Titans vs Vikings preview

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I’ve been looking forward to this game for a while. It will be a real test, a real measure, of how good both teams are. Titans and Vikings fans will both have a better appreciation and understanding of how good their teams really are after this one is over.
These teams are so similar. They have a lot of things in common, both personnel-wise and in their philosophies.
The Titans want to run the ball down the oppositions’ throat. They have a good offensive line and a strong 1-2 punch with their running backs. Ditto for the Vikings.
On the other side of the ball, the Titans have a great defensive line and a front seven that can shut down the running attack from the other side. Ditto for Minnesota. “You can’t run the ball against us and we dare you to throw it.” That’s the motto for each team.
If either team is able to control the line of scrimmage, that determines the outcome of the ball game. But I doubt if that will happen. Can either team impose its will on the other? It’ll probably be a stalemate. So if that evens out, which it probably will, that leaves it to the passing game and to special teams.
Both teams have young gun quarterbacks sitting on the bench. Each team has an old, grey-haired, grizzly bearded veteran to take the snaps, hand offf, and occasionally chuck the ball downfield. Which team has the better passing offense? Flip a coin. Each team can nickle and dime it with short passes down the field.
Special teams. This scares me. The Titans have a very solid and reliable punter and a great kicker. I’m not worried about those spots. But the coverage teams scare the heck out of me. I’ve been predicting for a while that will cost us a game, and it’s liable to happen anytime. If this game is as close as I think it’s going to be, that might make the difference.
And now, back to a subject I promised you I’d have a few comments on.
Albert Haynesworth, the unblockable defensive tackle. Steve Hutchinson, a six-time Pro-Bowler, and the best guard in the league. They’ll be head to head, eye to eye, facemask to facemask, mano v mano on Sunday. The immovable object standing his ground versus the irresistible force. Have you ever seen those nature TV shows where two mountain rams butt heads, with both of them lowering their shoulders and charging into each other with their horns?
I recall having a great sense of anticipation when Hutchinson was with Seattle a couple of years ago and they came to town. I was really looking forward to the Haynesowrth-Hutchinson matchup then, but both players were on the injury report prior to the game. Both of them played, but neither was at full strength. I’m looking forward to seeing them both at 100% on Sunday. It’s something I’ve had at the back of my mind ever since Hutchinson signed with the Vikes two years ago.
Two other things to consider about Hutchinson are the guys who play on either side of him. The regular left tackle, Bryant McKinnie, is suspended. Some poor slob is going to have to take his place and have his lunch eaten by Kyle Vanden Bosch. How often will Hutchinson slide over to get a piece of KVB on his (KVB’s) inside, leaving six-time Pro Bowl center Matt Birk to try to contain Albert? Or how many times do they leave their left tackle one-on-one with KVB and use a tight end or running back to help out? Probably a little of both. We’ll see.
In any case, I’ll be focusing my binoculars on #92 for a lot of snaps on Sunday. Hey, who did you think I’d be watching? Bobby Wade?
It should be a great game and a great barometer for the rest of the season.

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13 Responses to “Titans vs Vikings preview”

  1. jrtitans Says:

    These things are being said but I will have to see a team shut down our running game.
    If we can soundly defeat the Vikes–we should be ranked #1 on the AFC side.
    Anybody heard about Hawk playing? Also, what is the underlying story about Tulloch starting over Fowler?

  2. Markus Says:

    ummm…the Vikes like to keep TE’s in to chip the DE’s and they will double Al w/ Hutch and Birk. This game will come down to turnover’s and QB play. If Collins outplays Frerrotte, which I suspect he will, we will win. If not, we may not. I like our chances. If poeple think our receivers are bad, they have not seen Minny’s…Berrian, Rice, ????…anyway, I think CJ will have a huge game. Titans: 27-10

  3. jerryt. Says:

    well fellows everbody is healthy and were ready to go play LIGHT’S OUT FOOTBALL. for 4 quaters. I’m a go out on the limbe this game, i think this is a statment game, for every team in the NFL. 24-0. Ya i know i’m being a little cockey, but as a titans fannn, that’s what we do. And i hope ‘HAWK’ get’s to play.

  4. Seth Leonard Says:

    The ESPN power rankings have us at the top of the AFC, #4 over all, http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/powerranking .
    finally

  5. kevin G Says:

    does anyone know if the game will be nationally broadcast? it is on fox, and the other game they have the rights at the early slot to is arizona-giants, one guess which I want to watch:)

  6. brad Says:

    A lot of these sports analyst are jumping on the titans bandwagon. If we when this game by 7 or more I think we will get recognition by everyone as the best team in the AFC. Go titans and tear TD up!!!!!!

  7. brad Says:

    My bad i don’t know why I said TD. I meant Adrian Peterson.

  8. jrtitans Says:

    Check out the don banks article on SI.com

  9. Dave Says:

    I’d rather still be “under the radar”. I want these guys to stay hungry and not buy into all the hype.

  10. Robert F. Ludwick Says:

    Yeah, it really does seem like the Titans play better when they’re underappreciated and under the radar. Hopefully some national spotlight time won’t take the character out of the team.

  11. ZygiZag Says:

    The Vikes coverage teams stink too. If AD is healthy he is due for a big game. Rice is actually our best receiver and if he is fully healthy he will do fine. If either team gets more than one score ahead, they will win. That team’s D will take over. — Go Vikes — Vikes win by 1 with a safety, 1 Defensive TD and three fieldgoals. If you guys take out Gus, we lose by 21.

  12. Darryl Says:

    Markus you say you think the game will come down to turnovers but you got us losing by 17. Its not gonna be that much of a difference if we do lose. im a southern man and i hear about the titans all the time but yall haven’t really persuaded me as being ranked as high as yall are. Once you think about it yall have played teams with bad offenses. Jaguars with a really bad o line, the bengals(enough said), and the texans. Im not trying to take away from haynesworth or bosch because they are good.
    This should be a pretty good game. I see titans throwing for one and running for one with fieldgoals. No turnover touchdowns. and i see us running two and throwing one touchdown and 1 fieldgoal. i call the game 24 – 21 Vikes. But i do see the Titans making one of the top 4 spots in the wild card this year. As long as yall keep vince young out.
    Good luck all!!!SKOL Vikings

  13. Dave Says:

    Wow, Vikings fans are way more reasonable and logical than Texan fans….

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