Carson Palmer and the Raiders' passing offense will be the key to victory against the Vikings. The reason is simple: The Vikings are tough against the run and sublimely awful against the pass.
They are 30th in the NFL in passing yards allowed per game, and 25th in yards allowed per pass attempt.
The Vikings will be without CB Antoine Winfield, who was lost for the season last week, CB Chris Cook, who is away from the team while he deals with a felony domestic assault charge, and S Husain Abdullah who suffered his second concussion of the season.
Palmer should be able to pick the places he wants to exploit. Football Outsiders ranks the Vikings 26th, 29th, 26th guarding team's No. 1, No. 2 and all other WRs respectively. They are also 26th stopping TEs.
I wouldn't expect Palmer to come out and throw 35 passes. The Raiders will still do their fair share of running. But we can expect more than the 20 passes he threw last week. And he should put up some big numbers.
The Raiders speedy receivers will be on the fast track of metrodome turf. They should be blazing all over the field and leaving the Vikings' defenders in their field turf granules.
The Vikings best hope will be able to put pressure on Palmer. Led by Jared Allen they are seventh in sack percentage. This sets up a great matchup as the Raiders are amazingly second in the NFL in sacks allowed percentage.
The point is, that anyway you look at these numbers it adds up to success for The Carson Palmer. In fact, I will go as far as to say that the Raiders have this victory in the Palmer their hands.