The Vikings kick off the US Bank Stadium season at noon central Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons. This game could give some idea what season the Vikings will have this year.
With that in mind, here are some things to look for on a Sunday that could herald the rest of the Vikings season:
The effect of the Vikings is able to move up the pace?
One of the hallmarks of Kubiak's crime that can help make it effective is to get out of prison and start the game quickly. The Vikings have done so successfully in an effort to open the preseason against the Saints, and it will be interesting to see if they can commit the Falcons offense to open the season.
In the past, the Vikings' offense was often somewhat lethargic in terms of pace, usually more deliberate to get away, take the time to scan the defense, and start the game just before the game clock expires.
That didn't always help them.
Being able to play the game quickly and get to the shame line can put more pressure on opposing defenses, especially the big liners, and give the Vikings advantage in preventing substitutions, wearing defensive defenses. and limiting security pre-communication. But starting the game quickly requires practice and good performance. Will the Vikings be able to keep up the pace?
Julio Jones v. Xavier Rhodes
How Rhodes Rates Against Big Star Receiver Can Predict What Rhodes Season Will Have This Year. Will it close? Will Jones Become Better Than Rhodes? This match can be insightful.
Daniel Hunter Against Right Falcons Backing
The Falcons have injury issues to the right and it's unclear who will start on Sunday for the Falcons. Anyone will probably be fighting Hunter, who looked strong in August.
Most likely the Falcons will plan to give themselves the power to handle Hunter, but what kind of game Hunter can predict is his season. It should have a great game. Failure to do so may dampen some enthusiasm for the Vikings' leader in dismissal last season.
Grady Jarrett against domestic Viking offensive line
Jarrett is the fifth ranked defensive tackle last season according to PFF and is fresh after signing a 4-year, $ 68 million contract extension this summer. How will the new Vikings interior offensive line handle top competition? The Falcons' defensive front is not huge except for Jarrett, so if Bradbury, Elfline and Klein manage to keep Jarrett in the harbor, the Vikings could succeed in running the ball.
We will see how it is played.
Game and Adjustment Plan
This first game could give some insight into the new coaching staff and arrangements.
It's a shame there is a lot more experience on the stand and on the sidelines than last season. In addition, it is reported that one of Gary Kubiak's accusations is game planning for opponents, so we'll see what his experience brings on Sunday. Kubiak also preferred to script the first 15 or so plays each game and correct this one later. Seeing how it all goes down between Cubiak and Kevin Stefanski must be interesting. Mike Zimmer said listening to the communication between them during the preseason is "music to his ears", so hopefully this will lead to both a good game plan and the necessary adjustments.
Will Mike Zimmer Protectively Have Anything New? The Vikings experimented with some 5-2 front-facing views during training camp – with Anthony Bar being the fifth man on the sidelines – but it remains to be seen whether this will look against Atlanta. Or if there will be new wrinkles beyond that.
When the crime is supervised by Gary Kubiak, Zimmer can focus on defense. How good will his game plan be? How responsive will he be in his adjustments?
Finally, with all the turmoil of special teams, what kind of game will the Viking special teams have to start the season? Will the new combo of Dan Bailey, Britton Kolkit and Austin Clotting put all the kicking bugs in bed? How will the coverage blocks handle?
A solid performance on Sunday will soothe many nerves.
The Vikings have leveled well against Atlanta over the last few years when they met because the Vikings had Xavier Rhodes slow down Julio Jones while the Vikings run drilled Matt Ryan.
The defenses in defense were not that strong, especially in the front, and this helped the Vikings to have a successful attack against them.
And while many predict the Falcons will have a better season this year, it's a game and coincidence for the Vikings to win without much trouble if they are to be a top contender this year.
I expect they will. 31-17.
The Vikings are 4 points favorites against the Falcons at home. How would you bet?
The Vikings win, cover the spread with 4 points
The Vikings win, don't cover the spread
9%  Vikings lose
total 195 votes