Vikings-Titans game scout

Get the essentials for Sunday's matchup, including the series history, keys to the game and fast facts.

Sunday
Atlanta Falcons (2-1) at Carolina Panthers (2-1)
Arizona Cardinals (2-1) at New York Jets (1-2)
Cleveland Browns (0-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (0-3)
Minnesota Vikings (1-2) at Tennessee Titans (3-0)
Green Bay Packers (2-1) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1)
San Francisco 49ers (2-1) at New Orleans Saints (1-2)
Houston Texans (0-2) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2)
Denver Broncos (3-0) at Kansas City Chiefs (0-3)
Buffalo Bills (3-0) at St. Louis Rams (0-3)
San Diego Chargers (1-2) at Oakland Raiders (1-2)
Washington Redskins (2-1) at Dallas Cowboys (3-0)
Philadelphia Eagles (2-1) at Chicago Bears (1-2)Monday
Baltimore Ravens (2-0) at Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1)


Minnesota Vikings (1-2) at Tennessee Titans (3-0)
KICKOFF: Sunday, 1:00 ET
GAMEDATE: 9/28/08
SURFACE: Grass
TV: FOX (Matt Vasgersian, JC Pearson, Nischelle Turner)

SERIES


11th meeting. Vikings lead series, 7-3, and have won the past four games against the Oilers/Titans franchise. The Vikings, who are 18-19-1 all-time against the AFC South, have outscored Tennessee 234-91 in their seven victories.

KEYS TO THE GAME

The Vikings feel more confident in opening up the passing game a bit more with QB Gus Frerotte at the helm, and he will take at least a few deep shots in an attempt to keep the Titans from over-playing the run. However, there is a concern when Frerotte drops back with LT Artis Hicks protecting his blind side against DE Kyle Vanden Bosch. And Titans CB Cortland Finnegan leads the NFL with four interceptions.

The Titans' offense is always geared toward the ground game, and that certainly won't change since they know the Vikings also like to control the clock. QB Kerry Collins isn't very mobile, and there will be a good battle on his blind side between LT Michael Roos and DE Jared Allen. Considering the stout interior of the Vikings' offensive line, expect to see speedy rookie RB Chris Johnson more than bruising veteran LenDale White.

KEY INJURIES

Vikings: RB Adrian Peterson (hamstring) will likely share more of the load again with Chester Taylor; WR Sidney Rice (knee) could be a game-time decision; S Madieu Williams (neck) will miss his fourth straight game.

Titans: CB Nick Harper (quadriceps) will play but could be limited.

FAST FACTS

  • Frerotte is 3-0 as a starter for the Vikings.

  • Collins is the 15th player in NFL history to throw for at least 35,000 yards in a career.

  • The Vikings cruised to a 20-3 victory over the Titans at the Metrodome the last time these teams met on Oct. 24, 2004. Former Vikings running back Mewelde Moore rushed for 138 yards and running back Moe Williams had a 1-yard touchdown run.

  • The Vikings defeated Tennessee, 26-16, in the franchise's final game as the Oilers on Dec. 26, 1998 at Vanderbilt Stadium. That gave the Vikings a 15-1 regular-season record and was the last time Minnesota played at Tennessee. The Vikings beat Arizona, 41-21, in its first playoff game that season before losing 30-27 to Atlanta in overtime in the NFC Championship Game.

  • Center Matt Birk, a rookie in 1998, is the only Vikings player remaining from the last time Minnesota played at Tennessee. Tight end Jim Kleinsasser has never played against Tennessee despite being in his 10th year. Kleinsasser missed the 2001 and 2004 games because of injury.

  • The Vikings have played Tennessee only twice since the franchise was renamed the Titans in 1999. Both games (in 2001 and 2004) were at the Metrodome and Minnesota was victorious on both occasions.

  • The Vikings acquired quarterback Warren Moon from the Houston Oilers in a 1994 trade. Moon spent three seasons with the Vikings and went to the Pro Bowl in 1994 and ‘95.

  • Kicker Ryan Longwell kicked the second-longest field goal of his career against the Titans, a 54-yarder on Dec. 16, 2001. Longwell was with Green Bay at the time.

  • Defensive tackle Pat Williams scored his first career touchdown against the Titans as a member of the Buffalo Bills on Dec. 14, 2003, returning a fumble 28 yards.

    PERSONNEL NEWS

    Vikings

  • RB Adrian Peterson was able to play last Sunday despite a hamstring injury so there isn't much concern that he was limited in practice on Wednesday and Thursday. Peterson had 77 yards on 17 carries against the Panthers.

  • DE Ray Edwards was limited in practice Wednesday and Thursday because of a shoulder injury suffered last Sunday against the Panthers but he was able to return to the game and should not miss any time.

  • LB Vinny Ciurciu appeared to suffer a serious injury to his right knee versus the Panthers but the damage turned out to be far less than thought. Ciurciu was limited in practice Wednesday and Thursday and there appears to be a chance he could play Sunday.

  • RB Chester Taylor had a season-high 11 carries for 44 yards as he took some of the workload from Adrian Peterson last Sunday. Taylor, though, hurt his foot and was limited in practice Wednesday and Thursday.

  • LT Artis Hicks continues to battle an elbow injury suffered in the first game of the season against Green Bay. Hicks, however, has not missed any practice time this week.

    Titans

  • CB Nick Harper says he will play Sunday against the Vikings after missing Wednesday's practice for a second straight week. The official injury report listed Harper's problem as an ankle, but the cornerback indicated Thursday that a thigh bruise suffered in the fourth quarter against Houston was the reason for the day off Wednesday.

  • RB LenDale White did not finish Thursday's practice because of a shoulder injury that did not appear to be serious. White has been splitting time with rookie Chris Johnson through three games and has been a strong short-yardage back with four touchdowns already.

  • WR Justin McCareins was back practicing at full speed on Thursday after missing Wednesday's practice with a slight groin injury. McCareins is also expected to play against Minnesota.


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