Tennessee Titans @

Minnesota Vikings

Sun, Sep 27
10:00 AM Pacific
Rotation: 469
Odds: Minnesota Vikings +2.5, Total: 49.5

Game Analysis

Create an account to get analysis and updates sent to your inbox.

Lean – MINNESOTA (+2.5/+3) over Tennessee

Lean – First Half Under 24.5 (-115)

Over the past two seasons, these two teams have consistently been among the most run-heavy in the NFL and the only time either team played with a total above 49 points was against high-powered passing offenses (KC, NO, HOU). I don’t think we’ve learned enough about Tennessee and Minnesota in the first two weeks to definitively say this matchup is going to produce one of the highest scoring games of the week.

We wrote this offseason about how Minnesota’s defense was likely to regress and played against the Vikings in week one, but now the market has gone too far in implying that they have a bottom 5 unit. Mike Zimmer is still one of the best defensive coaches in the league and people are overreacting to a two-game sample. After accounting for the injuries to Danielle Hunter, Anthony Barr, and the starting cornerbacks, we still think Minnesota’s defense is clearly better than teams like the Panthers and Jets. The Vikings are still running out former Pro Bowlers DE Yannick Ngakoue, LB Eric Kendricks, and S Harrison Smith. Their other safety Anthony Harris graded 3rd-highest at the position by PFF last season. Mike Zimmer’s defense still has talent despite all the injuries and the regression we predicted.

The Tennessee running game didn’t fare well for a second consecutive week, as Derrick Henry has been held under 3.7 yards per attempt in both games this season The Titans have has had success throwing to the tight end, as Jonnu Smith is second among all TEs with 2.79 yards per route run. However, the Vikings are actually solid against TEs with safeties being a remaining strength for this defense, and the Titans won’t have top WR AJ Brown available.

The Titans are one of three teams yet to turn the ball over, and they will certainly regress on their turnover luck moving forward. Even the best teams in the NFL still typically average about 1 giveaway per game.

People bet into the win total markets for months and these two teams closed almost exactly the same with a little under 9 expected wins. Now we are seeing the Titans giving 2.5 or 3 points in Minnesota. This is clearly an over-reaction to the first two weeks and the last defense Tennessee faced, Jacksonville, was exposed for what they really are on Thursday night in surrendering 31 points at home to the Dolphins. This Titans offense is averaging just 5.4 yppl (23rd) and we expect them to be league-average going forward due to their insistence on handing the ball off to a declining Derrick Henry.

The Vikings have the 4th-highest run rate after adjusting for game situations and it doesn’t look like they plan on deviating from that plan. Minnesota OC Gary Kubiak came out and said “our average (yards) per carry has been pretty good, we’re just not running it enough”. More running tends to lead to lower total scoring and our model makes Tennessee a 0.3-point favorite with a predicted total of 46.2 points. In first halves, 24 is a key number for totals with an 8.5% chance of landing on it exactly. Thus, playing under with the extra half point at 24.5 is beneficial.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • Titans
  • Vikings


  • Pass Plays 34.5 40.0
  • Succ Pass Plays 59.5% 54.0%
  • Sack Rate 3.1% 2.1%
  • Int Rate 0.0% 2.2%
  • Deep Pass Rate 9.6% 18.9%
  • Big Pass Yards 26.8% 32.4%
  • NYPP 7.4 6.6


  • Rush Plays 34.0 26.5
  • RB YPR 3.6 5.4
  • Stuff Rate 17.6% 19.1%
  • Succ Rush Plays 52.9% 58.5%
  • Big Rush Yards 33.2% 50.1%
  • Yards Per Rush 3.7 5.1


  • All Snaps 68.5 66.5
  • Early Down Succ 57.8% 56.5%
  • Succ Rate 56.2% 56.0%
  • Big Yards Rate 29.0% 38.5%
  • Yards Per Play 5.4 6.0
  • Fumble Lost Rate 0.0% 0.8%
  • Time Per Play (sec) 26.0 27.6
  • Run Ratio 50.6% 40.3%
  • Starting Field Pos 28.4 22.7
  • Game Control 3.8 -3.8
  • Points 24.5 22.0
Share This