They could not be farther apart in the standings.
Three weeks into the 2020 NFL season, the Tennessee Titans are 3-0 and the Minnesota Vikings are 0-3.
On the field and on the scoreboard, however, the difference between the teams looked much smaller. The Titans needed a 55-yard field goal from Stephen Gostkowski with 1:44 to play in order to beat the Vikings 31-30 and remain undefeated Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Here is some of what Minnesota’s players and coach Mike Zimmer had to say about the Titans following that contest:
• Zimmer, on the difference in the game: “I think maybe we beat ourselves. … This game, throughout most of the game, we gave ourselves an opportunity to compete, to fight, do all those things and with 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter, we’re up by five. And that’s one of the points of emphasis we always talk about – winning the last 10 minutes of the game.”
• Linebacker Eric Kendricks, on blowing a fourth-quarter lead: “I felt we were into it. Obviously, they made a couple of pass plays but – yeah – their field goal kicker kicked a lot of solid kicks. We gave up three explosive plays that I can remember. … We were very physical. We held them to field goals in the red zone, for the most part. It wasn’t enough.”
• Wide receiver Justin Jefferson, on his big game (seven catches for 175 yards and a touchdown): “It doesn’t matter how many yards or catches or touchdowns I have. We still lost.”
• Zimmer, on forcing the Titans to kick six field goals: “It’s a little bit of a double-edged sword. … They’ve got that big back [Derrick] Henry in there, so they ran a couple and had a couple play-actions, and we had to change coverages up and try to pressure them a little bit in different situations. Obviously, you don’t want them to score anything. So that was – I don’t know – it was a 55-yard field goal at the end.”
• Kendricks, on Henry’s performance (26 carries, 119 yards, 2 TDs): “I feel like we did good in the first half. In the second half, he had a couple of bigger runs, kind of a little bleedy yardage. I feel like we were playing physical. We were being smart. But we got to do better.”
• Jefferson, on allowing the Titans to come back from five down in the fourth quarter: “We played a great game at first and throughout the game. But those last two drives really killed us. We just made bad decisions [and] had some mistakes.”
• Quarterback Kirk Cousins, on the result: “Really tough loss. … We just weren’t able to come away with the win, which is what matters. … When you don’t win the game, you tend to think about the plays you didn’t make that could have made the difference. It was a back-and-forth game. We just came up a play or two short.”