For those that thought that the Falcons were going to be okay with Joey Harrington at quarterback in 2007 – you had better think again. The Bobby Petrino coaching regin of the Falcons kicked off in Minnesota on Sunday, and the Falcons were beaten up and down the field all day as they fell 24-3. It was not all Harrington’s fault, as he threw for 199 yards, but was picked of twice, one going back for a score by linebacker Kevin Williams, and another getting returned by Antoine Winfield to put the icing on the Vikings cake to make it 24-3.
The Falcons running game also didn’t produce like it usually does, as it was held to just 96 yards on 28 carries, a 3.4 yards per carry average. The Vikings continued to look like they did last season against the run, when they led the league in stopping the opposing ball carriers.
For the Vikings, they got a glimpse of the future as running back Adrian Peterson shined, catching a pass and going 60 yards for a score. Peterson also ran hard, going over 100 yards, 19 carries for 103 yards, a 5.4 yards per carry average. He averaged 5.4 yards per carry. On the day, Minnesota ran for 139 yards on 27 carries, just over 5 yards per carry, keeping the Falcons off the field. QB Tavaris Jackson was 13-for-23 for 163 yards, 60 of which came on the pass to Peterson. He threw a pick as well.
The Vikings defense did the job in this one, and with two INT returns for scores, they did an excellent job in picking up their offense, which ended up with just over 300 yards, and held the Falcons to 265 total yards. Harrington and the team averaged just 5.3 yards per pass, making the decision once again not to get a QB late in the preseason from another team or on the wavier wire one that Atlanta may very well regret.