Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/27/11

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 22: Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons runs the ball against the New York Giants on November 22, 2009 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants defeated the Falcons 34-31 in overtime. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

         The Atlanta Falcons look to extend their winning streak to two games today, as the 2-8 Minnesota Vikings head south to take on the Dirty Birds in the Georgia Dome. The Falcons have had an up-and-down season so far, winning four of their last five games to move their record to 6-4 on the season and are coming off a 23-17 victory over the Tennessee Titans. Meanwhile, the Vikings have been terrible this season and are currently riding a two game losing streak. As if things couldn’t get any worse for Minnesota, star running back Adrian Peterson, who is currently seventh in the NFL in rushing yards with 872, will not play due to a high ankle sprain.

        In order for the Falcons to ensure a victory over the Vikings today, quarterback Matt Ryan must effectively dissect a Vikings’ pass defense that has been less than stellar so far this season, giving up 259 yards through the air per game. Ryan has been hot in the last few weeks, throwing for over 300 yards in Atlanta’s last two games against the New Orleans Saints and the Tennessee Titans, so it’s imperative that Ryan takes advantage of the momentum that has been building up over the last few games and converts it into some big plays on the field. Expect Ryan to throw at least three touchdowns in today’s game, with one going to Tony Gonzalez and at least one hitting Roddy White.

        Defensively, the Falcons need to just avoid Christian Ponder having a “Welcome to the NFL” game. Ponder has played decently so far this year, throwing for 955 yards and 5 touchdowns with 6 interceptions, but Ponder’s ability to make big plays so far this season has come with defenses fearing big runs by Adrian Peterson. With Peterson out and Toby Gerhart taking his place, the Falcons know that it’s all on Ponder’s shoulders today. Add to the fact that Ponder has been hurting over the last few weeks (listed as probable with a knee injury), and the result could be a tough game for Viking fans to watch.

Game Preview: The Falcons win this one easily thanks to a big second half, but the Vikings don’t just lay down and die. Minnesota keeps up with the Falcons in the first half just like the Titans did in the second half with Atlanta last week, trailing by just four points at halftime thanks to a touchdown pass by Ponder to former Falcon Michael Jenkins and a 38-yard field goal by Ryan Longwell. However, the Falcons defense steps up in the second half, stripping the ball out of Toby Gerhart’s hands on Minnesota’s drive of the third quarter, which is later turned into seven points thanks to a 23-yard run by Michael Turner. A three-and-out by the Vikings on the offense puts them in a dangerous spot, which becomes very harmful when Matt Ryan hits Tony Gonzalez on a 23-yard pass that sets up another touchdown by Turner. Falcons 34 Vikings 10   

Passing: Matt Ryan has a great game against Minnesota, throwing for 285 yards with 2 touchdowns and 0 INTs. 
Rushing:
Michael Turner gets the ground game going early and ends up with 101 yards on 21 carries with 2 touchdowns.
Receiving:
Tony Gonzalez proves yet again why he’s a future Hall of Famer, making 5 receptions for 63 yards and 1 touchdown.

Follow me on Twitter @JDawg1447

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Tom Brady, NFL to appear before judge on August 12

Report: Bradford, Eagles hope to sign short-term extension

Aaron Rodgers: TV networks have ‘too much access’

Adrian Beltre completes cycle, gets mad when assaulted

Gruden had to convince Dan Snyder to bench RG3

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jim Mora turns P. Diddy fight into recruiting pitch for UCLA

Illinois releases results of women's basketball probe

Richie Incognito named starter by Rex Ryan

DeMarco Murray isn't thrilled Eagles limited reps in practice

Brandon Weeden: 'God forbid I am forced to play' for Dallas

Ben Roethlisberger: Markus Wheaton is ready to break out

WATCH: Giants players fight during training camp

Lindsey Vonn shows support for Tiger Woods on Twitter

Report: Rousey to star in film based on her autobiography

Porn star offers to cook meal for any sports champion

Why everyone is wrong about Cowboys Tony Romo, Part 1

Oregon was only team drug tested during CFB Playoff?

Five 2nd year NBA players ready to take the next step

John Daly wants to be US Ryder Cup captain

Rodgers appears in another Olivia Munn workout video

Matt Hasselbeck is still getting random drug tests

Five teams that won at the MLB trade deadline

What should be expected from Aaron Rodgers in 2015?

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Adrian Beltre gets mad when assaulted after HR

Lindsey Vonn shows support for Tiger

Notre Dame doesn't need a conference

Rex takes jabs at Jets' management

Sanchez: It's 'crazy' to call Chip racist

Ronda Rousey calls out Cyborg

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Pirates do Pirates at deadline: Neat little moves

Mets acquire Cespedes from Tigers

Ranking the NFL’s 32 head coaches

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker