EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. —Anthony Barr's relentless drive forced one fumble, and his ability to blitz caused another Sunday in the Vikings 20-10 victory over the Falcons.
The combination has resulted in Barr's selection as Bridgestone Performance of the Week.
Tevin Coleman never saw Barr coming from behind, hustling to close a 10-yard gap on the running back and punch out the ball to erase a 46-yard gain in the first quarter.
"Once I saw him break free, I figured why not run after the ball and see what happens," Barr said Monday.
In the fourth quarter, Barr again gained ground on Coleman as the rookie running back ran a wheel route down the sideline. Barr managed to knock away the ball from Coleman on a play the Falcons thought could be a substantial gain.
"I had to run with him and maybe I was running a little too slow at first. I had to pick it up at the end there but was fortunate to make a play on the ball," Barr said. "My confidence is always high, regardless if I make the play or miss the play. My confidence doesn't waver, but it definitely doesn't hurt it though."
Later in that possession, Matt Ryan had less time to spot Barr firing through a gap of the Falcons offensive line undeterred on a fourth-down play in the fourth quarter. Barr's sack and forced fumble gave the Vikings the ball on downs, and Adrian Peterson followed with a 35-yard TD run three plays later.
Barr was credited with nine tackles (seven solo) by Vikings coaches, two forced fumbles and the pass defended.