ATLANTA- There is a classic collaboration by R&B legends the Temptations and punk funk jammer Rick James Standing On The Top. that would echo the feeling of the Vikings following their 20-10 win over the Falcons: Rebounding strong after having their five game win streak snapped at the hands of Green Bay last week another classic R&B tune would also be apropos: Back In Stride again here as the Vikings once again are in sole possession of first place in the NFC North at 8-3.
The Vikings got back to what works for them, strong defense and the hammer running of Adrian Peterson who had 158 yards and 2 Touchdowns on 29 carries. AP moved past Corey Dillon, and hall of famers OJ Simpson and John Riggins into sole possession of 18thplace on the all time rushing list. Steven Jackson is the next player in Peterson’s sights. Jackson is only 33 yards ahead. The Vikings defense forced no turnovers last week, this week they forced 3, sacked Falcons QB Matt Ryan twice and had three other defensive hits and played a much more controlling aggressive game.
The Vikings got on the board first with a short touchdown run from Peterson in the first quarter and aside from a field goal by the Falcons in the 2nd quarter there was no scoring Blair Walsh missing a 51 yard field goal at the end of the half. With the Vikings increasing their lead to 10-3 then 13-3 on long grinding drives they held a tenuous lead in the 4thuntil Peterson broke several tackles and rumbled 35 yards down the sideline for the backbreaking score. The Falcons closed the margin to 10 with a late Ryan to Nick Williams touchdown pass to finish the scoring.
On The offense
The running game was of course fueled mainly by Peterson, but Jerrick McKinnon spelled AP and added 33 yards on just 5 carries. Teddy Bridgewater was an efficient 20-28 for 174 yards, getting the ball to Kyle Rudolph 7 times for 53 yards. The dominant running helped the Vikings control the clock for 33:28 and outgain the Falcons 365-328
Defensive Unit Report
Terrence Newman bounced back well from his disappointing showing against the Packers, with a pair of defensed passes and killed a drive with an end zone interception. Captain Munnerlyn also picked off a Matt Ryan pass deep in Viking territory. The Vikings kept NFL reception leader Julio Jones to 5 catches for 56 yards.
Who else would you consider? AP’s 158 yards and two scores kept the Vikings grinder offense rumbling
LB Anthony Barr Had 8 Tackles (7 solo) a sack a tackle for loss and a defended pass.
Blair Walsh was 2-3 on field goals, he missed a 51 yarder wide right at the end of the first half. Jeff Locke had 2 punts one landed inside the 20 and had a 47.5 average
“I don’t know why, but this was a very important game for me. To come back, fight, scratch, to get to 8-3, it was big.” Coach Mike Zimmer
“We took it personal, the loss last week.” Adrian Peterson on bouncing back after a tough loss to beat the Falcons
The Vikings return home to face the Seattle Seahawks who are coming in winners of their last two. Kickoff is at 1p EST (Noon local) on Fox