The Vikings started the 2019 season with an impressive 28-12 win over the Atlanta Falcons. Dalvin Cook was magnificent and the defense was in Matt Ryan's face all game.
Minnesota got off to a hot start with the defense forcing a three-and-out followed by a blocked punt to put the offense in the red zone.
Two plays later, Kirk Cousins found Adam Thielen for a 23-yard touchdown. After Anthony Harris picked off Matt Ryan on Atlanta's next possession, the Vikings took over at midfield and eventually Cook ran for a 19-yard score to give Minnesota a two-possession lead.
After Kirk Cousins rushed in for a QB sneak in the second quarter, the Vikings led 21-0 heading into halftime.
Minnesota continued to hand the ball off to Cook in the second half and the third-year tailback found the end zone one more time.
Cook finished the day with 111 yards on 21 carries with two touchdowns. Rookie Alexander Mattison also had a solid NFL debut with 49 yards on nine carries. As a team, the Vikings rushed for 172 yards on 38 attempts.
Atlanta was able to find the end zone twice in fourth quarter but the game was already out of reach.
With the ground game being so effective Cousins didn't have do too much in the win, completing just eight of 10 passes for 98 yards. It was the fewest yards and attempts Cousins has had in his career as a starter.
Minnesota's defense smothered Atlanta all game, forcing four turnovers while picking up four sacks.
Ryan padded his stats in garbage time but the former NFL MVP was uncomfortable all game, throwing two interceptions in the loss – both to Vikings safety Anthony Harris.
With the win the Vikings are 1-0 on the season and will travel to Lambeau Field next week to play the Green Bay Packers.