Mon, 26 Oct 2020

Opposing Viewpoint: 5 Questions (and Answers) About Falcons

Minnesota Vikings
17 Oct 2020, 20:37 GMT+10

Eric Smith

Minnesota is looking for a win before its bye week.

The Vikings are 1-4 on the season after a close loss in Week 5, and will host the 0-5 Falcons on Sunday at noon (CT) from U.S. Bank Stadium.

The Vikings are prepping Alexander Mattison to start in case Dalvin Cook (groin injury) can't play. And Minnesota's defense is looking to build off its best effort of the season from a week ago.

But what are some key storylines from the other side?

To find that out, Vikings.com chatted with Falcons reporter Kelsey Conway for a glance at what Seattle is thinking before Sunday's game.

Here is the Week 6 edition of Opposing Viewpoint:

The Falcons shook up their front office after Sunday's loss, as the team announced that General Manager Thomas Dimitroff and Head Coach Dan Quinn were relieved of their duties. Why did Falcons Owner Arthur Blank feel these moves needed to be made at this time?

KC: Falcons Owner Arthur Blank said frankly the lack of winning over the last three years was not to the standard he expects. Blank said Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff knew the expectations of the season which was to be a playoff-caliber team and at 0-5, it was clear they needed to make a change.

The Falcons named Raheem Morris as the interim head coach. What has he said this week about adapting to the role? And will his previous head-coaching experience - with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2009-11 - help him during this transition.

KC: The first thing Raheem Morris brought up when asked what the identity of the Falcons will be under his leadership, he said it's all about winning first and foremost. In order to do that, he said the Falcons need to force their will on opponents. Morris also emphasized the need to create more turnovers and score on offense moving forward. He's well respected in the building and has experience working with both sides of the ball, and I think he'll be able to get a lot out of the players on this team.

Atlanta is 0-5 so far. What is the biggest reason the Falcons have yet to record so a win so far in 2020?

KC: Two things: The Falcons have really struggled to generate a pass rush. When the Falcons signed Dante Fowler in free agency, the team hoped he'd give the group a boost. He hasn't produced to the level we all thought he was. Takk McKinley has been dealing with injuries, and without him on the field, the defensive unit hasn't been able to affect quarterbacks like they wanted. They have given up way too many explosive plays as well. On offense, the inability to score in the red zone has been the biggest issue with the team. They've moved the ball well but haven't been able to cash in when they need it most.

Todd Gurley seems to be thriving in his first season with the Falcons, as he has 375 rushing yards and five scores so far. What the former Georgia Bulldog brought to this Falcons offense?

KC: I think Todd Gurley has been a pleasant surprise this year. In a season that has not had a lot of positives, he's been one. No one knew what to expect from Gurley heading into the season, but he's certainly made the most of his fresh start in Atlanta.

Although Atlanta's defense has struggled this season, who is a bright spot for the Falcons on that side of the ball? And how does that unit plan to slow down a Vikings offense that has picked up steam?

KC: The play of Grady Jarrett. He consistently dominates in the middle week-in and week-out, and he's grown into one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL. He'll be especially important going up against that Minnesota run game. Linebacker Deion Jones will also need to have a big game against the Vikings.

Between The Lines

Join Paul Allen, along with former Vikings linebacker and current radio analyst Ben Leber, after every Vikings game as we host Between The Lines and break the game down from each and every angle and discuss what it means for your favorite team moving forward.

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