By Ed Baylor: Making his first start for the Minnesota Vikings (2-2), rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater led the Vikings to an impressive 41-28 win over the Atlanta Falcons (2-2) on Sunday at the TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Bridgewater suffered an ankle injury early in the 4th quarter, and he had to leave the game after leading the Vikings to a touchdown with 10:50 to go. The Vikings scored on a 1-yard touchdown. Bridgewater stayed in for a final play in converting a 2-point conversion in throwing to Rhett Ellison in the end zone.
Bridgewater completed 19 of 30 passes for 317 yards in the game. He also rushed for 27 yards on 5 carries for 1 touchdown.
After Bridgewater left the game, backup Christian Ponder came in and he merely handed the ball off on every down without throwing a pass.
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan completed 25 of 41 passes for 298 yards with 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. It was a good game in terms of stats, but the interceptions really hurt Ryan.
”I was confident in the play calling. I was confident in the guys. And I felt that they were still confident in me,” said Bridgewater via AP.
The Vikings led 14-7 in the 1st quarter. At halftime, the Vikings led 24-14.
The Falcons gained 411 yards in total offense compared to the Vikings 558 yards. The Vikings also had an advantage in time of possession in controlling the ball 32:52 compared to the Falcons 27:08.
Where the Vikings did a great job was in running the football. They gained 241 yards on the ground compared to 123 for the Falcons.
Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon rushed for 135 yards on 18 carries. Matt Asiata rushed for 78 yards on 20 carries with 3 touchdowns.
Falcons’ running back Antone Smith rushed for 62 yards on 4 carries. Streven Jackson rushed for 49 yards on 13 carries.
Falcons’ receiver Julio Jones caught 6 passes for 82 yards. Roddy White caught 4 passes for 73 yards. Devin Hester caught 5 passes for 70 yards.
Vikings receiver Jarius Wright caught 8 passes for 132 yards. Greg Jennings caught 3 passes for 72 yards.