Minnesota Vikings vs. Atlanta Falcons Free Pick, Odds, Prediction 9/28/14
Atlanta Falcons (2-1) at Minnesota Vikings (1-2)
NFL Football: Sunday, September 28, 2014 at 4:25 pm (TCF Bank Stadium)
The Line: Minnesota Vikings +3 -- Over/Under: 47 See the Latest Odds
TV: FOX HD
The Atlanta Falcons head to Minnesota on Sunday to face off against a Vikings team full of turmoil.
The Minnesota Vikings started off the season strong, beating up on the Rams. Since then, the Vikings have fallen apart and now are sitting at 1-2 on the season. Of course, everyone knows about the Peterson issue, so I won’t bring that up here, but the effect that has had on the team, but emotionally, and on the field has to have taken a toll. Matt Cassell is now out for the season for the Vikes, and while I never want to see someone hurt, I don't think this benefits the Vikings in the long run. This forces the hand of the Viking brass to play their rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, and if he struggles, the Vikes can always spin it in a positive light, saying that he wasn’t ready and was forced onto the field. If that is a positive light...maybe that’s why I’m not in politics. Anyway, the Vikes have struggled on both sides of the ball at times this season, and things don’t get any easier defensively against Matty Ryan and the Falcons. This Viking secondary will be tested all day. The Vikings have struggled getting a consistent pass rush this season, and if that continues here on Sunday, Ryan could pick this secondary apart.
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The Atlanta Falcons are playing well this season, sitting at 2-1 and coming off a beatdown of the Bucs in prime time, which could mean this line is inflated a bit...but we’ll get to that in a minute. The Falcons offense is exactly what we thought it would be heading into the season, an offense that can kill you through the air, but if you force them to the ground, the Falcons struggle. Ryan has been lighting it up at home this season, but that is against two very bad defenses, and in their dome. On the road this team is much like the Saints, in the fact that the offense takes a notable step back, and even though the forecast in Minnesota is favorable on Sunday, there’s no place like dome for the Falcons. The defense for Atlanta does concern me, and don’t be fooled by this teams’ beatdown of the Bucs, as the Bucs are just one of those teams that can’t get out of their own way right now, and really have no direction. The Falcons can be ran on, and with Bridgewater making his first ever start, look for the Vikings to play to their strength (the ground game) and try and lighten the load for the rookie signal caller.
The ticket count is crazy on this one, with the Falcons receiving more than 90 percent of the ticket count. There is little doubt that the books will be Vikings fans on Sunday.
Personally, I can’t play this one. I never like going against the books, and with the heavy ticket count on Atlanta, and the line hardly budging, that makes me a bit nervous for Atlanta backers. On the field, the Vikings are going to try and shorten the game with their ground attack, against a team that can be ran on. The Falcons likely will try and crowd the line in an effort to give their front seven some support in the ground game, and what do rookie quarterbacks do? They look to the star wide out. Bridgewater knows that Patterson is a playmaker, and if he gets one on one looks, Bridgewater will likely take those chances (as he should). All that being said, the Falcons are the better team, and I just can’t see investing in Minnesota at this point.