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Titans Drop Preseason Finale vs. Vikings


NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Quarterback Marcus Mariota traded his helmet in for a baseball cap on Thursday night, and so did the rest of the Titans starters.

Preseason game No.4 was reserved for the reserves for both the Titans and Vikings at Nissan Stadium.

The Titans lost 13-3 to the Vikings to wrap up the preseason.

Quarterback Luke Falk started the game for the Titans. He finished the contest 13-of-24 for 114 yards, and was sacked four times. Running back Dalyn Dawkins led the Titans with 53 yards on 17 carries.

Titans coach Mike Vrabel said he wanted to give his young players battling for roster spots a chance.

"The guys that have given us a lot of time since April, a lot of time and energy and effort," Vrabel said. "Being conscious that you give those guys an opportunity to really show what they can do as it comes down here to final decisions. I think that's critical, that we respect those guys that played in the game. Obviously, there was a lot of guys that didn't play in the game. That wasn't my focus once the game started. Just trying to give those guys a great opportunity to put some tape out there."

The Titans took a 3-0 lead late in the first quarter on a 24-yard field goal by kicker Ryan Succop, which capped a 16-play, 69-yard drive that took 9:31 off the clock.

The Titans defense, led by reserves, held the Vikings to just eight yards and no first downs in the first quarter. The Vikings scored their first point late in the first half on a 39-yard field goal by kicker Daniel Carlson, which tied the game at 3-3. The Vikings took the lead at 6-3 on a 22-yard field goal by Carlson in the third quarter.

The Vikings stretched the lead to 13-3 on a 24-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Kyle Sloter to receiver Brandon Zylstra in the fourth quarter.

"I think defensively we came out and played well early in the game," Vrabel said. "We gave up a drive at the end of the half, and then the second half is kind of the same story with penalties and a big play. Penalties will continue to hurt you on defense when you give them 15 yards, especially on third down. Offensively, we just didn't have the ability to sustain drives, penalties again. … That's difficult to overcome."

Next up for the Titans is business, and then the regular season.

The Titans must trim the roster from 90 to 53 players by 3 p.m. on Saturday.

The Titans open the regular season on September 9 at Miami.

So, are the Titans ready?

"I think that we'll find out when we go to Miami," Vrabel said. "We'll really find out what kind of team we've got, how conditioned we are and how talented we are and what kind of coaches we are once we get down to Miami."

The Tennessee Titans take on the Minnesota Vikings in Week 4 of the preseason on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018 at Nissan Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)

The Tennessee Titans prepare to take on the Minnesota Vikings in Week 4 of the preseason on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018 at Nissan Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)

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