite setbacks and shaky play. We’ll round up all our coverage for the week right here in this StoryStream, so keep it open!