The Vikings come off of a 28-11 drubbing at the hands of the Indianapolis Colts. The Titans come in 2-0 after a 33-30 win, thanks to a Stephen Gostkowski 49-yard field goal with 1:36 to play against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Titans QB Ryan Tannehill threw for four touchdowns and 239 yards on 18-of-24 attempts against the Jaguars in Week 2. TE Jonnu Smith was his top receiver on the day, with 84 yards on four catches, including two touchdowns. Smith’s first catch of the day went for 63 yards and set up his 13-yard catch later in the drive. Bell-cow running back Derrick Henry had another ho-hum game on the ground. Henry gained 84 yards on the day, but it took him 25 carries to get there.
The Titans allowed 480 yards in net offense and were gashed for 6.1 yards per carry on the ground, but had two interceptions and came up big in the end, deflecting a Gardner Minshew II fourth down pass to preserve the win and advance to 2-0.
It was another all-around poor performance for the Vikings in Week 2. They finally recorded their first interception of the season, but Colts QB Philip Rivers had plenty of time to throw and found his tight end Mo Alie-Cox for 111 yards on five catches. The Colts’ running game helped them control the clock with 151 yards on 40 carries. Jonathan Taylor led the way for Indianapolis with the first 100-yard rushing game of his young career. The Colts controlled the ball for over 37 minutes in this one, and the Vikings offense looked lost and confused most of the day. Kirk Cousins constantly misfired, completing just 11 passes and throwing three interceptions. Dalvin Cook was effective when he touched the ball, but once again, was not involved enough. He had just 14 carries and two catches for a total of 71 scrimmage yards.
Moving forward, Minnesota must use Cook more. His five-year, $63 million contract extension was a huge risk by the Vikings. They need to get their money’s worth out of him. The defense is young in the secondary and thin up front. Danielle Hunter is out for at least one more week, and there is nothing happening in the middle of that defensive line. Kirk Cousins needs to return to his 2019 form. The key is finding a rhythm with Justin Jefferson, Kyle Rudolph, Irv Smith, Jr., and Bisi Johnson. The running game has to set up the play-action pass, and someone needs to emerge as a weapon in the passing game to complement Adam Thielen.
Ryan Tannehill has been a great fit for the Titans. He’s showing what the Dolphins wish he would have done during his tenure with them. Tennessee also has one of the premier running backs in the game in Derrick Henry. Jonnu Smith continues to develop as a legitimate tight end in the league.
I don’t expect the Minnesota Vikings to present much of a challenge to the Tennessee Titans this week. They have shown little heart in the first two games. The rookies in the secondary aren’t ready, and the defensive line has put fear into no one other than Vikings fans. Gary Kubiak’s offense is disjointed and aimless. They miss Stefon Diggs, but they shouldn’t miss him this much. I see Tennessee winning this one comfortably — and if that happens, Minnesota’s coaches, GM, and players should be on the hot seat.
(Featured Image Credit: Vikings.com)