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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Instant analysis: Vikings’ smothers Titans in 25-16 win

By Matthew Coller

The big storyline going into Sunday’s game between the Minnesota Vikings and Tennessee Titans was head coach Mike Zimmer’s decision to start Shaun Hill over newly-acquired Sam Bradford. It turned out the Vikings’ defense was the story of Sunday’s win, slowing down Marcus Mariota and scoring two touchdowns in the 25-16 victory.

Shaun Hill: Good enough

Having not started since 2014, quarterback Shaun Hill was probably hoping for less of the load to be on his shoulders and more on the veteran star running back, but Hill was forced to throw 33 times. While he was far from a Brett Favre redux, Hill got the ball out quickly and averaged 7.2 Yards Per Attempt. Most importantly he was not sacked and did not turn the ball over. A classic “game manager” game was enough to get the Vikings the win. Late in the fourth quarter, Hill hit a bomb to Stefon Diggs to essentially make a Titans comeback impossible. Diggs had a terrific game with 7 catches for 103 yards

Where was the running game?

Adrian Peterson said on Thursday that he was coming into 2016 in better shape than in Week 1 of last year, so he expected to have a better opening week. Well, he did not look any more explosive than in the first week of last season, missing several opportunities to break of for significant yards and he was stopped in the backfield. Peterson finished the game with 31 yards on 19 carries.

Defense steps up

Early on there was a lot of bend-but-don’t-break defense being played by the Vikings. In the first half, Marcus Mariota moved the ball consistently and converted several key third downs, but Minnesota held him and the Titans offense to 10 points in the first half. In the second half, the Vikings’ defense went off, pressuring Mariota into an interception for touchdown, then recovering a fumble. Mariota averaged just 6.6 Yards Per Attempt and Titans rushers only managed 2.9 Yards Per Rush.

The Blair Walsh Field Goal Adventure

Blair Walsh’s first two field goals of the season were disastrous. Both his 37-yard and 56-yard attempts were shanked badly to the left. To open the second half, however, Walsh nailed a 50-yard field goal to get the Vikings on the board. Walsh hit his next three – though he missed an extra point. So, should we feel confident in going forward? To be determined…

The post Instant analysis: Vikings’ smothers Titans in 25-16 win appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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