Vikings score 2 TDs off turnovers in beating Titans 25-16

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans made sure Adrian Peterson wouldn't hurt them.

So the Minnesota defense took control.

Eric Kendricks returned an interception 77 yards for a touchdown late in the third quarter and Danielle Hunter scored a 24-yard TD off a fumble return and the Vikings beat Tennessee 25-16 in their season opener Sunday.

The Vikings forced three turnovers in the span of just under seven minutes and also had two sacks.

"The defense came through for us and made some big plays," Peterson said. "They pretty much bailed us out today."

The defending NFC North champs needed the help from their defense in scoring 25 straight points after being shut out in the first half with the NFL's 2015 rushing leader smothered.

Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer did his best to hide his starter at quarterback after the Vikings lost Teddy Bridgewater to a major knee injury Aug. 30, and after they traded their 2017 first-round draft pick to Philadelphia for Sam Bradford.

The mystery finally ended when Shaun Hill, 36, took the field for the Vikings' first series for his first start since 2014 when he was with the St. Louis Rams.

Zimmer said Hill did well.

"We'll take it one week at a time and see where it takes us," Zimmer said.

Tennessee focused on stopping Peterson, who had 1,485 yards rushing last season, and the Titans did just that.

Peterson had 31 yards on 19 carries.

The Titans had a revamped roster from a new general manager for coach Mike Mularkey in his first game since having the interim tag removed in January.

They also opened at home for the first time since 2012 and jumped out to a 10-0 halftime lead looking for a rare home win after going 1-7 in Nashville each of the past two seasons.

Their highlight came on the first of two TD catches by DeMarco Murray, the 2014 Offensive Player of the Year, when he vaulted himself over a defender for a 6-yard TD catch just before halftime.

Copyright 2016 by The Associated Press

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