The Raiders were unable to get off to a quick start as they had in the previous two weeks and instead fell behind early and were trailing 21-0 with 11:06 remaining in the second quarter.
Where the game took a turn for the worse was on the Vikings third possession late in the first quarter with the score still just 7-0.
The Raiders defense had the Vikings backed up to their own 13-yard line, facing a 3rd and 18. Kirk Cousins dropped back and dumped the ball off to Dalvin Cook on a screen play, Cook was ruled to have picked up the entire 18 yards, even though the replay showed he was just short, which would have held up on challenge to force a punt.
But that challenge never came because Arden Key was flagged for a 15-yard roughing the passer penalty, giving the Vikings the first down anyway. It was a back breaker for the defense and that’s why it is the week three turning point play of the game.
3rd and 18 from Vikings 13 turns into 1st and 10 from Vikings 46 after Arden Key is flagged for roughing the passer. Killer penalty. pic.twitter.com/0zWjZl55HE— Evan Groat (@Egroat5) September 23, 2019
You could argue the call was questionable but the ball was clearly out of Cousins hand and Key shoves Cousins up by the shoulder and head area.
Here is an isolated angle of Key on the play.
Another look at the Key roughing the passer. pic.twitter.com/K0qHcfKKah— Evan Groat (@Egroat5) September 23, 2019
The play was an absolute killer, the Vikings went from third and eighteen on their own 13 to first and ten on their 46 — a 33-yard gain.
To make things worse three plays later, on third and two, Gareon Conley was flagged for a 15-yard face mask placing the ball at the Raiders 26.
Two more first downs for the Vikings and Dalvin Cook scored from one yard out making the score 14-0 and that was all the points the Vikings would need. Derek Carr’s interception came on the next possession, the Vikings would add another touchdown and win going away.