FLOWERY BRANCH — A look at the teams on the Falcons’ schedule and how they have reconstructed their roster since the season’s end. We’re up to Game 12, when the Falcons will host the Minnesota Vikings.
GAME 12: Minnesota Vikings at Falcons, at 1 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 3
No longer with the Vikings: RB Adrian Peterson, LT Matt Kalil, LB Chad Greenway, DL Scott Crichton, G Brandon Fusco, G Mike Harris DB Cedric Thompson, PK Blair Walsh, T Marquis Lucas and DT Sterling Bailey.
Key free agent signings/pickups: DE Datone Jones, T Riley Reiff, T Mike Remmers, RB Latavious Murray, WR Michael Floyd and QB Case Keenum.
Minnesota Vikings’ 2017 NFL draft
2 41 Dalvin Cook RB Florida State
3 70 Pat Elfein C Ohio State
4 109 Jaleel Johnson DT Iowa
4 120 Ben Gedeon ILB Michigan
5 170 Rodney Adams WR South Florida
5 180 Danny Isidora G Miami (Fla.)
6 201 Bucky Hodges TE Virginia Military Inst.
7 219 Stacy Coley WR Miami (Fla.)
7 220 Ifeadi Odenigbo DL Northwestern
7 232 Elijah Lee LB Kansas State
7 245 Jack Tocho CB North Carolina State
Weaknesses: The Vikings ranked 31st in kickoff return average last season at 25.8 yards per return. The must improve their run defense which gave up 106.9 yards per game and finished ranked 20th in the league last season. The offense ranked 28th overall last season.
Strengths: Safety Harrison Smith head up a stout defense that also includes linebacker Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr. The Falcons are hoping that Murray and Cook can help to revive the offense.
Comment: The Vikings were considered Super Bowl contenders until quarterback Teddy Bridgewater suffered a horrific knee injury that has placed his career in jeopardy. Behind a rugged defense, head coach Mike Zimmer guided the Vikings to an 8-8 mark. With some improvement on offense, the Vikings will likely be in the playoff hunt when they arrive in Atlanta.
Falcons at Miami Dolphins at 7 p.m. Aug. 10
Falcons at Pittsburgh Steelers at 4 p.m. Aug. 20
Arizona Cardinals at Falcons at 7 p.m. Aug. 26
Jacksonville Jaguars at Falcons at 7 p.m. Aug. 31
Sept. 10 at Chicago Bears, 1 p.m., Fox
Sept. 17 Green Bay Packers, 8:30 p.m. NBC
Sept. 24 at Detroit Lions, 1 p.m. Fox
Oct. 1 Buffalo Bills, 1 p.m., CBS
Oct. 8 BYE
Oct. 15 Miami Dolphins, 1 p.m., CBS
Oct. 22 at New England Patriots, 8:30 p.m., NBC
Oct. 29 at New York Jets, 1 p.m., Fox
Nov. 5 at Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m., Fox
Nov. 12 Dallas Cowboys, 4:25 p.m., Fox
Nov. 20 at Seattle Seahawks (Mon) 8:30 p.m., ESPN
Nov. 26 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1 p.m., Fox
Dec. 3 Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m., Fox
Dec. 7 New Orleans Saints (Thur), 8:25 p.m., NBC/NFL Network/Amazon
Dec. 18 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Mon). 8:30 p.m., ESPN
Dec. 24 at New Orleans Saints, 1 p.m., Fox
Dec. 31 Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m., Fox