Titans vs. Vikings: Bethel-Thompson looks good in victory

Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota earned its first win of the preseason with a victory over the Titans.

The Minnesota Vikings took care of the Tennessee Titans at Mall of America Field, winning 24-23 to get themselves feeling good before the regular season begins.

McLeod Bethel-Thompson saw a majority of the snaps for Vikings quarterbacks because Matt Cassel, the assumed backup to third-year signal-caller Christian Ponder, only threw three passes (he completed all of them for 48 yards, though, keeping his hold on the position). Bethel-Thompson was given his opportunity to play ball, though and looked solid en route to completing 19 of his 26 pass attempts for 187 yards for two touchdowns and an interception.

Running back Joe Banyard also played well for the Vikings, gaining 62 yards on 13 carries to show a glimmer of depth behind the best running back in football.

Over at the Daily Norseman, Christopher Gates talked about some of the better showings from the contest:

A couple of the more notable performances came from cornerback Marcus Sherels, who had a 109-yard kickoff return that saw him go basically untouched, and added an interception in pass coverage as well. Running back Joe Banyard had 116 total yards (64 on the ground, 52 through the air) and an 11-yard touchdown reception from backup McLeod Bethel-Thompson. Desmond Bishop also looked very good at linebacker for most of the night, and may finally be all the way back from the injury that caused him to miss most of last season.

The Titans gave some time to the starters, but not much as Jake Locker threw five passes for a total of 31 yards. First round pick Justin Hunter had a very nice game, catching four passes for 45 yards and a score, but Jimmy Morris at Music City Miracles talked about another man on offense who showed up when the lights were bright:

Jackie Battle deserves to be on this roster.  I think he showed tonight that he is a guy that can get the tough yards even when the other team knows he is getting the football.

Tennessee opens the season against the Pittsburgh Steelers while Minnesota draws the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.

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