Whether your quarterback is Teddy Bridgewater, Shaun Hill or Sam Bradford, you’re probably going to win if you score two defensive touchdowns.
Today the Vikings’ quarterback was Hill, the placeholder between the injured Bridgewater and the recently acquired Bradford, and although Hill was fine, he wasn’t the reason the Vikings beat the Titans 25-16.
Instead, the reason the Vikings won was a stellar defense that did a number on Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota. In the third quarter, Minnesota’s Eric Kendricks picked off Mariota and returned it 77 yards for a touchdown, and in the fourth quarter Danielle Hunter picked up a Mariota fumble on a botched exchange and raced 24 yards for another touchdown.
In the first quarter it looked like the Titans’ “Exotic Smashmouth” offense would pay dividends, with DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry each having a big play early. But for most of the game the Vikings were able to bottle them up.
The Vikings’ offense wasn’t great, but Hill was competent, completing 18 of 33 passes for 236 yards, with no turnovers. It remains to be seen whether Bradford will be any better than Hill — and if he is, whether he’s enough better to justify the first- and fourth-round picks the Vikings traded away to acquire Bradford.
Adrian Peterson had an ugly day for the Vikings, gaining just 31 yards on 19 carries. That may be a bigger concern than the quarterback position — something few were expecting heading into Week One.