MINNEAPOLIS – The Vikings talked this week about the importance on getting off to a fast start, and they did just that in the first quarter.
After 15 minutes of game time, the Vikings lead the Falcons 14-0.
Minnesota won the toss, elected to defer, and from there found a rhythm.
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan told Atlanta media members earlier this week that he expected to get pressured from all areas of the Vikings defense. His prediction came true, as linebacker Anthony Barr sacked Ryan for a loss of 8 on the first play of the game.
Minnesota's defense clamped down and forced Atlanta to go three-and-out.
And then special teams stepped in.
Linebacker Eric Wilson surged through the line and blocked the Falcons punt, which gave the Vikings the ball at the Atlanta 21-yard line.
Kirk Cousins and company took it from there.
A holding penalty created a first-and-20 situation, but Dalvin Cook hauled in a pass to cut the distance by eight yards. On second-and-12, Cousins threw a pass over the middle to receiver Adam Thielen, who turned, ran and muscled his way into the end zone for the Vikings first score.
On the Falcons second possession, they got four plays in before Ryan through threw an interception snagged by safety Anthony Harris.
The defensive play set up Minnesota's offense to take over at the Atlanta 41.
Four plays later, Cook rumbled 19 yards for a touchdown to give the Vikings a two-score lead at home.