Minnesota (7-3) at Atlanta (6-4)
When: Sunday, November 29th 2015
Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA
Time: 1:00 ET | TV: FOX
Two teams going in opposite directions meet Sunday afternoon in the Georgia Dome as the Atlanta Falcons host the Minnesota Vikings. After a 5-0 start to the season, the Falcons have stumbled and lost four of their last five. That Atlanta offense has had no problems moving the ball down the field, the problem is that they have committed 16 turnovers in their last six games. Quarterback Matt Ryan with be without one of his best weapons in running back Devonta Freeman, who left last week’s game with a concussion and has been ruled out this week. That leaves Julio Jones as the primary option Sunday for Ryan. Jones has 31 catches and 459 yards in his last three games, but only one touchdown. Ryan threw for 280 yards and three touchdowns last week in a loss to the Colts, but he was also picked off three times and has 10 interceptions on the season. The Falcons will try to avoid their third straight home loss Sunday before going on the road for the next three weeks before finishing up with two at home. Atlanta has no chance of catching Carolina in the NFC South, but the Falcons do currently hold the last playoff spot in the NFC Wild Card race and only a half a game behind Green Bay. The Falcons have the number one rush defense in the NFL allowing only 87.4 yards a game, which will be tested on Sunday.
The Vikings suffered their first loss since week 4 last week in a 30-13 setback to Green Bay. They have a chance to retake first place by themselves over Green Bay in the NFC North by virtue of the Packers loss on Thanksgiving. Minnesota’s return to the top has come on the strength of Adrian Peterson, who leads the NFL in rushing with 1,006 yards a year after playing only one game due to a suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. He was limited to just 45 yards on 13 carries last week, but did score a touchdown for the third consecutive week. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was forced to throw more last week and wasn’t bad, but could only get the ball in the end zone once. He’s not asked to do much as long as Peterson is healthy. The Vikings are third in the league in points allowed at 18.4 and seventh against the pass. Minnesota will be looking for its fourth straight road victory before embarking on three difficult games in three weeks. They’ll be home to Seattle next week before playing at Arizona and then hosting the resurgent Bears.
Freeman being out for Atlanta really hurts a team that is already struggling. I expect Minnesota to bounce back strong and get their fourth straight road win.
Pick: Vikings +1.5