The Vikings’ defense produced two scores as Minnesota overcame a slow start to beat the Tennessee Titans 25-16 on Sunday. The Vikings started the 2016 season off right with a good win on the road, but it was the Titans who controlled the red zone in this ball game.
The Titans ran 12 plays (11 pass and 1 run) in the red zone on three possessions which yielded two touchdowns and one field goal.
The Vikings ran 8 plays in the red zone (1 pass and 7 runs) on two possessions manufacturing only one field goal and zero touchdowns.
Red Zone Notes:
The Titans found the red zone first mid-way through the first quarter. Eric Kendricks’ outstanding tackle for loss on second down helped limit the Titans to a 28 yard field goal and a 0-3 advantage.
Early in the second quarter the Vikings had their first opportunity in the red zone. The Titans shut down three consecutive running plays by Adrian Peterson and an Andre Smith holding penalty set up an impossible third-and-24 situation. Blair Walsh’s 37 yard field attempt sailed wide left spoiling a 15 play 56 yard drive.
The Titans did their best red zone work through the air as running back DeMarco Murray caught two touchdowns out of the backfield including a nifty leap over a defender for the score.
The Vikings found the red zone again in the 4th quarter and Norv Turner once again dialed up three consecutive running plays. This time, two handoffs went to Matt Asiata and one to Stefon Digg which also saw very little success. After missing two field goals earlier in the game, Walsh connected on a 30 yard attempted to give the Vikings a 25-10 lead.
Tennessee was focused on stoping Peterson, and not only did they shut down the Vikings’ running attack in the red zone, but they held Peterson to just 31 yards on 19 carries for the entire game.
Quarterback Shaun Hill was effective enough in the passing game to move the chains and sustain some drives. However, after the game he stated that the Vikings will need to do a better job turning drives into points in the future.