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Vikings at Falcons Game Observations: Dobbs' Quick Debut Ends with Winning Drive

ATLANTA — Joshua Dobbs touched down in Minnesota Tuesday night.

He touched down thrice in Atlanta on Sunday, including the game-winner with just 22 seconds remaining for an improbable 31-28 victory over the Falcons.

Brandon Powell, a Florida native and former Falcon with a gigantic family presence attending the game leaped and secured a 6-yard pass from Dobbs, and Greg Joseph followed with an extra point.

Dobbs led the Vikings 75 yards on 11 plays in 1:46. He showed ultimate composure with conversions of third-and-2 (a 6-yard pass to T.J. Hockenson) and a fourth-and-7 with a 22-yard scramble where he escaped multiple tackle attempts before calmly finding Powell on third-and-4.

By early in the second quarter Sunday, the Vikings were turning to Dobbs in relief of rookie Jaren Hall, who left his first career start with a concussion.

By the end of the second period, Dobbs capped a 75-yard touchdown drive with a 2-yard pass to Alexander Mattison.

In the third quarter, he tied the game at 21 with an 18-yard scramble and a 2-point conversion pass to Trishton Jackson.

The Vikings added a field goal and led 24-21 with 14:18 remaining, but the Falcons orchestrated a 13-play, 79-yard drive that lasted 6:58 of the third quarter and ended with a 5-yard touchdown by Tyler Allgeier.

Hall's first career start showed promise as he completed five of six passes for 78 yards. He finished with two rushes for 11 yards and led Minnesota's first scoring drive on the Vikings second possession. He was concussed during a scramble that ended at the Atlanta 1-yard line on third-and-goal from the 4. Minnesota kicked a 19-yard field goal to tie the game at 3.

Here are four more observations from the game.

  1. Resiliency on full display

Dobbs' first few plays were a bit rockier for the former Rocky Topper (Tennessee QB for those not from the South).

He was sacked in the end zone for a safety on his first series and lost a fumble while scrambling out of the pocket to end his next series.

He followed with the touchdown drive before halftime but then lost another fumble during a sack to end Minnesota's first possession of the third quarter.

Dobbs' finished 20-of-30 with 158 yards and two touchdowns, good for a passer rating of 101.8.

He also led Minnesota in rushing yards with 66 on seven runs. The mobility helped Minnesota's run game get going in the second half.

Alexander Mattison added 44 yards on 16 carries.

  1. Defense rises to the occasion

The entire Vikings defense received game balls for last week's performance at Green Bay.

This week, they rallied with back-to-back takeaways in the third quarter.

The first was a fumble forced by Akayleb Evans on a run by rookie Bijan Robinson. Josh Metellus made is way into congested Atlanta traffic and secured the football at the Atlanta 40-yard line.

The Vikings followed with a touchdown drive to tie the game at 21 with 2:20 remaining in the third quarter.

Former Vikings QB Taylor Heinicke was pressured on Atlanta's next snap by D.J. Wonnum, who was playing near his hometown, and Byron Murphy picked off the pass, returning it to the Atlanta 24-yard line.

The Vikings added a 31-yard field goal by Greg Joseph for a 24-21 lead early in the fourth quarter.

The Vikings defense also overcame the 2 points awarded to Atlanta on the safety and the Falcons starting a position at the Vikings 1-yard line but setting for a field goal.

  1. Played cleanly

An underrated aspect of this game will be the fact the Vikings committed just one penalty.

That's incredibly impressive considering how many players were in and out of the game, as well as playing two different quarterbacks in a road game.

The Falcons were assessed eight penalties for 62 yards.

Vikings special teams also held up their end of the bargain.

  1. Injuries stack up

In addition to Hall leaving the game, the Vikings also lost K.J. Osborn to a concussion in the second quarter and running back Cam Akers to an ankle injury late in the third quarter.

Not to mention the Vikings were without starting left tackle Christian Darrisaw and receiver Justin Jefferson.