By Abraham Gutierrez
Coming in as three-point favorites, NFL oddsmakers thought this would be a good opportunity for the Oakland Raiders to snap their two-game skid. Instead, the Silver and Black defense was torched by running back Adrian Peterson, while the offense was exposed by a sturdy Minnesota Vikings defense. The loss drops the Raiders to 4-5 on the year, as they now sit in third place in the AFC West, as Jack Del Rio's club has now lost three games in a row.
Offensively, Derek Carr and the Raiders took on one of the best defenses in the league in a game that was sort of a barometer to find out where they rank in relation. Unfortunately, things didn't go as planned, as the Vikes "D" limited the Raiders to 20 first downs and 371 yards of offense (84 rushing yards, 287 passing yards).
Oakland simply couldn't get anything going offensively, and the time of possession battle shows just that. Officially, the home team held on to the ball for 26 minutes and 59 seconds, and did not get on the scoreboard until halfway through the second quarter.
Needless to say, Carr struggled against Minnesota's defensive backs all afternoon long, completing only 29-of-43 pass attempts for 302 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions for a quarterback rating of 83.7.
The Vikings defense also did a tremendous job on the ground. This is evident by the fact that running back Latavius Murray was only able to muster 48 yard on 12 carries, followed by Oakland's second-leader rusher, Jamize Olawale, who tallied just 24 yards on 5 rushes.
Defensively, this was a game to forget for Ken Norton Jr. and his defensive unit, allowing 21 first downs and 385 yards of total offense (263 rushing yards, 122 passing yards). Even though they did a good job of containing Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, the way they allowed running back Adrian Peterson to roam freely is simply unacceptable.
Almost single-handedly, Peterson carried the load offensively, rushing for a season-high 203 yards on 26 carries and a score. Even though his numbers don't necessarily stick out, Bridgewater did just enough to get the job done.
The former Louisville standout completed 64 percent of his passes (14-for-22) for 140 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions for a respectable quarterback rating of 96.8. Bridgewater also ran for 23 yards on two carries, and some of his favorite targets included Stefon Diggs (2 catches for 46 yards), Mike Wallace (one catch for 22 yards) and Rhett Ellison (2 catches for 18 yards, TD).
Special Teams: C
In a game where field positioning meant everything, such as this one, teams need to be able to rely on their special teams units. With so many scoreless drives for the Raiders, punter Marquette King did a great job of pinning the Vikings back, averaging 43 yards per punt (6), including a long of 50 yards, and two that were carefully placed inside Minnesota's 20-yard line. However, the Raiders special teams did have a huge mistake, as they allowed returner Cordarrelle Patterson to burn them with a 93-yard touchdown just before the half.
Once again, the Raiders offense couldn't get the running game going, while the defense struggled yet again against the rush. Many a times, Oakland relies too heavily on its passing game, which makes them a little predictable. This was the case against the Vikings, who picked off Carr twice this afternoon, including an INT with the game still within arm's length.
Play calling has to get better for Oakland, especially when facing some of the best resistances this league has to offer. Del Rio and his staff failed to prepare for what the Vikings were going to do, and as a result, the Raiders now find themselves below .500 and having lost three straight games.
What's Next For Oakland Raiders In Week 11?
After failing to protect home field, the Oakland Raiders will have to find a way to win away from the East Bay, which is where they will be for the next two weeks. First up, Del Rio & Co. will visit the Motor City, as they have a date with the Detroit Lions next Sunday at Ford Field. This interconference clash is scheduled for Sunday afternoon at 10 a.m. PT and it will be broadcast live on CBS Sports.
Abe Gutierrez's (Twitter: @GutierrezAbe) passion led him to ditch law school journey in order to launch his own publishing company. His expertise make him a valued addition to Examiner.com, AXS.com and the CBS-Sports family. Some of his work can be found on CBS-Miami (Dolphins), CBS-LosAngeles (Chargers), CBS-BayArea (Raiders), CBS-NewYork (NY Jets), CBS-TampaBay (Buccaneers), AXS.com, aExaminer.com and other online publications.
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