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W2W4: Falcons Vs. Vikings


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Sunday, September 28, 2014

W2W4: Falcons vs. Vikings

By Vaughn McClure

Here are a few things to watch as the Atlanta Falcons attempt to end a three-game road losing streak against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday at TCF Bank Stadium:

Devin Hester just set the NFL record for return touchdowns with his 20th against Tampa Bay last week. Now, he will face a Vikings team he tormented often while with the Chicago Bears. In fact, Hester has four career kick-return touchdowns against the Vikings, including a then-record setting 14th kick return score at Minnesota in December of 2010. Hester also set a single-game Bears’ record with 249 kickoff returns yards against the Vikings last season. "Guys that were on special teams for them are starting on defense now," Hester said. "It’s a totally different unit. You might have one or two guys who are still out there. It’s the same special teams coach, but different personnel."

The Vikings have quite a dynamic, all-around threat themselves in wide receiver/return specialist Cordarrelle Patterson. Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said the team has to find ways to get Patterson the ball. He seems likely to be rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater's top target on Sunday if it’s not veteran Greg Jennings. Patterson will be a challenge for the Falcons' defensive backs. "Very explosive," cornerback Desmond Trufant said of Patterson. "Once he gets the ball, it’s like a kick return every time he gets the ball. He’s trying to take it to the house. We’ve got be aware of him on special teams as well, too. That’s really where he’s most dangerous. He’s a great player. He’s got a bright future."

Falcons right tackle Lamar Holmes held up OK last week against Tampa Bay following a dismal showing at Cincinnati. Once again, Holmes will be on the spot to bring his A-game on the road. He could face quite a challenge against veteran defensive end Brian Robison, who doesn’t have a sack yet this season, but totaled 25.5 sacks the previous three seasons. "He’s a **** of a player," Holmes said of Robison. "It’s not like he’s the type of player that just gives up after the initial contact. He works hard to get everything he gets. You just have to come to play against him. If you punch him, he’s coming back with something else to see if you can stop that."

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Holmes sounds like he's up for the challenge; we'll see if he can follow through. Let's face it though - he's going be under scrutiny every week based on his dismal 2013 season. I'm pulling for him.

Yeah I like him being up for the challenge, sometimes you have to play to learn from your mistakes and hopefully get better!

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This is a game where Mike Tice's influence and knowledge will be very valuable we should have the inside view as to the strengths and weaknesses of most of their squad.

Correct me if I'm wrong but tice hasn't been around the Vikings in yeaaaaaaars... last I knew he was with the bears? He hasn't touched the vikings since 05' bro

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As coach:

Minnesota Vikings (1996)

(tight ends coach)

Minnesota Vikings (1997–2001)

(offensive line coach)

Minnesota Vikings (2001)

(interim head coach)

Minnesota Vikings (2002–2005)

(head coach)

Jacksonville Jaguars (2006)

(assistant head coach/offense)

Jacksonville Jaguars (2007–2009)

(assistant head coach/tight ends coach)

Chicago Bears (2010–2011)

(offensive line coach)

Chicago Bears (2012)

(offensive coordinator)

Atlanta Falcons (2014–present)

(offensive line coach)

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