MIN-ATL Grades: Peterson, defense deliver for Vikings

The top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Vikings’ 20-10 win over the Falcons.

| 11 months ago
(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

MIN-ATL Grades: Peterson, defense deliver for Vikings

Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Vikings’ 20-10 win over the Falcons.

Minnesota Vikings

– There was no denying who the star of the show was. Adrian Peterson ran like a man possessed as he was simply too fast, too strong and too good for the Falcons’ run defense. He averaged a healthy 5.4 yards per carry and forced Falcons defenders to miss seven tackles in an effort that was the deciding factor between the two teams.

– It’s been a fantastic year so far for 2014 first-rounder Anthony Barr and that shows no sign of changing. He made the big plays in this game, with his two forced fumble a nice bookend for the Vikings defensive dominance. His first was a tremendous hustle play, while his second was a quick-as-a-hiccup blitz that effectively ended the game.

– There will be other games for Teddy Bridgewater to showcase his skills, with this game not his best effort of the year. He refused to challenge the Falcons deep with just three passing attempts over 10 yards in the air, instead preferring to take the short stuff which meant that while he threw for 174 yards, 163 of those yards came after the catch.

Top performers:

LT Matt Kalil (+4.3)
SLB Anthony Barr (+3.7)
HB Adrian Peterson (+3.4)
C Joe Berger (+2.3)
DT Linval Joseph (+2.1)

Atlanta Falcons

– Matt Ryan’s problems with ball security are really hampering the Falcons right now. He threw two more interceptions and both were easily avoidable. It’s not that Ryan is playing badly, but when he makes mistakes they take the Falcons out of scoring position. He’s played better this year than his numbers would suggest, but sometimes it’s not how many mistakes you make, but when you make them that is important.

– His grade remains in the negative, but there was more to be encouraged about with Tevin Coleman. His fumble (which resembled one from earlier in the year) highlights a player who needs to take better of the ball, and the drops really emphasized how much they miss the receiving ability of Devonta Freeman. But his running was far more aggressive and decisive than it has been in previous weeks. The return of Freeman will likely see him spend more time on the sidelines, but he did take a step forward this week.

– No player highlighted the Falcons defensive struggles this week as much as Paul Worrilow. The middle linebacker missed an absurd five tackles as he was no physical match for Peterson. It serves to show what has been a tough year in a scheme that can ask a lot out of linebackers, and while Worrilow has flashed some solid play at times, he’s too often failed to make the plays needed out of him.

Top performers:

DE Kroy Biermann (+3.7)
DT Grady Jarrett (+2.9)
DE Vic Beasley (+2.3)
RT Ryan Schraeder (+2.3)
FS Ricardo Allen (+2.0)

  • WorkingStiff

    “174 yards, 163 of those yards came after the catch.”

    I presume you guys don’t count the two PI’s on Wallace that were about 30 yards downfield total, but that number must be a typo. Lots of short passes but he threw for more than 11 yards downfield.

    • Mike Weisel

      Brady throws short constantly, but thats just Brady taking what the defense gives and being smart. Teddy does the same, has horrible protection, but needs to throw deep more….

    • JudoPrince

      That simply isn’t possible; to complete 20 passes with only 11 total yards of air travel? PFF needs to correct this ASAP

  • Vitor

    It would be nice if you guys put the grades of the players commented on the takeaways who weren’t top performers for their teams, like Bridgewater, Ryan and Coleman.

  • Tim Edell

    163 out of 174 YAC huh??

  • Luke Thompson

    My goodness. You need some help fact checking. Bridgewater had 20 completions and you’re telling me the average distance traveled on those completions was half a yard? Good grief.

    • Mike Weisel

      Past the line of scrimmage, I took a quick glance at the nfl.com drive chart(not the most accurate, but decent) and most were short, but I’ll take the quick passes for YAC, vs the 7 step drop get Teddy killed deep routes from the packers game.

      • Luke Thompson

        The nfl drive chart clearly shows Teddy had more than 11 yards passing before YAC is included. Heck, he had a 12 yard completion to Rudy that had no YAC. I agree with your points, though. The quick passing game is much more efficient and avoids big losses through sacks.

        • Mike Weisel

          PFF seem to be going the way of FIRST, we got it out FIRST!!, vs completely accurate. They seem to going the way of CHFF. I think the grades are seem to still be fine, but the text in the articles seems off to back it up.

  • Erich Meyenburg

    Can you guys explain why Rhodes gets a 41 while Sherman gets an 81. Thier box scores are really similar.