Falcons' next opponent: Everything to know about the Vikings

The Atlanta Falcons (0-5) will hit the road this weekend to take on the Minnesota Vikings (1-4) for an NFC clash at Bank of America Stadium at 1 p.m. ET on FOX. Both teams are looking to get their seasons back on track as they entered the season with high expectations. Falcons interim head coach Raheem Morris will be trying to lead Atlanta to its first win of the season.

Here's what you need to know about the Vikings heading into Sunday's matchup:

Vikings run game is where it all begins

For the last few seasons, the focal part of Minnesota's offense has been its run game. Offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak is known for his wide zone scheme and with running backs Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison in place, the Vikings' run game is executing at a high level. Cook leads the league in rushing yards with 489 on 92 carries with seven touchdowns. His status for the upcoming matchup is in question as he suffered a groin injury.

Mattison is off to an impressive start to the season as well. In Minnesota's most recent loss to the Seahawks, he rushed for 112 yards on 20 carries. If Cook can't go, the Vikings will rely on Mattison to carry the load.

Justin Jefferson making a case for offensive rookie of the year

The most productive wide receiver the Vikings this season hasn't been Adam Thielen or even Kyle Rudolph. Its rookie Justin Jefferson who earned the No. 2 spot on PFF's 10-highest graded rookies through Week 5. The former LSU standout has caught 19 passes for 371 yards. The first-round pick leads the Vikings in receiving yards through five games.

Minnesota can get after the quarterback

Heading into the 2020 season, the Vikings had one of the best defensive lines in the NFC. They made it even better when they traded for top pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue who has recorded five sacks in his first season with the Vikings. Minnesota has 15 sacks total and appear to be hitting their stride in this area.

Kirk Cousins hoping Vikings find their identity on offense

Similar to the Falcons, Kirk Cousins and the Vikings came into the season with high expectations. Things haven't gone as planned for Minnesota and Cousins, though. Cousins ranks No. 20 in passing yards with 1,132 and 89 completions.

Related Content

Advertising