News & Analysis

NFL Week 1 PFF ReFocused: Minnesota Vikings 28, Atlanta Falcons 12

Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings rolled over the Atlanta Falcons in a 28-12 blowout to open the 2019 NFL season.

PFF's ReFocused series features immediate takeaways from the two analysts who graded the game live. The two offer a detailed breakdown of the game's most notable performances before the grades and advanced stats are reviewed and finalized by Senior Analysts.

All of PFF's grades and advanced stats from this game and the other games played this week will be finalized and made available to ELITE subscribers within 24 hours of the final whistle. ELITE subscribers can view player grades, advanced statistics, positional snap counts and more in Premium Stats.

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Final Score

Minnesota Vikings 28, Atlanta Falcons 12

Minnesota Vikings

A couple of interceptions and a late stop on a two-point play meant Anthony Harris was primed for a game ball for his efforts. Both picks came at critical stages of the game and were huge factors in the Vikings getting out ahead and staying there.

It was an interesting day for Eric Kendricks, who was largely exceptional in the passing game, whether it generating pressure or breaking on passes. The only downside was his tackling, where multiple misses are something to improve on.

Kirk Cousins was fearless under pressure. It won't show up as huge plays, but while Matt Ryan was throwing picks when pressured, Cousins was extending the play long enough to throw the ball away and avoid turnover worthy plays.

The same old concerns are aplenty with the Vikings' offensive line. Rookie center Garrett Bradbury may have been on the winning team, but he lost more than his fair share of battles with Tyeler Davison.

Rookie Takeaways

This was a game to forget for Bradberry in pass protection.

Atlanta Falcons

Matt Ryan struggled when facing pressure all game long. He looked shaky for most of the meaningful action, throwing two avoidable picks with careless balls when pressured.

None of Atlanta's offensive linemen played well in today's action. Rookie Kaleb McGary, in particular, had a rough debut, as Danielle Hunter had his way with him multiple times. Still, with McGary's offseason surgery and rookie status there are some mitigating factors, excuses that Jake Matthews can't have after he was beaten for three sacks (one called back on a penalty).

Any doubts about Grady Jarrett resting on his laurels after his big offseason contract extension evaporated quickly. He may have ended up on the losing team, but his performance on the interior was a tour de force of defensive tackle play, as he got into the backfield against both the pass and run, while picking up a forced fumble on his quarterback sack.

The Falcons replaced Robert Alford with Isaiah Oliver the next man up to replace him. He drew the tough task of Adam Thielen, and he didn't respond in the manner the team would have hoped, getting beat early for a touchdown and failing to make plays as the game went on.

Rookie Takeaways

As mentioned above, McGary had a rough start to his NFL career. He picked up negative marks in the run game and in pass protection. Fellow rookie Chris Lindstrom didn't have a great game, either, but at least he performed above expectation in pass protection.

Know tomorrow, today. Western Southern Financial Group.
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