4:13 PM ET
The Atlanta Falcons completed a week of new beginnings Sunday by taking a big lead — and holding it.
After jumping out to a 20-point halftime lead at U.S. Bank Stadium, the Falcons closed out their first victory of the season and trounced the Minnesota Vikings 40-23. The performance made a winner out of interim coach Raheem Morris, who replaced the fired Dan Quinn earlier this week.
The Falcons entered the game without a win despite holding a 20-0 lead in one of their games (Week 2 against the Dallas Cowboys) and a 26-10 advantage in the fourth quarter of another (Week 3 against the Chicago Bears).
The firing of Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff initiated an organizational overhaul focused on the long-term future, but Sunday’s victory — albeit against the 1-5 Vikings — suggested the Falcons might still be competitive in 2020.
Holding a game ball during a post-game meeting with reporters, Morris referenced the team’s historic “Dirty Bird” culture in assessing the victory.
“It’s less about what it means to me,” Morris said. “It’s about what it means to us. To reinvigorate the team, the city, and everything about it.