It was a rough first game for the Atlanta Falcons. Their first play from scrimmage was a sack, their first drive ended in a three-and-out, and then Atlanta gave up a blocked punt.
The season opener continued to spiral out of control from there, as the Minnesota Vikings cruised to a 28-12 victory at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on Sunday.
Atlanta played poorly in all three phases, but the Falcons offense was the worst and most disappointing. Quarterback Matt Ryan threw two bad interceptions, and Devonta Freeman lost a fumble. Minnesota scored off all three Atlanta turnovers and also after the blocked punt.
That enabled the Vikings to stick to their heavy-run game plan. Minnesota attempted 38 rushes versus only 10 passes. That worked because the Vikings were ahead from the very beginning of the game and constantly in good field position.
Of course, the Falcons defense played a part in the Vikings successful offensive game plan as well. Atlanta couldn't stop the run Sunday, giving up 174 rushing yards to an offense which finished 30th in rushing last year.
Our final takeaway is a general thought but an important one -- don't overreact too much to this disappointing performance. The Falcons should learn from it, and then honestly, they need to throw it away.
All kinds of crazy stuff happens in Week 1, and yet, we always fall for early-season overreactions. Atlanta played very poorly, but the Falcons have too much talent for them to play like this much longer.