LIVE: Falcons face Vikings minus Peterson

Inside Vikings’ fan store, Adrian Peterson’s jersey is not for sale.

Falcons need a better road performance than they had in Cincinnati.

Falcons need a better road performance than they had in Cincinnati.

MINNEAPOLIS — Welcome to middle America, where the contrasting emotions of how Minnesota Vikings’ fans feel about suspended running back Adrian Peterson continue.

Outside of the University of Minnesota’s football stadium, where the Vikings are playing during new stadium construction, I saw several fans wearing No. 28 Peterson jerseys despite the fact he has been indicted in Texas on child abuse charges. But in the team’s official stadium pro shop, the player’s jersey is not available for sale. (See photos.)

Some of the scene outside the stadium: Three "Petersons" and one "Favre."

Some Vikings’ fans outside of Minnesota’s stadium: Three (Adrian) “Petersons” and one (Brett) “Favre.”

Meanwhile, a Minneapolis Star-Tribune poll has ignited larger debates on: 1) whether parents are justified in hitting their children and, 2) what constitutes child abuse. Peterson admits he hit his son with a “switch.” According to the poll of 500 Minnesotans: 57 percent described Peterson’s actions as abusive; 59 percent said their own parents used corporal punishment; 33 percent said parents have a right to use physical punishment to discipline

Inside of the Vikings' fan store, Adrian Peterson's jersey isn't among those for sale.

Inside Vikings’ fan store, Adrian Peterson’s jersey is not for sale.

their children.

Peterson is on the NFL commissioner’s exempt list, which effectively equates to an indefinite suspension with pay.

This much we can all agree on: The Vikings aren’t nearly the same team without Peterson. Minnesota won its season opener against St. Louis with him in the lineup but lost the last two without him, scoring only one touchdown and 16 points in losses to New England (30-7) and New Orleans (20-9).

The Falcons’ defense should be in a strong position today. Vikings rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will be making his first NFL start after replacing the injured Matt Cassel last week.

After going sack-less in the first two games, the defense recorded three sacks, seven hits and 12 hurries last Thursday night against Tampa Bay. But that Buccaneers’ team is one of the worst I’ve ever seen and that game was at home.

On that subject: The Falcons’ offense has scored 93 points in two home games (both wins) but managed only 10 (with one meaningless late touchdown) at Cincinnati. I wrote then and I’ll reiterate now: A strength of a team ultimately is defined by how it fares in late-season games and its level of resiliency on the road. The Falcons were dreadful in that 24-10 loss to the Bengals. They were physically beat up on both lines. That needs to change today.

I’ll be here live blogging all game, or at least until I need to start working on my column and short takes. So if you have any questions, throw them at me.

Falcons’ inactives today: The only significant missing player is wide receiver Harry Douglas, who has a foot injury. Also out: quarterback Sean Renfree (third quarterback), tackle Ryan Schaeder, center James Stone, defensive tackle Cliff Matthews, defensive end Tyler Starr and cornerback Javier Arenas.

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— MyAJC: Georgia’s next 7 games are what really counts
— AJC: Short takes on Georgia’s 66-0 win over Troy
— MyAJC: Falcons now realize they need to step on gas
— AJC: Weekend Predictions: Falcons win, Jackets lose, Goodell cowers
— AJC: Braves see Nats celebrate, and Pirates may do same
— MyAJC: Fredi Gonzalez: ‘It’s my team, I take full responsibility’
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— MyAJC: Falcons let everybody see their ugly side
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— MyAJC: Georgia Tech has problems, but it also has Justin Thomas
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— AJC: Levenson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar miss point about Atlanta
— MyAJC: Levenson gone but timing raises questions
— AJC: Hawks’ Levenson has ugly exit because of email
— MyAJC: Matt Ryan wouldn’t let Falcons lose
— MyAJC: Georgia Tech still looks wobbly at 2-0
— AJC: Weekend Predictions: Falcons (real ones) over Saints
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Reader Comments 0

889 comments
turftoe
turftoe

Auther Blank is the only winner in this circus!The Falcons are worth a lot more now than when he bought them,millions more,so why would he care hes making money no matter how they play!

zuzu331
zuzu331

Enough scapegoating. The defense had an awful showing today. Mike Nolan is responsible for the defense,period. The lack of OL depth needed to be addressed better-months ago. More emphasis on the passing game to an already over-predictible pass first team wasnt the answer and containing it is childsplay,on any level ,much less the NFL. (Theyve got to stop us? In writing? In the Paper? Really?) Simple,too simple. Control the line of scrimmage,win games.

Dirtyb8
Dirtyb8

How is this defense any different than Tampa Bay's? They allowed 56 points and we allowed 41 points. Thats almost the same. If we didn't have a good offense, we would be Tampa Bay 2 of the NFC South

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

Bierman, Worilow, and Ishmail were best defenders. Antone Smith, Hester and Julio best offense. We will be 8-8 this year. STill better than last years team but the O-line is depleted again and still no pass rush.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TreeRollins

Better than last year's team doesn't cut it; I mean, we're talking 4-12 here.

atl_professor
atl_professor

They just need a new billion dollar stadium and THEN they will make you ticket holders proud...   Get downtown and put up your seat deposit.


They are cursed...  for buying the Negros church...


Snap !!!



TreeRollins
TreeRollins

offense played strong today. Bridgewater was just too much for us. Made mincemeat out of Trufant today. There is just no pass rush whatsoever. Osi missing person.

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

What has hurt this team the most was the drafting of Hageman - it's like Paria Jerry all over again. And we cannot afford to waste high draft picks. But we did again.

Dirtyb8
Dirtyb8

@FalconsD Tree has a point. We need to draft guys who can come in and start immediately. Not some fat loser who is too lazy with potential. Thats what the majority of our roster is full of. Just players with potential and how many so far have lived up to their expectations? 

FalconsD
FalconsD

Tree, do you know Hagerman personally? He hadn't even been on the field long enough to know what kind of player he is going to be...he is only a rookie and this is just the forth game of the season. I notice that you are always on this guy.

zuzu331
zuzu331

@FalconsD Oh,Hageman hasnt shown squat. Why all the hatin' on Worrilow,who makes plays,and no attention on Hageman and Osi who havent shown anything? Waiting on a legit HONEST answer (everyone knows the real answer)...

crd617
crd617

Asiatta and McKinnon - over 200 yards rushing 


1 - Who?

  2 - Defense - What Defense?

crd617
crd617

What does Mike Smith do on the sideline other than raise his index finger to call for an extra point?

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

Let's give Bridgewater some of the credit for that- he played great!

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TreeRollins

Hell, the real Tree Rollins would've played great with the time Bridgewater had in that pocket.

crd617
crd617

Simply stated - No Defense ...


Dirtyb8
Dirtyb8

As long as Arthur Blank is happy and stupid fans that show up in the dome week after week to see this pathetic defense, there will never be a change. Rise up and boycott the games guys!!

ATLien66
ATLien66

It doesn't matter who they draft on offense!  There defense stinks.  Without hesitation, this is the worse defense I have ever seen on a professional level.  They don't seen to be able to stop a MARTA bus while waiting at a bus stop.  Ridiculous!!!!!

turftoe
turftoe

they making fun of us on sundaynight  football

スコット
スコット

@turftoe These are the same pundits who said the Falcons are back as  playoff contender .Not by a long shot .

CanBee
CanBee

Calling a running play and handing off to Steven Jackson is nothing more than a WASTED down. And for you clowns that are on. Matt Ryan's case, he and the passing game is ALL the Falcons have. Interceptions are going to happen when you are down 2 touchdowns, have no running game, and under 2 minutes to play. All the Defense has to do is key on Ryan and passing...no other threat.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@CanBee

We have another threat. His name is Antone Smith, but thanks to the other Smith, he mostly stays buried on the bench. 

bennyhayes
bennyhayes

TD drafting Toilolo another wasted pick. If he cannot block, he is useless. Already can't catch a cold. But there's Hageman...never mind.

Earhardnt_Fan
Earhardnt_Fan

Flacons shuld of had of dafted Brigewater Like I siad

neauxgeaux28
neauxgeaux28

lmao at the FALCANTS....beat the Saints and thought you won the SB in week 1...lmao....Saints have a real Lombardi....you got nothing but disappointment....can't stop laughing.....even the Saints beat the Vikings....

Dirtyb8
Dirtyb8

@neauxgeaux28 "real" lombardi? Since when? Last time I checked it was a bounty gate lombardi.

FalconsD
FalconsD

Only bc the ref cheated on that hit on Brees

ChopChamps95
ChopChamps95

@Dirtyb8 @neauxgeaux28  Just let him keep thinking whatever he wants.  Even since that SB, they've have thought they are a dynasty that ranks up there in Cowboys/Steelers lore.  We all know the truth, let him live with his delusions of granger.

FalconsD
FalconsD

Did anyone hear Osi name today?

keendaddy
keendaddy

Yeah, on a holding penalty against him while he was covering a receiver!

スコット
スコット

This team need a real coach for starter's .The defense is way to small they haven't put any real pressure on a QB to date .The Offensives line is even worse to small can't protect the QB.What this game prove is the Falcons are a  long ways off in becoming a playoff team .Ryan will probably be retiring by the time Falcons owner get it right. What a dam waste of money building this team a new stadium. Deja veu BRAVOS.

LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

@vesaversa

It's not easy rebuilding an entire defense in one year.  Best hope is that they suck just a little bit less than last year.