The Tennessee Titans and Minnesota Vikings will meet during Week 5 of the 2012-13 NFL season on October 7, 2012. The game will be played at Mall of America Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. These are some picks against the spread for that contest.
The Titans have a 1-3 record. The Vikings have a 3-1 record. From 1995 through 2004, the Titans had a 0-4 record against the Vikings. When these teams last met in September 2008, the Titans won 30-17. The Titans started that season with a 10-0 record.
The early spread is Vikings (-5.5). The over-under total is 44. As of October 3, all odds are from Yahoo! Sports. Click the "Key Injuries" for injury reports from official team websites. ESPN also has injury reports.
Week 4 Results
Tennessee Titans 14 at Houston Texans 38
Minnesota Vikings 20 at Detroit Lions 13
Key Injuries: Tennessee Titans (As of October 3)
Key Injuries: Minnesota Vikings (As of October 3)
DE Jared Allen, LB Erin Henderson, QB Christian Ponder, CB Antoine Winfield
Keys To The Game
Kyle Rudolph and Adrian Peterson vs. Titans' Defense
The Conservativeness of the Titans' Defense
Matt Hasselbeck vs. Vikings' Secondary
The Health of Colin McCarthy
The Vikings' Ability to Contain Chris Johnson as a Runner and Receiver
The Vikings and Titans matchup was supposed to feature two of the highest-drafted quarterbacks from the 2011 NFL Draft. However, Jake Locker has been ruled out for this contest. Matt Hasselbeck will make his first start of the season.
What can fans expect from Hasselbeck? One benefit with him starting is that he has more experience in hostile environments. The Vikings have one of the NFL's loudest home-field advantages. They head into this contest with a 2-0 home record. This includes an 11-point victory over the San Francisco 49ers, a team that many feel is a Super Bowl favorite.
The Titans have been extraordinarily conservative on defense. That's probably because they've faced a slate of quarterbacks that include Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, Matthew Stafford and Matt Schaub. The Titans should play much-more aggressively against a Vikings' offense that hasn't completed a pass of more than 29 yards. The Vikings have the second-fewest completions of 20-plus yards (seven).
There are two players who the Titans must contain: Adrian Peterson and Kyle Rudolph. The Titans held Arian Foster and Ben Tate to fewer than 100 rushing yards in Week 4. However, the Titans continued to get decimated by tight ends. Owen Daniels and James Casey combined to have 11 receptions for 108 yards with two touchdowns. San Diego Chargers reserve tight end Dante Rosario had three touchdown receptions in Week 2. Rudolph is a huge matchup problem for Tennessee.
Expect a competitive game that can go either way. I'll give the slightest of edges to the Vikings because of the home-field advantage and the injuries that affect the Titans' ability to exploit the Vikings' defensive backfield. The Titans could use a healthy Kenny Britt here. Unfortunately, Britt is almost never healthy. I'm also concerned about Hasselbeck's ability to consistently throw the deep pass.
Tennessee Titans at Minnesota Vikings (-5.5): The Pick
Against The Spread: Tennessee Titans (+5.5)
Straight: Minnesota Vikings 16, Tennessee Titans 13
Joshua Huffman grew up in Michigan's Upper Peninsula as a Green Bay Packers and Chicago Cubs enthusiast. He immediately gained an admiration for Cubs fans after watching numerous games on WGN during the mid-90s. His favorite Cubs moment was Kerry Wood's(notes) 1-hitter, 20K extravaganza that was only denied of a no-hitter by Kevin Orie's defensive blunder. As a Packers and Cubs fan, he suffered through Steve Bartman and "4th & 26" in a span of three months. He can be found on Twitter HERE.
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