Much like last week, the Minnesota Vikings went into halftime of a preseason game with a lead but, ultimately, couldn’t hold on to it.
The Tennessee Titans scored 17 unanswered points to start the second half of play at U.S. Bank Stadium and held on at the end to preserve a 24-16 victory over the Vikings on Saturday night.
After a largely uneventful first quarter, the Titans drew first blood courtesy of a 33-yard touchdown run by rookie running back Tyjae Spears. Spears took a handoff and hurdled Lewis Cine en route to the end zone, and the visitors staked themselves to a 7-0 lead with a minute left in the first quarter of play.
The Vikings got on the scoreboard on their first drive of the second quarter, as Greg Joseph connected on a 45-yard field goal to make it 7-3. Joseph then added a second field goal, this one a 33-yarder midway through the second quarter to cut the Tennessee lead to 7-6.
Minnesota then generated the game’s first turnover, as Troy Dye intercepted Malik Willis to put an end to a Tennessee drive.
We’ll take that! LB Troy Dye picks off Malik Willis. pic.twitter.com/QXDZvuDIfG— MSN (@mnspnews) August 20, 2023
After an abysmal showing on the drive, the Vikings caught another break as a short punt from Ryan Wright bounced off of a Titans player and was recovered by Tay Gowan. The Vikings turned that into. . .another field goal from Joseph, this one a 26-yarder to make it 9-7 going into the locker room at halftime.
After the teams exchanged punts to start the second half, the Titans took the lead back on a 22-yard field goal from rookie Trey Wolff to make it a 10-9 game. The field goal came on the heels of the Vikings giving up a 55-yard run to Julius Chestnut to give the Titans a goal-to-go situation, but the defense stood up and prevented the touchdown.
The Titans did get a touchdown on their next drive, however, as Chestnut went in from five yards out to make the score 17-9 with just over four minutes left in the third quarter. After another three-and-out from the Jaren Hall-led Minnesota offense, Tennessee marched down the field again and scored on a 1-yard pass from Willis to Chestnut to effectively put the game out of reach at 24-9.
Hall and company put together a very nice drive early in the fourth quarter and ended it with a 1-yard touchdown run from rookie DeWayne McBride. Joseph hit the extra point, and that made the score 24-16 with just under six minutes to play.
That would be the end of the scoring, however, as the Titans got the ball back and salted the game away on the ground to run out the clock and preserve a 24-16 victory. The Vikings’ record on the preseason falls to 0-2, and they’ll host the Arizona Cardinals to wrap up the preseason next Saturday at noon at U.S. Bank Stadium.
On the injury front, defensive back Najee Thompson went back to the locker room in the first half but later returned to the game. Safety Theo Jackson suffered what appeared to be a shoulder injury on the 55-yard run by Chestnut mentioned above and did not return. We’ll have to keep an eye on that one over the course of this week.
The Vikings fall in their second preseason contest of 2023, as the Tennessee Titans outscore them by a final tally of 24-16. Thanks to everyone that got their coverage of this one right here at The Daily Norseman!