Atlanta Falcons at Minnesota Vikings game recap: Everything we know

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Oct 18, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Atlanta Falcons linebacker Edmond Robinson (46) hits Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) during the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins called his contract extension in the offseason a win-win.

Cousins would be locked into Minnesota for the near future and his deal lessened the cap hit for the 2020 season, a much-needed move for a team undergoing a retooling of its roster.

Through the first six games of 2020, the roster revamping has made for a lesser product than 2019’s. Cousins has struggled mightily and the team (1-5) hasn’t done much literal winning after the metaphorical victories in the offseason.

In a meeting between two of the worst teams in the NFL, the Falcons outplayed the Vikings and Minnesota is left looking for answers to a plethora of problems in pretty much every facet of the game.

Falcons started strong: Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins threw an interception on the team’s opening drive. When the Minnesota offense finally got something going, Atlanta came up with a goal line stand on fourth down. Before the second half started, the Vikings looked like the considerably worse team, and for the most part, that was also the case in the second half.

New-look defensive back group continues to get burned: Julio Jones had a huge day after returning from injury. I don’t think it’s hard to figure out why. Despite the improvements from rookies, the Vikings’ secondary is horrendous and far too mistake-prone for any contending team.

Cousins simply has not cut it — this game or this season: Cousins finished with 343 passing yards. He also had three touchdown passes. Those stats were mostly due to the Falcons backing off in coverage after the game was well out of reach. Cousins’ three interceptions were a big reason why Minnesota was down by so much.

There wasn’t a specific moment, but a series of moments that led to a potential comeback appearing impossible.

Kirk Cousins threw three interceptions in the first half.

In the second half, wide receiver Justin Jefferson made a nice play to stretch for a touchdown, giving fans a glimmer of hope. But then, the Vikings defense gave up a back-breaking fourth down conversion — Julio Jones caught the ball as Jeff Gladney slipped and Jones took it for a 40-yard touchdown to make it 30-7 after the extra point. It was hard to see the Vikings pulling off a comeback after that.


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