Vikings: 3 Keys to Beating Atlanta

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Case Keenum (7) warms up during pregame of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017, in Detroit. Photo: AP/ Duane Burleson
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Case Keenum (7) warms up during pregame of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017, in Detroit.

December 03, 2017 08:13 AM

KSTP's sports staff gives you a look at the three keys the Vikings need to win Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons.

1. Rhodes vs. Jones

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Falcons receiver Julio Jones is coming off an astonishing 253-yard game last week and you can bet that Xavier Rhodes will shadow him all day long.

Rhodes shut down nearly every top receiver he's covered this season, but Jones is without a doubt the best of the bunch.  Rhodes is coming off maybe his worst game of the season against and will need to play better in Atlanta.

2. The Battle on 3RD Down

Third down conversions are always vital, but even more so on Sunday. Atlanta's offense converts the highest percentage of third downs in the NFL and the Vikings have the best third down defense in the league.

Meanwhile, the Vikings offense trails only Atlanta in third down success, while the Falcons defense in the middle of the pack, ranking 16th in the league.

3. 1-2 Punch at Running Back

Each team likes to spread their carries out among two running backs. Devonta Freeman will be back for Atlanta after missing the last two games due to a concussion. Freeman has scored 32 touchdowns across the last three seasons. Tevin Coleman can also get the job down out of the backfield. He's scored seven touchdowns this season for Atlanta and is averaging 4.4 yards per carry.

The Vikings counter Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon. Murray got off to a slow start this season, but has rushed for 399 yards and five touchdowns over the last five games. As Murray snags more carries, McKinnon's been quiet recently, but is still a threat in the passing game.

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KSTP Sports

Copyright 2017 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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