When you play a game in which you are beaten by 20 points and you can still say it wasn’t really even that close, you know how bad it has become. The Raiders lost 34-14 to the Vikings and it was not pretty for the visiting squad.
1. Dalvin Cook
Cook ran through the Raiders defense like a hot knife through butter. Four of the Vikings’ ten longest plays from scrimmage were Cook. He had 110 yards rushing and a touchdown with another 33 yards receiving... all in the first three quarters. Two of the other longest runs were Vikings backups who were gouging the Raiders late because Cook spent the first part three quarters wearing them down. By the fourth quarter the Raiders defense was beaten down.
2. Darren Waller
The only thing on the Raiders team that was working on either side of the ball was Waller. He had a 30-yard catch in the third quarter. At that point the rest of the Raiders offense had a total net of 21 yards. He would finish with 13 catches on 14 targets for 134 yards. That’s more than everyone else on the team combined (108 yards).
3. Kirk Cousins
His numbers weren’t outstanding, but he was coming off a game in which he had three turnovers which followed a game in which he didn’t even crack triple digits in passing. He led the Vikings on an game opening touchdown drive capped off by a 35-yard touchdown strike to Adam Thielen. He finished with a respectable 112 passer rating, completing 15 of 21 attempts for 174 yards and a touchdown. And most important for him; no turnovers. With as good as this Vikings team is, that’s all it took to put up 34 points and win going away. Ah, the Raiders being the old cure for what ails you.
4. Anthony Barr
Barr was a surprise inactive for this game. Even after Mike Zimmer seemed quite confident his linebacker would be able to go with a groin injury. Barr said after the game that he might have been able to go, but wanted to make sure he was healthy for next week when the Vikings take on the Bears. Barr didn’t want to risk turning a seemingly minor groin injury into a multiple game thing. And he got to relax and feel pretty good about his decision as the Raiders were never a threat, going down 21-0 four minutes into the second quarter.
1. Jon Gruden
Last week the Raiders at least started out looking great. Seemingly continuing what they had started with a nice efficient win over the Broncos in the opener. The biggest criticism of the offense was the ability to keep it up after the first couple scripted drives. They can’t even claim that in this game. They didn’t get on the board until midway through the second quarter and that touchdown was the beginning and the end of the points they scored that mattered. This offense is toothless and often predictable. And up until that garbage time touchdown late in the game, the Raiders had been outscored 62-7 in the past seven quarters of football.
2. Derek Carr
When the Vikings took a 21-0 lead, Carr’s stat line was 3 of 5 for 7 yards and an interception. Both his incompletions were on overthrows, including the interception. His touchdown pass on the next series came on a flea-flicker in which JJ Nelson was wide open. It was also his only completion of the day that traveled at least 20 yards in the air. I would have to check, but I’m not even sure he attempted one over 20 yards downfield. I’m sure getting sacked four times didn’t feel great either.
3. Raiders defensive line
They didn’t get a single sack on Kirk Cousins. Three times they even got a hit on him, and one of those was Arden Key who was flagged for roughing the passer on third and 18. They had picked up the first down anyway, but with the penalty tacked on, the Vikings were near midfield. They finished the drive for their second touchdown to take a 14-0 lead. They also allowed the Vikings running backs to average 6.3 yards per carry. Even Kirk Cousins averaged 4.0 yards per carry on four scrambles.
4. Vikings fans
How much of a loser do you have to be to shower kicker Daniel Carlson with boos every time he takes the field? For some backstory, the Vikings used a 5th round pick on Carlson last year and after one bad game, they cut him. He missed three field goals in a 29-29 tie with the Green Bay Packers in week two of last season. He was cut the next day and after a few weeks off to get his confidence back, he signed with the Raiders. Since then he has gone on to have the best field goal percentage in the NFL, making 17-straight. How exactly is it HIS fault that the Vikings gave up on him so soon? I mean, one bad game and he is cut? If you are a fan and you’re booing a kicker for that, you need to get a damn life. Carlson came out to attempt an extra point and he was booed. Later he came out to attempt a 51-yard field goal and bounced it off the right upright. He was 3 for 3 on field goals outside 50 yards with the Raiders prior to that. And it means he is now 0 for 4 on field goal attempts in Minnesota. He’s probably hoping he doesn’t ever have to kick there ever again. Then the fans can find something else to boohoo about.