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Minnesota Vikings at Tennessee Titans: First Quarter Open Thread

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MINNESOTA VIKINGS (0-0) WEEK 1 TENNESSEE TITANS (0-0)

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Date: 11 September 2016
Location: Nashville, TN
Time: 12:00 PM Central Stadium: Nissan Stadium
TV: FOX Radio: Vikings Radio Network
XM Ch 228 (TEN)
Sirius Ch 136
TV Announcers: Dick Stockton
Chris Spielman
Know Thy Foe: Music City Miracles
Weather: 79 degrees, winds from NE at 5-10 MPH, 0% chance of rain
Line: Minnesota -3, Over/Under 40 (Thanks to the SB Nation Odds page)
Chris' Prediction: Vikings 24, Titans 17
Final Score: Vikings 25, Titans 16


Here are the ground rules for the Game Threads:

-Thou shalt not link illegal feeds of today's game, or I shall kick thy arse to the curb until the game is over. Do not promote then, do not mention them, do not even hint at them. Thou hast been warned.

-Thou shalt make an attempt to keep the swearing to a minimum. Understandable that it will slip occasionally, but do try to limit it. If you really feel the need to curse, use the spoiler tags to keep it covered up. We'll get the sentiment.

-Thou shalt not feed the trolls. Rather, thou shall simply point them out, and they shall be banished to the fires of Mordor. Or Wisconsin. Whichever we feel is more harsh at the time.

-Thou shalt not engage in racist, sexist, or other such insulting rhetoric. Somebody disagreeing with you does not make them racist or sexist. It means they disagree with you. Talk it out like adults.

-Thou shalt not bait the fans of other teams into trolling.

-Basically, thou shalt not be a jackwagon in the game thread.

Ladies and gentlemen, we've made it. It wasn't always easy, and it wasn't always fun, but we made it to the kickoff of the 2016 NFL season. It will be your Minnesota Vikings making the trip to Nashville, Tennessee for the first time since 2008 to do battle with the Tennessee Titans. It's been a pretty tumultuous couple of weeks for our favorite team, but we're finally at the point where the team can just focus and play football.

So, what do the Vikings have to do to get out of the home of country music with a victory today?

1) Remember last year. . .but not too much - This game is similar to the Vikings' season opener last year. . .they're going into a game that, on paper, they should win against a team that wants to play a physical brand of football. Of course, we all remember that they got demolished in San Francisco to start last season, and it looked as though the Vikings may have been looking past their opponents. They can't afford to let that happen again, and I've got a sneaking suspicion that Mike Zimmer isn't going to let it happen again. I would expect this team to come out firing and attempt to match Tennessee's physical style of play.

2) Silence the thunder - If the Vikings' defense had one issue last year, it had to do with stopping the run. This is going to be a very good test to see if they've made strides towards fixing that issue. The Titans will want to play Mike Mularkey's "exotic smashmouth" brand of football, and they have a pair of running backs in DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry that our friends from Music City Miracles described as "Thunder and Thunder" as opposed to "Thunder and Lightning." It's going to be up to the players that make up the middle of this defense, such as Linval Joseph, Sharrif Floyd, Eric Kendricks, and Harrison Smith, to bottle up the run game and put the defense into situations where they can pin their ears back and go after young Marcus Mariota.

3) Balance on offense - We know that Adrian Peterson is going to get his touches in this one, and the Titans are going to be loading up to stop him. While the front seven for the Titans is pretty solid, their secondary is not, and the Vikings are going to have to find ways to take advantage of that to loosen up the defense. The word going around is that Shaun Hill is going to get the start at quarterback, but whether it's him or Sam Bradford (or if Bradford winds up playing later on), the Vikings are going to have to have some balance on the offensive side of the ball. Stefon Diggs had a great preseason, and he's going to have to be a big factor in this one for Minnesota.

We're less than an hour away from kickoff, ladies and gentlemen. Because this is a regular season game, we'll be back to the format of having a new Open Thread for each quarter. Keep an eye out for the links to the next quarter's thread near the end of each quarter.

Let's hope our favorite football team can get themselves a victory today, folks.

SKOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL VIKINGS!!!!