There's no doubt that perceptions changed after the Falcons whooped the Bucs in front of a national audience, but the Vikings didn't do themselves any favors by failing to cover a double-digit spread either. As a result, the bets on Atlanta are up to 88% so far.
On the flip side we have the debut start for Teddy Bridgewater. I like him at QB much better than Matt Cassel, but he's still a raw rookie. Without AP, the Vikes are having problems running the ball. That puts even more pressure on Bridgewater to do more than he's ready to. He's going to make some mistakes, so it's just a matter of the Falcons D taking advantage. Are they equipped to do so? A lot will depend on the play of their young corners. If Atlanta can continue playing with leads, Trufant and Alford should be in a position to pick off some balls since they'll be left alone in man coverage.
I like that Minnesota has decided to go with the rookie at QB, and they are a team on the rise, but it's asking a lot of them to stop Matt Ryan and company in this spot without Peterson.
NFL Pick: ATL -3.
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