Five unique numbers from the Minnesota Vikings victory in Atlanta
The Minnesota Vikings continued the momentum with a 31-28 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday afternoon. It was one of the most exhilarating games of the 2023 for the purple and gold, considering the adversity of the game before and during. Here are five unique numbers from the Vikings three-point victory at Mercedes-Benz Stadium:
31 – Points
Kevin O’Connell may have ascended himself into the coach of the year front-runner after Sunday. The Vikings went into Atlanta without its starting quarterback, the best non-quarterback in the NFL, its starting left tackle, its starting defensive end, and its starting outside linebacker while losing its backup quarterback, backup running back, and third-best wide receiver in the process.
Without a variety of impactful players, the Vikings engineered 31 points. This marked the first time all season that the Vikings reached the 30-plus point mark during the 2023 season. It took eight weeks last year for Minnesota to get that mark. This year, it took nine. O’Connell may have coached his best game in his young career, and if the Vikings make the playoffs, he should no doubt be a frontrunner for coach of the year.
66 – Yards rushing
The Vikings rushing attack has been mediocre at best, ranking towards the bottom in the NFL in attempts, yards, yards per attempt, and touchdowns. On Sunday, the Vikings managed to accumulate 146 rushing yards. This was not only the first 100-yard performance by the team since week four against the Carolina Panthers but also the most by the Vikings all season.
On seven carries, 66 of these yards came from Joshua Dobbs, who literally played on the fly and led Minnesota to victory after Jaren Hall left the game with a concussion. Dobbs runs were impactful for the Vikings. Three in particular changed the entire game. The first kept the drive alive on a 3rd and long, leading to a touchdown pass to Alexander Mattison to pull the Vikings within one.
Unreal escape by Josh Dobbs for a first down. And what a block by Cam Akers! pic.twitter.com/1Om5W7ZCse
— Will Ragatz (@WillRagatz) November 5, 2023
The second impactful run was Dobbs taking it in himself, tying the game at 21 in the final minutes of the third quarter.
Josh Dobbs has his flaws. But the dude is a gamer. pic.twitter.com/xkwYAqiSKw
— NFL Fashion Advice (@fashion_nfl) November 5, 2023
Dobbs’ most notable run came late on a crucial 4th and seven that kept the Vikings aspirations of picking up a victory alive.
JOSH DOBBS IS NOT HUMAN pic.twitter.com/dT7IbNDqEj
— vikesinsider (@vikesinsider) November 5, 2023
The last time a Vikings quarterback ran for more yards than Dobbs did on Sunday, you have to go back to Dec. 11, 2011, where Joe Webb ran for 109 yards in a 34-28 loss to the Detroit Lions. The last time it happened in a win was on Dec. 21, 2002, when Daunte Culpepper ran for 71 in a 20-17 victory over the Miami Dolphins.
Dobbs and even Hall’s mobility presents something Vikings fans haven’t had in recent memory. Kirk Cousins, while an excellent pocket passer, doesn’t present the true running threat that we saw Sunday. Case Keenum and Teddy Bridgewater could move around, but it wasn’t their strength, while Sam Bradford, like Cousins, was essentially a statue in the pocket.
As O’Connell and the Vikings front office search for the future successor of Cousins for this franchise, it will be interesting to see how much mobility plays a factor. It was rumored to have interest in Anthony Richardson this past draft cycle before drafting Hall.
102 – Years
What Josh Dobbs did on Sunday was rare. It’s not often that you see a quarterback get traded midseason, then with no reps in practice and being with the team for just five days, go out and pick up a victory. But, the feat that he accomplished started before he joined the team.
In week one with the Arizona Cardinals, Dobbs scored three touchdowns against the Baltimore Ravens, with two thrown in the air and one on the ground. Against the Falcons on Sunday, Dobbs threw for two and ran for one, equaling three touchdowns.
— MSN (@mnspnews) November 5, 2023
Josh Dobbs is here and he is cooking! pic.twitter.com/EZPuyCHt1F
— MSN (@mnspnews) November 5, 2023
What Dobbs has done this season is something that hasn’t been done in the modern era of the National Football League. No player has thrown for two touchdowns and rushed for another for two different teams in the same season since 1921. It’s been 102 years since that occurred when the NFL was still named the American Professional Football Association.
11-10 – Halftime score
Scoragami recognizes games where certain final scores of games happen for the first time. If there were a halftime scoragami, the Vikings-Falcons game would’ve fit that criteria. Atlanta’s Younghoe Koo drilled a trio of field goals while Calais Campbell sacked Dobbs in the end zone for safety.
Calais Campbell with the Safety and dirty bird 🐦
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) November 5, 2023
On the other hand, Greg Joseph knocked in one of his three field goals in the first half, while the Vikings scored a touchdown shortly before half. When both teams went into the locker room, for the first time in NFL history, the league saw a score of 11-10.
4 – Game win streak
Through the adversity of starting 1-4 and repeatedly turning the ball over, the Vikings have climbed out of their self-inflicted hole to get above .500. They are now the hottest team in the NFC with a four-game winning streak and currently sit as the No. 7 seed in the conference. The Vikings are in control of their playoff aspirations as three of its next four opponents possess a losing record, and the Detroit Lions lead in the NFC North is now thin.
Onto New Orleans.
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