Sunday: Noon at Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Ch. 9, 100.3-FM, 1130-AM)


• The Falcons (7-4) are winners of three in a row. Atlanta’s most recent victory included a 17-point second quarter against the Buccaneers in Sunday’s 34-20 victory.

• Reigning NFL MVP quarterback Matt Ryan is hitting his stride, posting 100-plus passer ratings in four of the past five games.

• Ryan has a solid connection with his receivers, including former Bengals vertical threat Mohamed Sanu, who leads the Falcons with four receiving touchdowns on 45 grabs for 452 yards. Only five NFL receivers have a better catch rate than Sanu’s 74 percent.

• The Falcons defense is among the NFL’s best at limiting the big play. Atlanta has surrendered only 30 plays of 20 yards or more. The Vikings have allowed 29. However, the Falcons have been susceptible against the run, allowing 4.4 yards per carry and 26 percent of handoffs to go for a first down.

PLAYER SPEAK | WR. Julio Jones

• Receiver Julio Jones, 28, is in his prime, ranking second in the NFL with 1,039 receiving yards The two-time All-Pro accounts for nearly one-third of the Falcons’ passing attack with 101 targets.

• He’s coming off a huge day — 12 catches for 253 yards and two touchdowns — against the Buccaneers.

• After losing coordinator Kyle Shanahan to become San Francisco’s head coach, Atlanta still is finding creative ways to get their playmakers the ball. One of Jones’ touchdowns last week, a 51-yard score, came off a throw from fellow receiver Sanu.

• Falcons coach Dan Quinn on Jones, a tall task facing Vikings CB Xavier Rhodes: “He’s playing another guy on our end with rare height, length and strength. Truly an example of two guys battling for it. We’ll see as far as the game plan unfolds how they want to go.”


• Quinn is in his third season as Falcons head coach with a 28-18 record (2-1 playoffs).

• Quinn was defensive coordinator for the Seahawks from 2013-2014, when Seattle played in back-to-back Super Bowls and had the league’s No. 1-ranked scoring defense.

• On the possibility of RB Devonta Freeman returning from a concussion to rejoin Tevin Coleman as a backfield option: “Having that complement of guys where they keep going and attacking — one on one play, another for a couple — that’s when we’re at our best.”

• On sizing up Vikings QB Case Keenum: “There’s a fearlessness about him, you can see when he scrambles and runs. He can extend plays that may have started as a normal dropback or bootleg. And I think like most good quarterbacks, there are some really talented catchers there.”

Andrew Krammer