KEY MATCHUPS

Falcons WR Julio Jones vs. Vikings CB Xavier Rhodes: Jones leads the league in receiving yards. Jones is coming back from a broken foot and has 365 yards receiving on 23 catches for three touchdowns. He made a spectacular over-the-shoulder catch on a 40-yard touchdown play against the Bucs. Rhodes has 10 tackles and no pass breakups after registering 10 pass breakups last season.

Falcons RT Lamar Holmes vs. Vikings LDE Brian Robison: Holmes is quietly improving on the right side. He has 184 snaps and hasn't given up a sack, but has given up on hit and seven hurries. Robison, who doesn't have a sack this season, has registered 24.5 sacks over the past three seasons. "Brian Robison is a tough hard-nosed player," Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer said.

Falcons CB Desmond Trufant vs. Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson: Trufant has moved to left cornerback. He doesn't have an interception, but has four passes defensed. Patterson has 11 catches for 143 yards. He also has four rushes for 95 yards and one touchdown. "Patterson is an explosive player," Trufant said. "Once he gets the ball in his hands, he can make you miss."

Falcons C Joe Hawley vs. Vikings NT Linval Joseph: Hawley has taken over for Peter Konz at center. He's been able to help strengthen the passing pocket for Matt Ryan. Joseph has helped to provide a physical presence to the interior of the Vikings' defense. He was signed as a free agent and formerly was with the New York Giants. "Joseph is good," Hawley said. "He's strong, and they are able to collapse the pocket in the pass rush. It's going to be a tough test."