It’s week 3 of the NFL season and the Raiders are at the Minnesota Vikings. Oakland kicked the ball off first and thanks to a timely 3rd down defensive holding penalty on Gareon Conley the Vikings didn’t just get the ball first, they scored first. The touchdown went to Adam Thielen on a 35 yard pass to cap off their 6 play, 66 yard opening drive and take the lead at 7-0.
Oakland’s offense struggled on their first two drives, they went 3 and out on their first one and then after quickly getting the ball back after a defensive stop the Raiders managed just one first down on their 2nd drive.
After that the Raiders should have gotten off the field quickly and forced a punt from deep in the Vikings own territory on a 3rd and 18 play. Unfortunately Arden Key decided to forget the rules of football and roughed the passer on the play, which extended the drive. Sure enough, same as the first drive the 3rd down penalty spurred the Vikings and resulted in another touchdown. This one came on a 1 yard Dalvin Cook run after a 12 play, 59 yard drive and made the score 14-0.
To make matters worse, the Raiders immediately gave the ball back to the Vikings when Derek Carr overthrew the tight end over the middle straight into Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith’s waiting hands. We have apparently entered the Derek Carr trying too hard and failing miserably stage of the game. Minnesota of course took advantage of the turnover, they eventually scored on a Adam Thielen run to make the score 21-0.
Oakland at least showed signs of life on their next drive with a couple of big pass plays to TE Darren Waller, who looks legitimately awesome by the way. He had a huge 3rd down catch and run that got the Raiders into Vikings territory and finally woke their offense up. They scored a couple of plays later on a flea flicker pass to JJ Nelson, his first TD as a Raider. The 29 yard touchdown cut the Vikings lead to 21-7.
Clelin Ferrell came up with two big plays to force a quick punt from the Vikings, so the Raiders offense got the ball back right away after they finally got momentum. They got to midfield before their drive stalled out, they had almost hit another big 3rd down Waller couldn’t make the catch. They punted it on 4th and 6 despite it nearing the end of the half, so the 21-7 is what the score would remain at half time.
Unfortunately that didn’t happen with the Raiders going 3 and out with their first possession of the 2nd half. The Vikings had no such problem on the other hand, they drove right down the field on the Oakland defense. They eventually scored on a hurdling run from impressive rookie running back Alexander Mattison. The 10 yard run made the score 28-7 Minnesota.
With the deficit just increasing the Raiders entered their next drive in 4 down territory. They managed to get through their first 4th down successfully with a great play call that faked a run up the middle and tossed it outside for an 18 yard gain from Josh Jacobs. However, the 2nd time they said nevermind on being creative and tried running up the middle and got stuffed by about half of the defense for a turnover on downs.
After the big stop for the Vikings on 4th down they managed to drive down into Raiders territory before the defense came up with a stop. Minnesota still got far enough to add a field goal to make the score 31-7, the kick was from 50 yards out.
The Raiders were actually driving well on their next drive, they went 14 plays for 52 yards. Unfortunately it had been 12 plays for 67 yards until Carr got sacked for -15 yards on 3rd down to force a 51 yard field goal attempt. Daniel Carlson’s kick had plenty of leg but hit the upright and fell to the ground, no good.
Minnesota tacked on another 3 points on their next drive mostly thanks to two 20+ yard runs getting them into field goal range. They are really just running the clock out at this point but the Raiders did come up with three straight run stops to force the 24 yard field goal to make it 34-7 Vikings.
The one bright spot for the Raiders has been TE Darren Waller who is truly showing star quality play even in an embarrassing loss. He caught a couple more passes on Oakland’s next drive to put him over 100 yards receiving for the first time in his career, the first of many hopefully. It also helped lead the Raiders to a garbage time touchdown to Tyrell Williams to make the score 34-14 Vikings.
Once Minnesota got the ball back they ran out the rest of the clock so 34-14 is the final score. Raiders lose.