Eric Wilson’s blocked punt ‘sparks’ Vikings as special teams shine

Vikings linebacker Eric Wilson went unblocked up the middle of the Atlanta Falcons’ line, and with chance to make a big play a couple of minutes into the game, he knew he best not miss.

He fully extended his body and plucked the ball right off the foot of punter Matt Bosher to put the Vikings in great field position deep in Falcons territory.

A couple of plays later, quarterback Kirk Cousins found Adam Thielen for a 23-yard touchdown, and the Vikings never looked back on their way to an impressive 28-12 win.

“I think, right out of the gate, setting the tone and getting that block was big for us,” safety Anthony Harris said. “It definitely sparked everybody.”

It was the first time the Vikings blocked a punt since Nov. 30, 2014 against the Carolina Panthers. They actually blocked a pair of punts in that game, with Thielen and defensive end Everson Griffen each returning one for a touchdown.

“That was when I took it and I scooped and scored and I took it to the crib, right?” Griffen said, referencing the game from nearly five years ago. “I remember that.”

“That’s pretty cool,” said Thielen, reminiscing about a time when he was nothing more than a special-teams ace. “I’m glad we got it done (today) because it’s fun to see the guys who work so hard on special teams finally reap the benefits.”

On the flip side, the Vikings punted the ball very well themselves, as new punter Britton Colquitt finished with five punts for an average of 49.4 yards.

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