The Oakland Raiders (1-1), despite holding the Chiefs scoreless for three quarters last week, could not get the job done, and look to whip a Vikings team that dealt with a close loss against the Green Bay Packers last week.
The Minnesota Vikings (1-1), although wounded, are hardly reeling. They look to rebound this week against the luckless Raiders, embroiled in a battle with the Denver Broncos on who will be the custodians of the AFC West basement.
Date: Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019
Start time: 1:00 p.m. EDT
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Stadium: US Bank Stadium
Series History: Raiders lead series (10-5)
TV Info: FOX
Oakland is trying hard to pull themselves from the cellar of the AFC West. In Derek Carr, they have a great quarterback. The Vikings, not so much.
In fact, the Vikings have not had a great quarterback, other than Warren Moon (Brett Favre does not count, and you should be ashamed of yourselves) since Francis Asbury Tarkenton.
The Raiders might not call themselves a team that is rebuilding or in transition, yet they are. They’ve divorced themselves of the Antonio Brown controversy admirably. Come the next few years, they will be a team other teams must reckon with.
Their defense, ranked fifth in rushing, is just getting better. Their offense, ranked just 22nd is much better than that.
“It’s a good challenge for us.” – Raiders QB Derek Carr on facing the Vikings this week
The Vikings are good. While their loss to the Packers hurts, they are a solid football team. They have all the pieces in place, minus a quarterback. They earned and deserve a seat at the table. I look forward to seeing them in the playoffs come December.
Fodder for Thought
- The Raiders begin a stretch of no home games in a 48-day span (London game and bye week between two straight road games on each end).
- The Raiders held K.C. scoreless in three quarters last week, however, allowed 28 points in the second quarter alone.
- Raiders quarterback Derek Carr broke Hall of Famer Ken Stabler’s Raiders record for career passing yards last week (19,196 yards).
- The Raiders allowed two touchdown drives of at least 90 yards in the same game last week for the third time in 20 years.
- The Vikings will seal the franchise’s 500th victory (including playoffs) with a win on Sunday (499-427-11 in 59 seasons).
- Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (NFL leader with 265 rushing yards), is one of only five players with consecutive games of at least 110 rushing yards and one touchdown to start any season. The others are all Hall of Famers:
- Jim Brown (six, 1958)
- O. J. Simpson (five, 1975)
- Emmitt Smith (four, 1995)
- Curtis Martin (three, 2004).
- Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins has the second-lowest completion percentage (43.8) of an eight-year NFL career.
- In his only previous game vs. the Raiders, Cousins had the fourth-highest passer rating of his career (150.7) as a Washington Redskin on Sept. 24, 2017 (365 yards and three touchdowns).
- Vikings free safety Harrison Smith is the only player in the NFL with at least 15 tackles, one pass defended, one forced fumble, and one recovered fumble in the 2019 NFL season.
The Raiders are getting better and are a good team. However, against the Vikings this week, it’s not happening. Cousins and his boys take this one.
Final Score prediction: Raiders 21, Vikings 28