Minnesota Vikings predictions: Week 6 vs. Falcons

Remember last week when virtually nobody (at least among our list of NFL predictors) thought the Minnesota Vikings would win?

OK, well, they didn’t, but they nearly did pull off an upset of Seattle.

This week the script is sort of flipped.

The 1-4 Vikings host the winless Atlanta Falcons, who now have a new head coach.

Even with the change at the top let’s just say there’s a lot of confidence in Minnesota this week. But, alas, unlike last week’s near Seahawks unanimity, there are a few who do see the Vikings going down to defeat.

Here’s this week’s Vikings predictions from around the web:

Barry Wilner of the Associated Press: Vikings 25, Falcons 17.

Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times: Vikings 31, Falcons 28. “The Vikings came oh-so-close at Seattle and showed some explosiveness they had been lacking. Now, they’re facing a horrible defense and they’re at home, so they should be able to close this out.”

Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com: Vikings 27, Falcons 26. “Raheem Morris takes over as Falcons coach with the firing of Dan Quinn. Can he bring some life to this team? The defense is woeful, and now must face a Vikings offense that can run it, even without Dalvin Cook. The Vikings are home for the first time in two weeks and they will find a way to win this one. It might be closer than expected.”

NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal: Vikings 34, Falcons 24. “The Vikings are the opposite of the suspect 4-1 Bears, one of the better 1-4 teams in recent memory. While Mike Zimmer’s defense is slowly improving, Gary Kubiak’s offense is a dangerous combination of great zone blocking and big plays through the air. That should be plenty to dispose of the winless Falcons even if Dalvin Cook is out. Atlanta interim coach Raheem Morris galvanized the Falcons’ defense as a play-caller late last year, but there’s little reason to think he can stall Matt Ryan’s gradual decline.”

Will Brinson of CBSSports.com: Falcons 35, Vikings 28. “Anyone who reads my picks columns over the years knows I’m a big fan of the Dead Cat Bounce. If you don’t know what it means, basically it involves a team firing its coach and then playing well the following week. Players have acknowledged this is a thing (Brady Quinn mentioned how everyone cranks up the energy a notch when the coach is canned because you realize everyone’s job is on the line) and it shows up pretty well in the stat line and the results. We saw the Texans take care of business against the Jags last week after Bill O’Brien was fired. I think the Falcons will do something similar and try to air it out against a porous Vikings defense. Matt Ryan will be miffed at Arthur Blank’s comments and looking to prove something. Big day for him, Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley.”

John Breech of CBSSports.com: Vikings 30, Falcons 20.

The Miami Herald’s Greg Cote: Vikings 34, Falcons 24. “Atlanta playing first game since firing coach Dan Quinn and its GM; interim Raheem Morris takes over. Both sides have a key offensive piece (Julio Jones, Dalvin Cook) iffy to play, but two pliable defenses should make for a shootout just the same. Minny has a pair of one-point losses to good teams (Titans, Seahawks). Vikes are better than the record and will show it here.”

Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News: Vikings 33, Falcons 24. “The Falcons will be playing under interim coach Raheem Morris following the firing of Dan Quinn, looking for a Texans-like spark on the road. Unfortunately, Morris will see the same defensive issues surface against an elite rushing attack, even if Alexander Mattison has to be featured over an injured Dalvin Cook. The Falcons also cannot cover either Adam Thielen or Justin Jefferson. Minnesota will dominate time of possession for another week, but this time will easily thwart Matt Ryan, likely without Julio Jones again.”

Jonathan Jones of CBSSports.com: Falcons.

Bill Bender of the Sporting News: Vikings 29, Falcons 24. “The Falcons fired Dan Quinn after a 0-5 start, and the Vikings might be without Dalvin Cook (groin). Both defenses give up more than 30 points per game, but the Vikings ride Alexander Mattison to victory here in a close one.”

Jordan Dajani of CBSSports.com: Falcons 33, Vikings 30.

Philly Voice’s Jimmy Kempski: Vikings.

Josh Schrock of NBC Sports Bay Area: Vikings 28, Falcons 23. “OK, we’re off the Falcons. I might have been the last one on the ride, but now I’m off. I had them against the Bears and they blew a three-score lead. I took them against the Panthers and they didn’t even show up. The Vikings can run the ball even without Dalvin Cook and Adam Thielen should be able to torch a horrid Falcons’ secondary.”

More Vikings coverage

Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman: Vikings 31, Falcons 21.

Pro Football Talk’s Michael David Smith and Mike Florio: MDS – Vikings 28, Falcons 13; Florio –Vikings 31, Falcons 20.

All six analysts at SI.com are picking Vikings.

All three writers at Athlon Sports pick the Vikings to win.

Nine of the 10 SB Nation writers predict a Vikings victory.

Six of seven USA Today writers pick the Vikings to win with Mike Jones the only one to take the Falcons.

Sensing a trend (once again): All seven PennLive.com writers pick the Vikings.