1. ‘Perfect’ script vs. run stuffers

Offensive coordinator Norv Turner had the ideal script against the league’s No. 1 run defense on the Vikings’ second possession. The Falcons held Adrian Peterson to 10 yards on five carries on that drive, but Atlanta’s dogged determination to keep eight and nine defenders in the box worked in Turner’s favor. Teddy Bridgewater went 5-for-7 for 67 yards with one drop by Peterson. Four different players caught first-down passes, including Peterson. “It was exactly what we game planned; exactly what we saw on film,” said fullback Zach Line, who had an 8-yard catch for a first down. “I really liked the play-calling. When teams bring the extra defenders into the box, there is so much room beyond that initial wall. To make first downs that way and then have Adrian with 29 carries? Perfect.”

2. Hawkeye vs. Hawkeye clip turned out to be huge penalty

Tevin Coleman’s 1-yard sweep to the left would have been Atlanta’s go-ahead touchdown with 9:01 left in the third quarter had there not been some Hawkeye-on-Hawkeye crime being committed on a backside cutoff block far from the action. “That was as clear of a clipping penalty as I’ve ever been a part of,” said Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway, a 10-year veteran from Iowa. “And then I found out it was [tight end Tony] Moeaki, who’s also a Hawkeye. I understand he’s just doing his job, but sometimes you have to let the block go.” Greenway felt Moeaki closing and was able to get his foot off the ground and avoid what could have been a serious injury. Four snaps later, what should have been a 10-7 Falcons lead became a Vikings touchback when Terence Newman intercepted Matt Ryan in the end zone. “Luckily, I didn’t get injured,” Greenway said. “If I have to do that every game to get a win, I would do that for sure. I think anybody would on this team.”

4. Why Asiata on third down? Here’s why

It’s tough not to look at these players as super human. Especially Peterson. So when the Vikings faced third-and-5 from the Atlanta 14-yard line with a four-point lead late in the third quarter, it was surprising to see Peterson standing on the sideline. “That’s always a tough situation for me,” Peterson said. “I have so much faith in Matt Asiata and Jerick [McKinnon] when those guys are in there. But of course any competitor, you’re always going to think, ‘What would I have done on that play?’” The Vikings ran Asiata up the middle for a 3-yard gain to settle for a 29-yard field goal and a 10-3 lead. But here’s why Peterson wasn’t in the game: On the first nine snaps of that drive, Peterson carried the ball seven times for 35 yards.

3. Big little catch

Jarius Wright had two catches for 13 yards. No one will be talking about him this week. But his 8-yard catch and run was a perfectly-timed momentum-sustaining grab during a one-possession game with 12 minutes remaining. The Vikings faced third-and-4 from their 36. Wright was lined up left and ran a crossing route against man coverage. “I could tell they were pressing in man coverage,” he said. “There really isn’t a first option, but I knew if we got man there, Teddy would be looking for me. And I knew I would have to use my speed because I would possibly have to run for the first down. I knew all that stuff and then Teddy did what he does.”

5. Newman baits Ryan successfully for pick

Newman used his 13 years of experience as an NFL cornerback to bait Ryan into throwing the third-quarter interception that was Atlanta’s most deflating mistake. On third-and-goal from the 14, Newman intercepted Ryan in the end zone four snaps after the Falcons had a go-ahead touchdown negated by a clipping penalty. “[Ryan] was moving to his left and he’s a righthanded quarterback, so any throw that he’s going to have to make back to the middle is going to be difficult,” Newman said. “With the tight end trying to uncover back to the middle, I tried to kind of bait him a little bit. Because of the angle he had to throw the ball and it being deeper, I feel like I can run and catch up to a tight end and catch it first. That’s what I did.”