Atlanta Falcons must stick with Matt Ryan, and can they still make playoffs?

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Nov 22, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) looks on during the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers at TCF Bank Stadium. The Packers defeated the Vikings 30-15. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

5. Stopping Adrian Peterson

While researching for the Falcons’ next game, I found an interesting statistic: Adrian Peterson has averaged 121 rushing yards in the Minnesota Vikings’ seven wins this season, but has averaged just 54 yards on the ground in their three losses.

To beat the Vikings, you must stop Adrian Peterson. Minnesota rolled into an NFC North showdown with Green Bay last week on a hot five-game winning streak, while the Packers were coming in on the back of a three-game losing skid. But the Packers completely shut down Peterson and walked out emphatic winners.

Teddy Bridgewater is a very capable quarterback, but he can’t carry the offense on his own. The Vikings simply lack the firepower in the passing game. They boast the No. 3 rushing offense, but the No. 30 passing offense.

For this reason, the Falcons defense matches up well with the Vikings. Atlanta is No. 1 against the run, and No. 18 against the pass. If Peterson is kept quiet, the Vikings look much more like the team that has lost three times, rather than the team that has won seven.