Atlanta Falcons vs. Minnesota Vikings
The Atlanta Falcons and the Minnesota Vikings face off in the Georgia Dome on Sunday. The Falcons are -8.5 point favorites over the Vikings with an over/under point total set at 44.
The Atlanta Falcons are looking for a strong push in the final weeks of the season if they are going to make the playoffs once again this season. If the season ended right now Mike Smith’s Falcons would be on the outside looking in at the post season but there is still plenty of football to be played before it’s all over. Matt Ryan is having a good season but not as strong as years past as he has completed 60.8 percent of his passes for 2,625 yards with 15 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Michael Turner has had to grind out the yards averaging 4.4 yards per carry for 888 yards and eight touchdowns. Roddy White has dropped some easy passes but so far he has 54 catches and three touchdowns, Tony Gonzalez has 50 catches and seven touchdowns, and Julio Jones has 30 catches but he is questionable for this one with an injured hamstring. The Atlanta defense has 16 sacks, eight fumble recoveries, and 11 interceptions as they are allowing 339.5 yards per game and 21.3 points and have a plus three turnover differential. Curtis Lofton has 91 tackles, Sean Weatherspoon has 79 tackles, and John Abraham has four sacks. The Falcons are amid the best run in franchise history as far as winning and playoff appearances and they have every intention of keeping it going.
It’s a rebuilding year for the Minnesota Vikings and while their efforts haven’t converted into many wins this season it’s clear that Leslie Frazier’s team has a lot of the critical pieces in place to have a winner in the near future. Christian Ponder has taken over at QB and while his numbers don’t show it he appears to have all of the tools to be successful in the NFL. Thus far Ponder has completed 52.1 percent of his passes with six interceptions and five touchdowns. Adrian Peterson is the premier running back in football but he is doubtful to go in this one as he has a high ankle injury and Toby Gerhart will more than likely get the call. Percy Harvin is one of the better multiple threat players in the NFL and he leads the Vikings with 43 catches, Michael Jenkins has 36 catches, and Visanthe Shiancoe has 26. The Minnesota defense is allowing 360.1 yards per game and 27.1 points and they have 31 sacks, 10 fumble recoveries, and six interceptions for a plus two turnover margin. Chad Greenway has 88 tackles, E.J. Henderson has 55, and Jared Allen has 13.5 sacks. The Vikings will use the final six games to make decisions about personnel for their future.
Atlanta is 8-1 against the spread against a team with a losing record, 2-5 against the spread following a win, and 18-8 against the spread following a game which they didn’t cover. Minnesota is 5-12 against the spread in their last 17 road games, 2-9-1 against the spread in their last 12 games against a team with a winning record, and 3-1-1 against the spread following a game which they didn’t cover. The favorite has covered in four of the last five meetings of these two.
I don’t expect this game to be close. I see the Falcons winning by a large margin and covering the 9.5.
Atlanta Falcons -9.5 Minnesota Vikings