Vikings-Falcons Snapshot

The Vikings need a win against Atlanta to draw their winning percentage to .500 before entering the bye. The Falcons need a win to keep pace with NFC South-leading Tampa Bay. Get the series history, rankings and keys to the game for the Vikings-Falcons late afternoon game Sunday.

Minnesota Vikings (1-2) at Atlanta Falcons (2-1)

KICKOFF: Sunday, 4:15 ET
GAMEDATE: 10/02/05
SURFACE: FieldTurf
TV: FOX, Kenny Albert, Brian Baldinger

SERIES

24th meeting. The Vikings lead series, 15-8, and beat the host Falcons, 39-26, the last time the teams played in 2003. The Vikings lead the series 6-5 in Atlanta and have won six of the past seven regular-season meetings. They also have won the past three games against the Falcons at the Georgia Dome.

2005 RANKINGS

Vikings: offense 17th (23rd rush, 12th pass); defense 28th (30th rush, 25th pass).

Falcons: offense 22nd (1st rush, 30th pass); defense 16th (27th rush, 9th pass)

KEYS TO THE GAME

Look for the Vikings to leave CBs Fred Smoot and Antoine Winfield in man coverage so they can lend as much help as possible to a run defense allowing 142.3 yards per game.

The Falcons are averaging 5.3 yards per rush and the Vikings want to force QB Michael Vick to put the ball in the air. He likely will take a few deep shots with Minnesota dealing with several injuries to their safeties.

The Vikings' offense finally got rolling last Sunday when RB Mewelde Moore produced a 101-yard rushing game to provide some balance. QB Daunte Culpepper completed passes to eight different receivers, but repeating that success lies on the shoulders of the inconsistent offensive line. Atlanta can generate plenty of pressure on the passer, but is softer against the run, so the Vikings must be productive on early downs to avoid obvious passing situations.

FAST FACTS

Vikings: Culpepper's 19 career 300-yard passing games is tied with Tommy Kramer for the franchise record. ... Are 24-8 (.750) when Culpepper has a passer rating of 100 or better.

Falcons: Vick hasn't played the Vikings since setting an NFL record for quarterbacks with 173 rushing yards on Dec. 1, 2002. ... Vick's 25-13-1 (.654) record as a starter is the best in franchise history.


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