Rookie Daniel Carlson kicked field goals of 39 and 22 yards, and Kyle Sloter added a 24-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter as the Vikings beat the Tennessee Titans 13-3 on Thursday night as the teams wrapped up the preseason.
"We're excited to get the preseason over with and start focusing on somebody else and game planning," Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said.
Titans three-time Pro Bowl tight end Delanie Walker did not play a snap this preseason and said he's ready for the regular season. He then shared a quote from linebacker Brian Orakpo.
"The varsity is taking the field now," Walker said.
Carlson rebounded from missing a pair of 42-yarders wide left a week ago after beating out Kai Forbath for the job. Carlson connected from 39 yards late in the first half, tying it 3-3. He added a 22-yarder midway through the third quarter, giving the Vikings (3-1) a 6-3 lead.
The Titans finished first-year coach Mike Vrabel's first preseason winless, though he made clear protecting starters for the regular season mattered more than notching an exhibition victory. Vrabel said he feels much better about the health of his roster than two weeks ago Lorenzo Alexander Jersey , and that he focused on coaching the Titans who've worked hard for the team against the Vikings.
What does Vrabel know about the Titans after his first preseason?
"We'll find that out when we go to Miami," Vrabel said. "We'll really find out what kind of team we've got, how conditioned we are and how talented we are and what kind of coaches when we get done with Miami."
The starters who did play were the kickers, and the Titans kept Pro Bowl punter Brett Kern very busy. He punted five times before his backup took over.
In the battle of the backups, the Titans dominated the first quarter, outgaining Minnesota 77-8 and holding the ball for more than 12 minutes. Rookie Luke Falk, a sixth-round draft pick out of Washington State Jordan Reed Jersey , played the whole game. Falk outplayed Cousins' backup Trevor Siemian at least in the first quarter, when the Vikings went three-and-out twice.
The Vikings sacked Falk four times, and he threw for 114 yards. Siemian lasted the first half and was 6 of 11 for 55 yards. Zimmer said he thought Siemian played better and helped out the Vikings' young receivers. Siemian said it was a slow first quarter.
"You get a small sample size and you'd like to keep playing, but that's kind of how it goes," Siemian said.
Vikings undrafted rookie Mike Boone had 15 carries for 56 yards. He also caught two passes for 53 yards. Roc Thomas, fighting Boone for the third running back slot, hurt his left ankle when tackled at the end of a screen pass early in the second quarter Star Lotulelei Jersey , and finished with four carries for 12 yards.
Minnesota linebacker Kentrell Brothers, suspended for the first four games of the season , suffered a concussion in the first half. Cornerbacks Horace Richardson and Craig James each hurt hamstrings.
Devin Ross, who started with a chance to push for one of the last wide receiver slots, hurt his right ankle on the first play of the Titans' second series.
No protests were seen by either the Vikings or the Titans. Even Tennessee wide receiver Rishard Matthews, who stayed in the tunnel last season after comments by President Trump in September, was on the sideline during the anthem. He was just removed last weekend from the physically unable to perform list.
Vikings: Host San Francisco on Sept. 9.
Titans: Open season Sept. 9 at Miami.
Follow Teresa M. Walker at teresamwalker
It's not the most fun feeling world to go into an NFL season and know that your team probably has a better chance of competing for the #1 pick in the draft than appearing in the Super Bowl. But at least you can spend some time during the year making sure you tune into all the different college games so that you can see firsthand who the next player is that may come around and turn your entire franchise around.
The first overall pick in the NFL draft is a coveted position Dustin Hopkins Jersey , but with the high reward that can come, also comes the very high risk. Nothing puts the spotlight on you quite like being the first overall pick and while some people took that pressure and thrived, others made names for themselves as some of the biggest busts in NFL history.
I'm sure that if the Cleveland Browns also hadn't had multiple appearances on this list than their franchise's past few years probably would have gone a lot better than they have. But hey, there's always next year and maybe Baker Mayfield (and Myles Garrett) will be what finally helps turn the corner for the Browns! And if not, there's always the next draft!
I've looked at every 1st overall pick from the last 20 years and ranked them accordingly. While some player's potential was cut short due to injury, there is sure to be at least one bust in Canton by the time the final player on this list takes their final snap.