The Vikings open the season at U.S. Bank stadium vs. the Falcons, and look to start things off in the win column. The Matt Ryan led Falcons have faced Mike Zimmer’s defense three previous times, and Ryan has played well below his career per-game averages in overall performance, averaging one touchdown and one interception per contest. Will this time be different or will the Falcons continue to fall to the Vikings?
Mike Zimmer does a great job of disguising his coverages when faces superior wide receivers, and this has led to Julio Jones averaging less than sixty yards per game and scoring zero touchdowns in his career against the Vikings (since 2014). While on paper it seems Xavier Rhodes is solely responsible for the coverage on Jones, it is actually a team effort. The Vikings play more two high safeties, and use coverages that look like man but turn out to be Zone.
The Vikings use three defenders here to make sure Ryan has to throw the ball elsewhere.
The Vikings do a good job disguising coverage here and dictating where Ryan goes with the ball
The only issue that can arise from these coverages is the emergence of second-year Wide receiver Calvin Ridley. He feasted on defenses that have paid too much attention to Julio Jones. He finished the season with over eight-hundred yards and ten touchdowns in 2018. Mike Zimmer will have to scheme up some coverages that account for both of Atlanta’s star receivers if they want to head into week two with a win