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Tennessee Titans (2-1) vs. Minnesota Vikings (3-0)
Thursday, August 28th, 2014 | 7:00pm CDT
Nashville, TN – The Tennessee Titans (2-1) conclude their preseason this week at home against the Minnesota Vikings (3-0). Kickoff at LP Field (capacity 69,143) is scheduled for 7:00pm CDT on Thursday, August 28th.
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 running back Eddie George provides 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, analyst Frank Wycheck, gameday host Rhett Bryan and sideline reporter Jonathan Hutton.
Tennessee Titans Last Week
The Titans were on the road last week for the second consecutive preseason game. After falling behind 17-3, they scored 21 unanswered points to defeat the Atlanta Falcons 24-17. Bishop Sankey’s three-yard touchdown run and two-point conversion provided the winning margin with less than six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
Titans quarterback Jake Locker played with the rest of the starters into the second half. The fourth-year signal caller was 12-of-17 for 188 yards, a touchdown and a passer rating of 126.6. His 63-yard touchdown pass to receiver Nate Washington sparked the team’s comeback.
Through three weeks of the preseason, Locker ranks fourth among AFC passers and sixth among all NFL quarterbacks with a passer rating of 119.9.
The Titans offense as a whole has been effective throughout August. The unit is fourth in the NFL in total offense (375.0 yards per game), third in passing offense (266.3 yards per game), fourth on third down (48.6 percent), third in team passer rating (105.7) and first in efficiency inside the 20 (six touchdowns on six possessions).
The Vikings kept their perfect preseason record alive last week with a convincing 30-12 road victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. They are one of four undefeated teams entering the final week of the preseason.
In the win, quarterback Matt Cassel passed for 152 yards, including a 53-yard touchdown to Cordarrelle Patterson. Rookie backup Teddy Bridgewater completed a pair of touchdown passes to tight end Allen Reisner. Meanwhile, the Vikings defense intercepted the Chiefs three times.
Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson has yet to play this preseason. The 2012 NFL MVP is entering his eighth season and leads the league in rushing yards (10,115) and rushing touchdowns (86) since the start of his rookie season.
The Vikings are in their first campaign under Mike Zimmer, a longtime NFL assistant who in January was named the ninth head coach in franchise history. Zimmer spent the last 14 seasons working as defensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals, Atlanta Falcons and Dallas Cowboys.
Roster Pared to 53 Players
The Titans will be permitted to carry 75 players into this week’s game following the first roster cutdown from 90 players on August 26th. On August 30th, two days after the Titans and Vikings meet, they must reach their regular-season limit of 53 players.
After the final cut down, a 10-player practice squad may be established as early as August 31st.
One week later, the Titans kick off their regular season schedule against the Chiefs in Kansas City (noon, September 7th).
Titans-Vikings Series At Glance
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.
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.).
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.
The Titans forced a punt after that turnover, but they weren’t as fortunate on their next giveaway. Following an interception by Antoine Winfield off a Matt Hasselbeck pass, Blair Walsh made a 42-yard field goal to put the Vikings ahead 10-0.
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.
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.
For ticket information, go to www.titansonline.com/tickets , email or call 615.565.4200
Topics104.5 FM The Zone, Adrian Peterson, American Football League, Atlanta Falcons, Audra Martin, Bishop Sankey, Blair Walsh, Chris Johnson, Christian Ponder, Cincinnati Bengals, Cory Curtis, Dallas Cowboys, Eddie George, Frank Wycheck, Houston Oilers, Injured Reserve, Jake Locker, Jared Cook, Jerome Simpson, Jonathan Hutton, Jordan Babineaux, Kansas City Chiefs, Ken Whisenhunt, LP field, Mall of America Field, Matt Cassel, Matt hasselbeck, Mike Keith, Mike Zimmer, Minneapolis MN, Minnesota Vikings, Nashville, Nashville TN, Nate Washington, National Football League, NFL, Percy Harvin, Rhett Bryan, Rhett Ellison, Robert Johnson, Super Bowl, Teddy Bridgewater, Tennessee Titans, Titans, Titans Radio Network, Vanderbilt Stadium, WKRN News 2
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