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Tennessee Titans (1-2) vs. Minnesota Vikings (0-3)
Thursday, August 29th, 2013 | 7:00pm CDT
Nashville, TN – The Tennessee Titans (1-2) conclude their preseason schedule this week, as they travel to face the Minnesota Vikings (0-3). Kickoff at Mall of America Field at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome (capacity 63,731) is scheduled for 7:00pm CT on Thursday, August 29th.
The game will be televised regionally on the Titans Preseason TV Network, including flagship WKRN-Channel 2 in Nashville. Cory Curtis will handle play-by-play duties, while former Titans quarterback Kerry Collins will provide analysis. Audra Martin will report from the sidelines.The Titans Radio Network, including Nashville flagship 104.5 The Zone, will broadcast the game across the Mid-South with the “Voice of the Titans” Mike Keith, color commentator Frank Wycheck and sideline reporter Cody Allison.
Last Week Against Atlanta
The Titans hosted the Atlanta Falcons last week and earned their first victory of the preseason, overcoming an early deficit to win by a final score of 27-16. Quarterbacks Jake Locker and Ryan Fitzpatrick combined for three touchdown passes, and Chris Johnson accounted for 65 of the team’s 171 rushing yards.
Locker, along with the starting units on both sides of the ball, played a series into the third quarter as part of the dress rehearsal for the regular-season opener at Pittsburgh on September 8th. The third-year signal caller was efficient, completing 11 of 13 passes for 133 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions.
Locker’s seven-yard touchdown pass to Nate Washington put the Titans ahead 7-6 in the second quarter, and the Titans would never relinquish their lead.
Fitzpatrick played most of the second half, completing six of nine passes for 76 yards, one interception and touchdown passes to Michael Preston and rookie Justin Hunter.
The Titans totaled six sacks against the Falcons, led by defensive tackle Jurrell Casey’s 1.5 sacks.
The defense limited the Falcons to 33 percent on third down (four of 12), and they did not allow a touchdown in three trips to the red zone by Atlanta.
The Vikings traveled to San Francisco last week and suffered a 34-14 defeat at the hands of the 49ers. In the loss, Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder completed 17 of 23 passes for 116 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
Leslie Frazier is entering his third full season as head coach in Minnesota after initially taking over as interim head coach during the 2010 campaign. In 2012, he led the Vikings to a 10-6 record and an NFC Wild Card Playoff berth.
Minnesota’s offense features the reigning Associated Press Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year, running back Adrian Peterson. In 2012, Peterson became the seventh player in NFL history to reach the 2,000-yard rushing mark and the first since Tennessee’s Chris Johnson accomplished the feat in 2009.
On the other side of the ball, the Vikings are led by four-time All-Pro defensive end Jared Allen, who recorded 22 sacks in 2011 and 12 in 2012; six-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Kevin Williams; and Pro Bowl linebacker Chad Greenway, who led the team with 191 tackles in 2012.
Roster Pared To 53 Players By Week’s End
The Titans will be permitted to carry 75 players into this week’s game following the first roster cutdown from 90 players on August 27th. On August 31st, two days after the Titans play at Minnesota, they must reach their regular-season limit of 53 players.
Players placed on reserve lists such as Injured Reserve, Physically Unable to Perform and Reserve/Suspended do not count towards the 53-man active roster limit.
After the final cutdown, an eight-player practice squad may be established as early as September 1st.
Titans-Vikings Series History
The Titans and Vikings have met just 12 times in the regular season. The Vikings lead the series 8-4, including wins by the Vikings in the last four meetings at Mall of America Field.
Most recently, the teams faced off in Minneapolis in Week 5 of the 2012 season. The Vikings scored the game’s first 23 points and ultimately won by a final score of 30-7. Quarterback Christian Ponder (258 passing yards), receiver Percy Harvin (108 receiving yards) and running back Adrian Peterson (88 rushing yards) led the way for the Vikings.
In the latest home game for the Titans against the Vikings, which took place on September 28th, 2008, the Titans prevailed 30-17. That game marked the Vikings’ lone appearance in the history of LP Field.
The Vikings began their expansion season in the NFL in 1961, one season after the Oilers helped launch the American Football League. It was not until five seasons into the 1970 NFL-AFL merger that the two teams played their first regular season game against each other.
The first Oilers-Vikings game in 1974 finished with a lopsided score of 51-10 in favor of the Vikings. It is still the ninth biggest defeat for the Titans in franchise history. The Vikings finished that season with a trip to Super Bowl IX.
The 1974 meeting also was the first and only game played by the Oilers at Metropolitan Stadium, which the Vikings would leave in 1982 when the Metrodome opened. At the Metrodome, the Titans have managed just one win in six outings. They were victorious there in 1992, the last time they beat the Vikings before a four-game losing streak began.
The first time the Vikings played in Tennessee during the regular season was December 26th, 1998. On that day, the Titans hosted the Vikings in the regular season finale, a game the Vikings won by a final score of 26-16. The Titans were left with an 8-8 record, while the Vikings were 15-1 and would later advance to the NFC Championship Game. That was the final game the Titans played at Vanderbilt Stadium and the final time the team would be called the Oilers. In 1999, LP Field opened and the team took the name Titans.
Titans-Vikings: The Last Meeting
Tennessee Titans 7 at Minnesota Vikings 30
In Week 5 of the 2012 season, the Vikings controlled play from both sides of the line of scrimmage against the Titans in a 30-7 win at Mall of America Field.
Christian Ponder passed for 258 yards and two touchdowns for the Vikings, and the aerial assault was complemented by 175 rushing yards. Adrian Peterson led the way with 88 yards on 17 carries (5.2 avg.).
However, it was wide receiver Percy Harvin who was arguably the biggest antagonist. He recorded a game-high 108 yards on eight receptions, including a touchdown. He also rushed for one of Minnesota’s three touchdowns.
Collectively, the Vikings gained 433 yards, while the Titans managed 267. Running back Chris Johnson was limited to 24 rushing yards on 15 carries. In the first half, the Titans were limited to 87 yards and converted one third down in seven tries.
The game was scoreless with three minutes remaining in the first quarter. The Vikings took the lead on a nine-play, 91-yard drive that included a 45-yard pass from Ponder to Harvin. Then, on first-and-goal from the four-yard line, Harvin took a handoff and darted into the end zone.
The Titans then committed two consecutive turnovers. They were driving with under a minute on the clock in the first quarter, converting a fourth-and-one with the punt team on the field on a 10-yard run by Jordan Babineaux. However, they lost the ball on the next play when safety Harrison Smith recovered a Johnson fumble.
On their next possession, the Vikings drove 77 yards on 12 plays, including a 22-yard run by Peterson. Walsh capped the series with a 36-yard field goal.
With the Vikings looking to increase their 13-0 lead late in the first half, the Titans recorded a takeaway of their own. Ponder lofted a pass toward the end zone to tight end Kyle Rudolph, but safety Robert Johnson tipped the ball up and then corralled it at the Tennessee two-yard line for an interception.
Early in the second half, the Titans victimized Ponder for the second consecutive time. Following a 34-yard rush by Peterson, Babineaux picked off a pass intended to Jerome Simpson.
The Titans, though, were unable to capitalize on the turnover, and the Vikings came back with a 69-yard drive and 26-yard field goal by Walsh.
The Vikings extended their lead once again near the end of the third quarter. A 17-yard run by Peterson was followed by a 29-yard reception by tight end Rhett Ellison, and finally, on third-and-five from the 10-yard line, Harvin caught a short pass from Ponder and turned it into a touchdown.
Trailing 23-0, the Titans finally got on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter. At the tail end of a 12-play, 77-yard drive, Hasselbeck found Jared Cook in the end zone from 10 yards out for a score.
The Titans then attempted an onside kick, but the ball went out of bounds before they could recover it. Starting in Titans territory, the Minnesota offense tacked on its final scoring drive of the day, finishing with a 15-yard scoring strike from Ponder to Rudolph.
Topics104.5 FM The Zone, Adrian Peterson, AFL, American Football League, Associated Press, Atlanta Falcons, Audra Martin, Blair Walsh, Chris Johnson, Christian Ponder, Cody Allison, Cory Curtis, Eric Dickerson, Frank Wycheck, Houston Oilers, Jake Locker, Jared Cook, Jordan Babineaux, Jurrell Casey, Justin Hunter, Kerry Collins, LP field, Mall of America Field, Matt hasselbeck, Michael Preston, Mike Keith, Minneapolis MN, Minnesota Vikings, Most Valuable Player, Nashville TN, Nate Washington, National Football League, NFL, Percy Harvin, Physically Unable to Perform List, Pittsburgh Steelers, Rhett Ellison, Robert Johnson, Ryan Fitzpatrick, San Francisco 49ers, Super Bowl, Tennessee, Tennessee Titans, Titans, Vanderbilt Stadium, WKRN-Channel 2
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