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3 Stats that Stood Out: Vikings at Titans

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Vikings opened the 2016 season with a 25-16 win against the Titans at Tennessee on Sunday.

Minnesota won the turnover battle 3-0 and scored touchdowns during returns of two of the takeaways. Here are three stats that stood out:

185 return yards by Vikings in second half

That total includes a 61-yard kickoff return by Cordarrelle Patterson that provided a jolt to start the second half, a 77-yard interception return for a touchdown by Eric Kendricks, a 24-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Danielle Hunter, a gain of 2 after a fumble recovered by Andrew Sendejo and punt returns of 9 and 12 yards.

The Vikings offense netted 301 yards during the game but benefitted from complementary football.

Kendricks' interception return was the sixth-longest by a Vikings linebacker ever and the longest interception return in the NFL during a Kickoff Weekend since Harrison Smith's 81 yarder at St. Louis in 2014.

Under 3.0 per carry

A game that featured the past two NFL rushing champs also included defenses that were strong against the run.

Adrian Peterson, the three-time defending champ who led the league with 1,485 yards in 2015, was limited to 31 yards on 19 carries and a long of 9. The Vikings totaled 65 yards on 28 attempts (2.3 yards per carry).

Titans running back DeMarco, who had 1,845 yards to top the NFL in 2014, was limited to 42 yards on 13 attempts. Tennessee totaled 64 yards on 22 attempts (2.9 per carry), and Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry was limited to three yards on five attempts (0.6 per carry).

A sign of the emphasis that the teams placed on stuffing the run is that two defensive backs from the Vikings (Harrison Smith and Trae Waynes recorded tackles for loss) and three tackles for loss were recorded by Titans defensive backs (two by Da'Norris Searcy and one by Kevin Byard).

4:50 in the fourth

The time of possession for the Titans in the fourth quarter. Tennessee had four possessions in the fourth quarter, and the longest lasted 2:08 and gained 59 yards on nine plays. The other three drives (all before the seven-minute mark) totaled seven plays over the course of 2:42 and netted seven yards.

Although the Titans possessed the football for more than eight minutes in the first, second and third quarters, the Vikings offense sustained two drives for more than four minutes apiece in the fourth quarter.

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