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Vikings shut down Falcons 14-9 for 8th straight victory

ATLANTA (AP) The Vikings frustrated Matt Ryan, blanketed Julio Jones and kept the Atlanta Falcons out of the end zone.

Minnesota's eighth straight victory was all about defense.

Case Keenum threw a pair of touchdown passes, including the go-ahead score on the first play of the fourth quarter, but the guys on the other side of the line were largely responsible for the Vikings extending their winning streak to eight in a row Sunday with a grind-it-out, 14-9 victory over the Falcons.

''It was a hard one,'' coach Mike Zimmer said. ''We've got a good bunch of fighters on this football team, and I think maybe they really believe now.''

Keenum strengthened his hold on the starting job by going 25 of 30 for 227 yards. He hooked up with Jerick McKinnon on a 2-yard scoring play in the second quarter and went to Kyle Rudolph for a 6-yard touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter , capping an 89-yard drive that consumed more than 8 minutes.

Minnesota (10-2) turned in a stellar defensive effort against a team that led the league in scoring a year ago and seemed to be finding its stride during a three-game winning streak, averaging nearly 32 points.

The Falcons (7-5) were held without a touchdown for the first time since Dec. 13, 2015, when they were blanked 38-0 by Carolina . Ryan's streak of 30 straight games with a TD pass also ended, going down as the eighth-longest in NFL history.

The league's reigning MVP, Ryan finished 16 of 29 for just 173 yards - his lowest output since he threw for 172 yards in a 33-10 loss to Seattle in 2013.

''They are a very good defense,'' Ryan said. ''We knew it was going to be tough sledding at times, but we've got to be more productive.''

Jones was held to a pair of catches for 24 yards, one week after he had 12 receptions for 253 yards in a victory over Tampa Bay.

"We know how great a player he is, how talented he is,'' Zimmer said. ''It's important that we try to take away some of the opponent's strengths each week.''

With the win and Detroit's loss to Baltimore, the Vikings took a four-game lead in the NFC North. They also gained on Philadelphia in the race for the NFC's top seed when the Eagles (10-2) lost at Seattle on Sunday night.

The loss could be a crucial one for Atlanta, which is two games behind New Orleans and one behind Carolina in the NFC South. Seattle's win put the Falcons out of position for a wild card.

After Matt Bryant's third field goal gave the Falcons a 9-7 lead early in the third quarter, the Vikings took control with a bruising drive that included three third-down conversions. Once they flipped ends of the field at the end of the third quarter, Keenum found Rudolph all alone in the back of the end zone for the go-ahead score. The tight end beat cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson, who took over with Desmond Trufant held out because of a concussion.

While Rudolph and his teammates celebrated, Wreh-Wilson looked around as though he was expecting help.

Atlanta's last gasp ended when Bryant missed a 45-yard field goal with 4:58 remaining after the Falcons passed on a chance to go for it on fourth-and-4.

Minnesota held the ball the rest of the game , essentially sealing the victory when Keenum connected with Adam Thielen on a third-down pass that went for 22 yards. The Vikings kneeled down deep in Falcons territory as the clock ran out.

THIRD DOWN DIFFERENCE

The Falcons were leading the league with a 48 percent conversion rate on third down.

They finished 1 of 10 against the Vikings.

Minnesota, on the other hand, converted 6 of 10 third-down chances.

''That really ended up being a big factor in the game,'' Zimmer said.

REMEMBRANCES OF `98

McKinnon, an Atlanta native, celebrated his touchdown by breaking into the "Dirty Bird," the end-zone dance made famous by Jamal Anderson during the Falcons' run to the Super Bowl in 1998.

''It was a tribute to my hometown,'' he said. ''I grew up watching the Falcons. I'll give myself an `A' for it.''

The Falcons also remembered that season by honoring Hall of Fame kicker Morten Andersen, whose 38-yard field goal in the NFC championship game gave Atlanta a stunning 30-27 overtime victory over heavily favored Minnesota.

INJURY REPORT

Vikings: TE David Morgan went out in the first quarter with a concussion. He was the top backup to Rudolph.

Falcons: G Andy Levitre sustained a triceps injury in the first quarter and didn't return. Ben Garland took his spot on the offensive line. In addition to Trufant, the defense was missing nickel back Brian Poole (back), who appeared to make progress during the week but was downgraded to questionable on Saturday.

UP NEXT

Vikings: Their third straight road game will be against another NFC South opponent, Carolina.

Falcons: Face a short turnaround before hosting a must-win Thursday night game against their bitter division rival, the Saints.

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Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at https://twitter.com/pnewberry1963 . His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/paul%20newberry

---

More AP NFL: http://pro32.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Copyright 2017 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
C. Keenum 7 QB
227 PaYds, 2 PaTDs, RuYd
21
FPTS
D. Freeman 24 RB
74 RuYds, 7 ReYds, REC
7
FPTS
Scoring Summary
4th Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 14:56
K.Forbath extra point is GOOD, Center-K.McDermott, Holder-R.Quigley.
plays
yds
pos
14
9
Touchdown 14:56
C.Keenum pass short middle to K.Rudolph for 6 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
15
plays
89
yds
8:15
pos
13
9
3rd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Field Goal 11:57
M.Bryant 47 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-J.Harris, Holder-M.Bosher.
7
plays
46
yds
3:03
pos
7
9
2nd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Field Goal 5:47
M.Bryant 36 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-J.Harris, Holder-M.Bosher.
8
plays
65
yds
4:14
pos
7
6
Point After TD 10:01
K.Forbath extra point is GOOD, Center-K.McDermott, Holder-R.Quigley.
plays
yds
pos
7
3
Touchdown 10:01
J.Sirles reported in as eligible. C.Keenum pass short right to J.McKinnon for 2 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
9
plays
53
yds
5:04
pos
6
3
1st Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Field Goal 5:24
M.Bryant 38 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-J.Harris, Holder-M.Bosher.
15
plays
58
yds
7:24
pos
0
3
Team Stats
Time of Pos 34:02 25:58
1st Downs 22 15
Rushing 6 5
Passing 15 8
Penalty 1 2
3rd Down Conv 6-12 1-10
4th Down Conv 0-0 1-1
Total Net Yards 312 275
Total Plays 63 51
Avg Gain 5.0 5.4
Net Yards Rushing 105 102
Rush Attempts 31 22
Avg Rush Yards 3.4 4.6
Net Yards Passing 207 173
Comp. - Att. 25-30 16-29
Yards Per Pass 6.9 6.0
Sacked - Yards Lost 2-20 0-0
Penalties - Yards 6-51 7-55
Touchdowns 2 0
Rushing TDs 0 0
Passing TDs 2 0
Other 0 0
Turnovers 0 0
Fumbles - Lost 0-0 0-0
Int. Thrown 0 0
Punts - Avg 5-45.0 4-49.3
Return Yards 61 53
Punts - Returns 1-10 2-8
Kickoffs - Returns 2-51 2-45
Int. - Returns 0-0 0-0
Kicking 2/2 3/4
Extra Points 2/2 0/0
Field Goals 0/0 3/4
Red Zone Eff. 2-3 -67% 0-1 -0%
Goal to Go Eff. 2-3 -67% 0-0 -0%
Safeties 0 0
1234T
Vikings 10-2 070714
Falcons 7-5 33309
207 PASS YDS 173
105 RUSH YDS 102
312 TOTAL YDS 275
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT FPTS
C. Keenum 7 QB
21
FPTS
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
83.3% 227 2 0 120.4
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
67.5% 2703 16 5 98.6
C. Keenum 25/30 227 2 0 21
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG FPTS
L. Murray 25 RB
9
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
16 76 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
146 572 5
L. Murray 16 76 0 30 9
J. McKinnon 21 RB
10
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
9 24 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
115 414 3
J. McKinnon 9 24 0 7 10
S. Diggs 14 WR
3
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 5 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
5 11 0
S. Diggs 1 5 0 5 3
C. Ham 30 RB
1
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 1 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
7 13 1
C. Ham 1 1 0 1 1
C. Keenum 7 QB
21
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
4 -1 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
27 102 1
C. Keenum 4 -1 0 2 21
Receiving TAR REC YDS TD LG FPTS
A. Thielen 19 WR
5
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
5 4 51 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 74 1056 3
A. Thielen 5 4 51 0 22 5
K. Rudolph 82 TE
9
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
5 4 36 1
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 50 465 6
K. Rudolph 5 4 36 1 16 9
S. Diggs 14 WR
3
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
5 2 32 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 42 630 5
S. Diggs 5 2 32 0 19 3
J. McKinnon 21 RB
10
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
5 5 28 1
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 41 289 2
J. McKinnon 5 5 28 1 12 10
L. Murray 25 RB
9
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
3 3 21 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 10 60 0
L. Murray 3 3 21 0 12 9
M. Floyd 18 WR
2
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
2 2 20 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 8 75 0
M. Floyd 2 2 20 0 15 2
J. Wright 17 WR
1
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
3 3 18 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 14 166 2
J. Wright 3 3 18 0 13 1
C. Ham 30 RB
1
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
1 1 12 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 4 47 0
C. Ham 1 1 12 0 12 1
L. Treadwell 11 WR
0
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
1 1 9 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 15 161 0
L. Treadwell 1 1 9 0 9 0
Defense T-A SACK INT FF
E. Kendricks 54 MLB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
8-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
55-32 0 1.0
E. Kendricks 8-2 0.0 0 0
A. Barr 55 OLB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
46-14 0 1.0
A. Barr 5-0 0.0 0 0
X. Rhodes 29 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
32-7 2 0.0
X. Rhodes 5-0 0.0 0 0
H. Smith 22 FS
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
50-12 3 1.0
H. Smith 4-1 0.0 0 0
S. Stephen 93 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
7-14 0 1.0
S. Stephen 2-0 0.0 0 0
T. Waynes 26 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
47-7 2 0.0
T. Waynes 2-1 0.0 0 0
T. Johnson 92 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
T. Johnson 1-1 0.0 0 0
B. Robison 96 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
8-4 0 1.0
B. Robison 1-0 0.0 0 0
E. Lamur 59 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
8-4 0 0.0
E. Lamur 1-0 0.0 0 0
L. Joseph 98 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
32-15 0 2.0
L. Joseph 1-0 0.0 0 0
E. Griffen 97 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
27-9 0 12.0
E. Griffen 1-0 0.0 0 0
A. Sendejo 34 SS
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
38-18 1 0.0
A. Sendejo 1-2 0.0 0 0
B. Gedeon 42 OLB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
15-9 0 0.0
B. Gedeon 1-0 0.0 0 0
D. Hunter 99 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
16-14 0 6.0
D. Hunter 0-1 0.0 0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
K. Forbath 2 K
2
FPTS
IN-GAME FG XP
0/0 2/2
SEASON FG XP
24/28 25/30
K. Forbath 0/0 0 2/2 2
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
R. Quigley 4 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
5 45.0 1
SEASON NO AVG IN20
48 41.9 18
R. Quigley 5 45.0 1 51
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
M. Sherels 35 CB
0
FPTS
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
2 25.5 32 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
8 24.8 32 0
M. Sherels 2 25.5 32 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
M. Sherels 35 CB
0
FPTS
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 10.0 10 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
21 10.2 46 0
M. Sherels 1 10.0 10 0
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT FPTS
M. Ryan 2 QB
6
FPTS
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
55.2% 173 0 0 72.9
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
66.7% 3057 16 8 95.4
M. Ryan 16/29 173 0 0 6
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG FPTS
D. Freeman 24 RB
7
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
12 74 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
128 589 5
D. Freeman 12 74 0 13 7
T. Coleman 26 RB
4
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
8 22 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
130 561 5
T. Coleman 8 22 0 6 4
T. Gabriel 18 WR
0
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 5 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
5 25 0
T. Gabriel 1 5 0 5 0
M. Ryan 2 QB
6
FPTS
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 1 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
21 93 0
M. Ryan 1 1 0 1 6
Receiving TAR REC YDS TD LG FPTS
M. Sanu 12 WR
4
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
5 3 43 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 48 495 4
M. Sanu 5 3 43 0 17 4
T. Coleman 26 RB
4
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
6 3 27 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 21 245 2
T. Coleman 6 3 27 0 15 4
L. Toilolo 80 TE
2
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
2 2 25 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 11 115 1
L. Toilolo 2 2 25 0 16 2
J. Jones 11 WR
2
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
6 2 24 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 68 1063 3
J. Jones 6 2 24 0 13 2
A. Hooper 81 TE
2
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
4 3 21 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 39 438 3
A. Hooper 4 3 21 0 8 2
M. Hall 17 WR
2
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
2 1 20 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 2 60 1
M. Hall 2 1 20 0 20 2
D. Freeman 24 RB
7
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
2 1 7 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 20 144 0
D. Freeman 2 1 7 0 7 7
T. Gabriel 18 WR
0
FPTS
IN-GAME TGT REC YDS TD
2 1 6 0
SEASON TGT REC YDS TD
- 29 332 1
T. Gabriel 2 1 6 0 6 0
Defense T-A SACK INT FF
R. Allen 37 FS
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
8-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
34-12 0 0.0
R. Allen 8-2 0.0 0 0
D. Jones 45 MLB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
6-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
64-32 1 1.0
D. Jones 6-2 0.0 0 0
V. Beasley 44 OLB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
19-5 0 4.0
V. Beasley 5-0 0.0 0 0
K. Neal 22 SS
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-4 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
65-26 0 0.0
K. Neal 5-4 0.0 0 0
D. Poe 92 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
18-10 0 1.0
D. Poe 4-1 0.0 0 0
G. Jarrett 97 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-2 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
27-17 0 2.0
G. Jarrett 3-2 1.0 0 0
D. Campbell 59 OLB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-5 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
48-26 0 2.0
D. Campbell 2-5 0.0 0 0
R. Alford 23 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
45-7 0 0.0
R. Alford 2-0 0.0 0 0
D. Kazee 27 FS
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
12-8 0 0.0
D. Kazee 1-1 0.0 0 0
A. Clayborn 99 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
16-2 0 8.0
A. Clayborn 1-0 0.0 0 0
T. McKinley 98 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
13-3 0 5.0
T. McKinley 1-1 1.0 0 0
B. Wreh-Wilson 33 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
B. Wreh-Wilson 1-1 0.0 0 0
L. Reynolds 53 MLB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-2 0 0.0
L. Reynolds 1-1 0.0 0 0
D. Shelby 90 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
12-14 0 1.0
D. Shelby 0-1 0.0 0 0
B. Reed 50 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
16-12 0 4.0
B. Reed 0-1 0.0 0 0
A. Rubin 79 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-5 0 0.0
A. Rubin 0-2 0.0 0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
M. Bryant 3 K
9
FPTS
IN-GAME FG XP
3/4 0/0
SEASON FG XP
24/28 28/28
M. Bryant 3/4 47 0/0 9
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
M. Bosher 5 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
4 49.3 2
SEASON NO AVG IN20
37 45.1 14
M. Bosher 4 49.3 2 56
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
A. Roberts 19 WR
0
FPTS
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
2 22.5 24 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
30 21.5 61 0
A. Roberts 2 22.5 24 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
A. Roberts 19 WR
0
FPTS
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
2 4.0 5 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
16 8.3 27 0
A. Roberts 2 4.0 5 0
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 MIN 24 2:12 4 20 Punt
5:24 MIN 25 3:51 8 27 Punt
0:05 MIN 47 5:04 9 53 TD
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
5:47 MIN 25 1:58 3 -4 Punt
1:44 MIN 9 1:44 7 60 Half
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
11:57 MIN 30 2:17 3 -3 Punt
8:11 MIN 11 8:15 15 89 TD
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
13:15 MIN 27 3:43 5 -2 Punt
4:58 MIN 35 4:58 9 52 Game
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
12:48 ATL 22 7:24 15 58 FG
1:33 ATL 2 1:28 3 6 Punt
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
10:01 ATL 17 4:14 8 65 FG
3:49 ATL 32 2:05 5 17 Punt
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 ATL 25 3:03 7 46 FG
9:40 ATL 29 1:29 4 6 Punt
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:56 ATL 23 1:41 3 4 Punt
9:32 ATL 29 4:34 10 44 FG Miss