Vikings Host Falcons to open 2019 NFL Season

Minnesota Vikings Football

Falcons and Vikings Both Have Super Bowl LIV

The Atlanta Falcons and Minnesota Vikings open the 2019 NFL today on Fox with both teams having high expectations. Both teams have the talent on paper to content for the NFC Conference Title as well as win their respective divisions.

TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Vikings -3.5. O/U: 47

The Vikings are banking that year two of their substantial investment into Kirk Cousins pays off this year. Cousins will attempt to give the Vikings what they paid for. Statistically speaking, Cousins performed well last season. He completed 70.1% of his passes while throwing for a career-high 30 touchdowns. He tossed nine apiece to wideouts Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. Inexplicable offensive power failures proved to be the Vikings’ undoing.

Atlanta boasts the potent combination of 2016 NFL MVP Matt Ryan and six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Julio Jones, who is fresh off signing a new $66 Million contract. Ryan threw for over 4,500 passing yards for the sixth time in his career last season. Jones led NFL with 1,677 receiving yards and needs two receptions in his 112th career game on Sunday to become the second-fastest player to reach 700 in NFL history. He is behind Antonio Brown who accomplished the feat in 111 games.

This, That, and a Dart Throw

The Falcons finished last season 7-9 and tied for second in the NFC South. Calvin Ridley quickly gained the trust of Ryan in 2018. He led all rookie wideouts in catches (64), receiving yards (821) and receiving touchdowns (10). Expect his contributions to expand in season two. Ryan also has Mohamed Sanu coming off a career year. The quarterback is pleased to see the return of two-time Pro Bowl running back Devonta Freeman return following groin surgery. “His production when he’s been healthy is as good as anybody. … We’re lucky to have him back.” Freeman has missed 16 games over the last two seasons. The Falcons’ ground attack was ranked 27th in the NFL last season with a paltry 98.3 yards per game. That is a huge contrast to the fourth-ranked passing game, which produced 290.8 yards per game.

The Vikings finished 2018 with a 8-7-1 record and that was good enough for second on the NFC North. Thielen had an NFL fourth-best 113 receptions, a career-high 1,373 receiving yards and a franchise-record nine games with 100-plus receiving yards last season. Diggs set career-highs in catches (102), receiving yards (1,021) and touchdown receptions (nine). The Vikings weren’t willing to rest on their laurels with those two productive pieces. The team went out and added a player with ties to Cousins. They picked up former Washington first-round pick Josh Doctson. “It’s been very easy for me so far,” Doctson said. “A lot of the same concepts (as the Redskins’ offense), familiar routes, just kind of different verbiage, so it’s pretty easy.” Running back Dalvin Cook hopes to have an easier, and healthier, time of it this season. The talented back has shown flashes of promise in his first two seasons despite being limited to just 15 games.

The Dart Throw: Falcons 24, Vikings 20

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Minnesota Vikings Trends
  • Trend Under is 5-0 in Vikings last 5 games as a home underdog. Hit % 100.00% (5) O/U 0|5 Push 0 W/L
  • Under is 8-0 in Vikings last 8 games as a home favorite of 10.5 or greater. 100.00% (8) 0|8 0
  • Over is 4-0 in Vikings last 4 games as a favorite of 0.5-3.0. 100.00% (4) 4|0 0
  • Under is 8-3 in Vikings last 11 games as a home favorite. 72.70% (11) 3|8 0
Atlanta Falcons Trends
  • Trend Under is 4-1 in Falcons last 5 games as a road favorite. Hit % 80.00% (5) O/U 1|4 Push 0 W/L
  • Over is 6-1 in Falcons last 7 games as an underdog of 10.5 or greater. 85.70% (7) 6|1 0
  • Over is 5-1 in Falcons last 6 games as a road underdog of 10.5 or greater. 83.30% (6) 5|1 0
  • Under is 5-2 in Falcons last 7 games as a road underdog of 0.5-3.0. 71.40% (7) 2|5 0
Falcons vs Vikings Meeting Trends
  • Trend Under is 6-1 in the last 7 meetings. Hit % 85.70% (7) O/U 1|6 Push 0 W/L
  • Falcons are 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 meetings. 0.00% (4) 1 0|3
  • Underdog is 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings. 100.00% (5) 1 0|4
  • Road team is 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings. 75.00% (5) 1 1|3

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