2019 ScheduleAll times ET

2019 Schedule
1-0, 1st in NFC North
Cruz: Vikings weapons will lead them to win over Packers (0:56)

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

Kirk Cousins on how throwing 10 passes against Atlanta allowed the Vikings to hold back exposing the playbook, which might help them keep Green Bay off balance. "I think there's some value in that. I think any time you can provide mystery to what you do as offense, it can't hurt. Hopefully it does keep them off balance. Maybe we showed a lot of run plays and now they can stop those, but who knows."

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

Even with the unlikelihood that the Vikings will routinely run 38 times per game, will this offense still possess a run-first mentality? "It depends," Dalvin Cook said. "Whatever Coach Stefanski dials up, that's what it is. Whatever Coach Zim wants, that's what it is. Week to week, it's going to be a different game plan. Teams might try to come stop the run, but it's kind of hard with the guys that we have on this team that can make plays, with the guys at wide out and tight end and stuff like that. It's kind of hard defending us."

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

Playing against Aaron Rodgers this early in the season always serves as a way for the Vikings to gauge the strength of their pass rush. His mobility, escapability are unique challenges, and it may serve as a way for Minnesota's defensive line to learn where their strengths and weaknesses are to carry forward against other QBs with similar traits this season. "You have to be careful with the way you rush him because he has the mobility to get out and when he gets out a lot of bad things can happen," coach Mike Zimmer said. "We have to be guarded in our rush. We have to understand our rush plan and how we're going to do it. It's not just lay our ears back and go with him because he's too dangerous when he gets out of the pocket. We have to try to maintain our lanes and then we have to be tight in coverage. He's very, very good at getting the ball quickly out of his hands and down the seams. He's got a great arm. And he sees things very well. He's doing a lot of checking at the line of scrimmage. We are going to have to play really, really good."

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

Mike Zimmer notes the changes in the Packers defense starts with the fact that they've added 'some better players' via free agency and the draft: "A lot of those guys – the two Smith's, the two outside linebackers are both really good players. Had a lot of pressures last week. I like the safety that they drafted in the first round. The corner that they took a year ago, (Jaire) Alexander, who's another guy that we liked, is a very competitive kids. They added a safety from Chicago, (Adrian) Amos. I think they've added a lot of good players. They gave a lot of different looks last week. Played with a lot of DBs. We'll just have to see what they do against us."

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

Kirk Cousins said throwing only 10 times vs. the Falcons was 'unique' and not something he'd done since his Pop Warner days. While the Vikings emphasizing the run was what the game called for, the QB doesn't expect this to become a consistent thing: "I think every game calls for something different. Don't be surprised if we have to win a game 52-51 this year. Coach Zimmer wouldn't be very happy about that, but every week is different. I think you look around the league today and you see how wacky the scores can be and the results can be and you realize that every game is its own entity, and you have to go play what the game calls for. It's very important you understand what kind of game we had to play today to win, and that's what we played. And when you consider through the lens of what was asked of us today, what type of game did we have to play to win, and then you can understand why the numbers and stats are what they are, but the number one stat, the only stat that matters is a win."

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

"I did not foresee us throwing the ball 10 times today but I'm glad that we did." — Mike Zimmer on gauging the effectiveness of the Vikings run game against Atlanta. Zimmer said he expected this game to go down to the 4th quarter and noted how the Falcons routinely load 8 defenders in the box. So while the Vikings rushing attack probably exceeded Zimmer's expectations, the coach walks away pleased with Minnesota's game plan from the offensive coaches and the performances from Dalvin Cook and the offensive line.

6d

Vikings trample Falcons 28-12 behind fierce defense, Cook

Anthony Harris highlighted a thorough thrashing by Minnesota's defense with two interceptions of Matt Ryan and a fumble recovery, Dalvin Cook carried a revived running attack, and the Vikings started the season with a 28-12 victory over the Atlanta...

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

After calling rushing plays just 33 percent of the time in 2018, the fifth-lowest rate in the NFL, the Vikings re-dedicated efforts to the run paid off in a 28-12 win. Dalvin Cook earned his 2nd two-touchdown game since the Vikings beat Miami last December en route to rushing for 111 yards. The game plan called for Kirk Cousins to attempt the fewest passes he's ever thrown in a game (10), a trend that isn't bound to occur too often, especially against better teams, but the overall focus on the run and being able to rely on this unit to generate explosive plays is important. This is the identity the Vikings want on offense.

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

Mike Zimmer's biggest gripe about the Vikings in 2018 was how his team struggled to string together success from offense to defense to special teams. In the first half against Atlanta, Minnesota made a statement with its complementary football. The offense was carried by strong rushing performances from Dalvin Cook (12 carries, 74 yards, TD) and Alexander Mattison (4 carries, 39 yards) and given great field position to start after linebacker Eric Wilson blocked a punt on the first series of the game to set up the Vikings with great field position. Defensively, Zimmer's unit dominated Matt Ryan and the Falcons' offensive line with pressure they could not handle, leading to sacks from Anthony Barr and Danielle Hunter. It's 21-0 Minnesota at the half in what might pan out to be the most complete game they've played since early last season.

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

Good day to have Dalvin Cook in your fantasy lineups. The Falcons allowed the 5th most yards from scrimmage to running backs (2516) and the most passing yards to opposing RBs (976) in 2018, per ESPN Stats and Info. While some of that can be attributed to LB Deion Jones missing the season, it'll be interesting to see what Atlanta's defense's game plan looks like for the Vikings deep running back group.

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

WR Josh Doctson will be inactive Sunday, 6 days after he arrived in Minnesota. Other inactives: Tyler Conklin, Dru Samia, Oli Udoh, Jalyn Holmes, Armon Watts, Mike Hughes. Vikings have 2 reserve OL active (Dakota Dozier and Rashod Hill).

Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images
7d

Vikings wideout Diggs (hamstring) to play Sun.

Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs, who missed Wednesday's practice and was limited Thursday and Friday because of a strained hamstring, is expected to play Sunday against the Falcons.

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Team Stats

Passing Yards97.032nd
Rushing Yards172.04th
Points For28.0Tied-11th
Points Against12.05th