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Vikings Returning Rushing/Receiving Stats Contrasts with Titans Overhaul

Know the Tennessee Titans key contributors on offense, defense and special teams heading into the Vikings-Titans game Sunday.

The NFL Kickoff Weekend matchup between the Vikings and Titans presents an interesting contrast between a team that tried to maintain general continuity while continuing to develop in Minnesota and a club that has undergone a high degree of renovation under General Manager Jon Robinson in his first year.

Here's a look at returning running backs and receivers for the Vikings and some of the changes that have happened for the Titans:

Running backs

Minnesota's roster has returned players who accounted for 2,013 of the team's 2,211 rushing yards (91 percent) in 2015. That figure would be even higher, however, had Teddy Bridgewater (192 rushing yards) not suffered a season-ending injury during practice last week.

The Vikings running backs room is the same as a year ago, with three-time NFL rushing champ Adrian Peterson back after totaling league highs of 327 carries and 1,485 yards. He is joined by Jerick McKinnon (52 carries, 271 yards) and Matt Asiata (29 carries, 112 yards), as well as fullback Zach Line (six carries, 10 yards).

The Titans have returned players who accounted for 832 of the 1,485 rushing yards (56 percent) they gained in 2015. Running back Antonio Andrews (143 carries for 520 yards) and quarterback Marcus Mariota (34-252) led the Titans. Mariota scored an 87-yard touchdown in his rookie season. Tennessee traded for DeMarco Murray and drafted Derrick Henry this offseason, before releasing Dexter McCluster, Bishop Sankey and David Cobb.

"They all have the ability to make tough matchups, can break a tackle here and there, are physical," Mariota said. "So really for us, they've done a good job so far and we expect a lot out of them this year."

Murray rushed six times for 93 yards, and Henry rushed 10 times for 74 yards in Tennessee's first preseason game. Murray totaled 153 yards on 19 carries in his first preseason in Nashville, and Henry totaled 216 yards on 34 carries in his first exhibition slate. Mariota totaled 33 rushing yards on five attempts this preseason.

Titans Head Coach Mike Mularkey, who was hired after coaching the final nine games of 2015 on an interim basis, said he tried to make the offense "more user friendly" this offseason, from protection schemes to play calls in the huddle.

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer said the defense has been trying to get a feel for how the new personnel will perform.

"First games are always – especially with basically new staffs – they're always a little bit concerning, because what you've seen on tape may not necessarily be what you see in the game," Zimmer said.


Five of the six receivers on the Vikings roster were with the Vikings last season. Stefon Diggs (52 catches, 720 yards), Jarius Wright (34-442), Adam Thielen (12-144), Charles Johnson (9-127) and Cordarrelle Patterson (2-10) have been joined by first-round pick Laquon Treadwell.

Receivers combined with running backs and tight ends to total 3,246 yards last season, and the Vikings have returned players who accounted for 2,773 yards (85.4 percent).

Tennessee's overhaul continued at receiver with newcomers Rishard Matthews (free agent) and Tajae Sharpe (rookie fifth-round pick) listed atop its depth chart. The Titans have returned players that accounted for 2,485 of their 3,893 receiving yards (63.8 percent) last season. Tennessee recently traded 2015 second-round pick Dorial Green-Beckham (32 catches for 549 yards) and released 2013 second-round pick Justin Hunter (22-264).

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