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Lunchbreak: NFL Experts Assess Vikings After Loss to Seahawks

The Vikings woke up Monday morning with a 1-4 record and wondering what could have been following Sunday night's loss to the Seahawks.

Minnesota dominated time of possession by controlling the ball for 39 minutes and 28 seconds

20:32. That was helped by an offense that ran for more than 200 yards and a defense that didn't allow a single third-down conversion to Seattle.

But the 27-26 final score was a gut punch for the Vikings. Minnesota couldn’t convert on fourth-and-short coming out of the 2-minute warning in the fourth quarter, and Seattle promptly drove down the field for the game-winning score.

A handful of NFL pundits offered their takes on the thrilling game, including Grant Gordon of

Gordon noted that he was impressed by the Vikings offensive output of 449 total yards. Alexander Mattison had 112 rushing yards on 20 carries, and Adam Thielen caught nine passes for 80 yards and two scores.

Gordon wrote:

As Thielen goes, so too does Kirk Cousins it would seem. The Vikings top receiver and perhaps one of the league's most underrated, Thielen hauled in nine catches for 80 yards and each of his team's second-half scores thanks to 13 targets — more than double anyone else on Minnesota. In all weathers and through all struggles, Thielen is a constant for Cousins and the Vikes.

Dalvin Cook is very much the engine of the Vikings offense, though. He left with [a groin] injury early in the second half. … Mattison had a terrific day with 112 yards on 20 carries to show for it. With Cook's health something to monitor (coach Mike Zimmer said he will have an MRI), having Mattison is as good a fallback plan as you can have when it comes to replacing a star such as Cook. A loss is a loss, of course. But this was an odd game against a great opponent. Though it's unlikely, this should be looked at as a step in the right direction for a struggling squad.

Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports gave the Vikings a ‘B- grade’ for their effort against the Seahawks.

Benjamin wrote:

This is a 1-4 team with a lot of youth on defense, but they also kept Russell Wilson — the undisputed MVP front-runner — under wraps for the majority of the evening. Their ground game was also on point, with Alexander Mattison maybe even looking better than Dalvin Cook as a fill-in. Still, a loss is a loss, and they crumbled in crunch time. At least they fought until the end?

The Vikings host the 0-5 Falcons in Week 6 at U.S. Bank Stadium. Atlanta announced Sunday night that General Manager Thomas Dimitroff and Head Coach Dan Quinn were relieved of their duties.

The Falcons on Monday named Raheem Morris as the interim head coach. He is in his sixth season with the Falcons and his first as the defensive coordinator. Morris was head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2009-11.

Mattison nominated for FedEx Ground Player of the Week

A Vikings running back has been nominated for FedEx Ground Player of the Week for the third straight week.

Mattison is the nominee this week after posting career highs in carries and rushing yards in Week 5. He also added three receptions for 24 yards.

Mattison filled in for Dalvin Cook, who missed almost the entire second half with a groin injury. He is scheduled to get an MRI on Monday.

Cook was nominated for FedEx Ground Player of the Week the past two weeks, and claimed the award in Week 3 following his 181-yard rushing performance against the Titans.

FedEx gives fans the opportunity to recognize top-performing quarterbacks and running backs through the FedEx Air & Ground Awards in games played on Thursday through Sunday. Voting for this week's nominees is open until 2 p.m. (CT) Wednesday at Fans can also vote on Twitter the NFL published polls.

Falcons running back Todd Gurley (121 yards and a score) and Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (91 yards and 2 TDs) are also nominated for the award.