The Vikings lead the Falcons 24-14 at halftime at TCF Bank Stadium. Kicker Blair Walsh hit a 18-yard field goal with two seconds left to give the Vikings a two-score lead.
The Good: The “Teddy” chants began before rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater stepped on the field. The fans started chanting on fourth down when the Falcons punted on the opening drive, but he’s giving those at TCF Bank Stadium something to cheer about.
After the Vikings went seven quarters without scoring a touchdown, they have three in the first half. He’s 11 of 16 for 197 passing yards and has two carries for 16 yards, including a 13-yard rushing touchdown with 1:59 left in the first half.
The offense has been very productive, beyond Bridgewater. Running back Matt Asiata has two rushing touchdowns, while rookie running back Jerick McKinnon broke out a 55-yard run on his first carry. Wide receiver Jarius Wright also leads the receivers with five catches for 105 yards.
Give credit to the offensive line as well, which has done a good job protecting Bridgewater and creating lanes for McKinnon and Asiata.
The Bad: The only drive the Vikings didn’t score was on a 49-yard field goal kicker Walsh missed with 11:26 left in the first half. He sailed the kick wide right to the west end zone, which is the open end of TCF Bank Stadium. The wide was whipping left to right on the kick to drift the kick no good. Walsh was 5 for 5 before the miss.
The Ugly: The defense has been susceptible of allowing big plays this year, which has been its biggest issue through three games. That continued through the first half again. The Vikings allowed four catches of 20 yards or more during the first half with two occurring on each touchdown drive for the Falcons. They allowed the Falcons to convert on a 3rd and 20 at the Falcons 44. Quarterback Matt Ryan connected with a wide receiver Julio Jones, who was wide open, for 21 yards.
Ryan went 14 of 23 for 141 yards and two touchdowns. Wide receiver Julio Jones has four catches for 50 yards. Roddy White has two catches for 44 yards, including a wide open 24-yard touchdown reception.
Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway (hand/rib) is one seven players inactive on Sunday against the Falcons. It officially snaps his streak of 90 consecutive starts, the longest among active linebackers. Gerald Hodges will replace Greenway in the starting lineup.
Cornerback Josh Robisnon (hamstring), who was listed as questionable, is active. Tight end Rhett Ellison replaces Kyle Rudolph in the starting lineup. Also noteworthy that rookie offensive lineman Austin Wentworth is also active over guard David Yankey.
For the Falcons, wide receiver Roddy White (hamstring) is active while Harry Douglas (foot)is among the seven inactives after participating in practice fully this week.
Here’s the complete list of inactives:
WR Charles Johnson
LB Chad Greenway
LB Brandon Watts
G David Yankey
TE Kyle Rudolph
WR Rodney Smith
DE Scott Crichton
QB Sean Renfree
CB Javier Arenas
LB Tyler Starr
C James Stone
T Ryan Schraeder
WR Harry Douglas
DT Cliff Matthews
With the Twins becoming irrelevant for a fourth straight season, I could barely stand to watch baseball once the All-Star game bunting was pulled off of Target Field. This week made me watch again. Thanks to two former Yankees.
A majority of Minnesotans disapprove of the way Adrian Peterson disciplined his 4-year-old child, with nearly two-thirds saying he should be released from the Vikings or should not play until his legal case is resolved, according to a new Star Tribune Minnesota Poll.