The Minnesota Vikings defeated the Tennessee Titans 25-16 Saturday afternoon to start their season 1-0. It was a sloppy game, but the defense stepped up.
Wow, what a game! Week 1 of the NFL season did not start off the way Minnesota Vikings fans hoped. A 10-0 halftime deficit was certainly not expected going into the season opener. However, the Vikings fought back to score 25 unanswered points and start their season off with a win.
Throughout most of the first half of Sunday’s game vs. the Titans I found myself cursing at the TV and pacing around my basement. I couldn’t help but think back to week 1 against San Francisco a year ago as Marcus Mariota sliced through the Vikings defense, which was followed by a quick three-and-out for the offense.
Blair Walsh missed a 37 yard field goal and then seemed to be aiming for the left corner of the endzone on his kick prior to halftime. I had forgiven Blair for Seattle, but I was ready to cut him on the spot after his atrocious 56-yard attempt. It was awful, just awful.
A big kickoff return by Cordarrelle Patterson led to the Minnesota Vikings first points early in the third quarter. Another Walsh field goal cut the lead to 10-6 and was able to calm me down a little. Then as it seemed Tennessee was on a momentum-killing drive destined to end in points, Eric Kendricks saved the day.
The Kendricks interception led to Tennessee imploding. I don’t know how much I would say the Vikings won this game as I would say Tennessee gave it away. DeMarco Murray fumbled twice, one of which was returned for a touchdown by second year defensive end Danielle Hunter. All of a sudden a game the Vikings seemed primed to lose turned into a game they were going to win. It was great.
Shaun Hill played okay, but it was obvious Tennessee didn’t respect him with 8 or 9 guys in the box every play. Adrian Peterson struggled throughout, getting swarmed by three defenders every time he touched the ball. Luckily though, on a day when the Vikings offense couldn’t score points the defense decided to get the job done.
A few bright spots on the day included Stefon Diggs and Cordarrelle Patterson. Diggs caught seven balls for 103 yards and looked much like a quality go-to receiver throughout. He should only get better as the year goes on. Cordarrelle Patterson also had a few good plays including his kick return, an end-around run and one catch. It would be nice to see him get more involved with the offense because he is just so good with the ball in his hands.
There’s no way this will work next week against the Packers. If the Minnesota Vikings play terrible in the first half Aaron Rodgers will destroy us, it’s that simple. I’m expecting Bradford to start and the stadium to be very loud. So let’s enjoy this one but hope for better play Sunday night. As for this week, a win’s a win.