Down 17-0 at the half and presumed to be dead, the Vikings found a way to make their game in Atlanta interesting.
A 14-play drive capped by a Toby Gerhart touchdown run gave the Vikings seven points, and a simple “go” route from the slot by Percy Harvin after a Falcons punt sliced the margin to three, with 13:13 to play.
Matt Ryan’s third touchdown pass of the day pushed the lead back to 10, but the Vikings were back in business after a 105-yard kick return by Percy Harvin, which petered out at the three.
On fourth and goal, the Vikings opted to go for the touchdown. Toby Gerhart lost two yards from the one, giving the Falcons the ball back with 4:21 to play. They managed to run out the clock, ending the game.
The Falcons have moved to 7-4, keeping them firmly in the mix for a wild-card berth and within earshot of the Saints at the top of the NFC South.
The Vikings are 2-9. Given their schedule, they’re on track for their worst season since 1984, a 3-13 debacle that got coach Les Steckel fired after only one year.