In the great words of Elvis “It’s now or never.” This is the theme the Tennessee Titans should be using this week. Being 1-3 early in a season is not the kiss of death, but when you have best team in the league playing in the worst division in the league you have to stop the bleeding now.
Traveling to Minnesota to play the Vikings has not been good for the Titans. They are only 1-6 in the last seven trips to the land of 10,000 lakes. Matt Hasselbeck will lead the troops this week. Hasselbeck is taking over the snaps for starter Jake Locker who was hurt in the first quarter in the Houston Texans game last week. Locker’s injury to his left non-throwing shoulder is the second time this season that he has had this injury.
Chris Johnson showed some life against the Texans last week. Johnson had his first 100 yards or more rushing game last week gaining 141 yards on 25 carries. Going into the game Johnson had less than 75 total rushing yards in three combined games. His resurgence will be needed against the Vikings.
Don’t expect the Titans to win many games this season with their defense. They have given up over 30 points in every game played so far with a season high of points allowed in a 44-41 overtime win against the Detroit Lions. Ranking 31st out of 32 teams in the NFL is not a good place to be for the Titans’ defense. They are allowing 422 yards a game.
Christian Ponder the second year quarterback from Florida State leads the Vikings 3-1. Many experts criticized the Vikings for selecting Ponder so high last year, but he is looking like a good pick this year. Ponder is the only starting quarterback in the NFL without an interception on the season and ranks 8th in the NFL with a passer rating of 97.7.
Peterson missed the final few weeks of last season with a serious knee injury, but he is not showing any effects of that injury with his production this season. Peterson has become the all-time leading rusher in Vikings’ history with 7,084 yards and has 332 rushing yards and 2 rushing touchdowns this season. This is the sixth season for Peterson with the Vikings.
On the other hand, the Vikings are led by their defense. Jared Allen has been a sack machine for the Vikings. Allen had 22 sacks last season and has 2 sacks this season. The defense of the Vikings is ranked eighth overall in total yards allowing only 314 yards per game in the NFL. The Vikings are 1 of only 5 teams to not allow a rush of 20+ yards in 2012. The longest rush allowed by the Vikings is 15 yards.
Terry Davis covers Tennessee Titans football for MemphiSport. Follow him @Terryd515.
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