At the end of the 2018 NFL season, both the Falcons and Vikings were in second place in their respective decisions and destined to watch the playoffs from the comfort of their couches.
The Falcons ended their mediocre 2018 campaign at 7-9. The Vikings fared better … but not by much, finishing with a lackluster 8-7-1 record.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins had one of his best years ever in his first season as a Viking, setting several personal highs with 425 completions, 30 touchdowns, and a 70.1 completion percentage.
On the other side of the ball, 34-year-old Falcons signal-caller, Matt Ryan, had a typical ‘Ryanesque’ year with similar stats as Cousins.
Unfortunately, neither team made significant improvements in an offseason which was equally anemic for both.
Date: Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019
Start time: 1 p.m. EDT
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Stadium: U.S. Bank Stadium — Minneapolis, MN
TV Info: FOX
While doubtful it will be as large a snooze-fest as was the NFL opener on Thursday featuring Minnesota’s division rivals, the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears, make sure you have a pillow on hand.
The only matchup worth watching in this game will be Ryan testing rookie cornerback Kris Boyd. The veteran passer will test the former University of Texas defensive back … if Boyd even plays.
The Vikings are painfully thin in the secondary, which may mean that Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer will throw the greenhorn in the game to provide rest for his depleted secondary.
Should that happen, look for the wily veteran Ryan to zing the pigskin on the rookie’s side of the field … quite often.
Boyd appeared undaunted and unfazed when presented the probability by reporters.
“That’s what I signed up for. You’ve got to be expected in the NFL to be going against the best of the best, and it’s just another opportunity to take advantage of. I see it as a big blessing for me.”
Whatever happens in the secondary, if Boyd comes in is of little consequence. Between the crowd noise at US Bank Stadium and the propensity of the Falcons falling into their familiar pattern of being the “same old Falcons,” look for Cousins and the Vikings to send Ryan and his boys back to Atlanta with their feathers plucked.
The Falcons remain winless still this Sunday’s game and extend their losing streak against Zimmer to four.
Final Score prediction: Falcons 14, Vikings 28