Game Preview: Oakland Raiders (1-1) @ Minnesota Vikings (1-1)

By James Hill – Minnesota Vikings Writer

This is a bounce-back week if the Vikings ever needed one (but of course, the same was thought last year vs Buffalo in Week 3 after a draw at @ GB). After a strong, incredible display at home vs Falcons in Week 1, the Vikings slumped to a 21-0 deficit early in the 2nd Quarter and never recovered against Green Bay in week 2. Despite such a loss, the positives are still seen throughout the team, and it’s evident in a few stat lines.

Firstly, Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter lead the NFL in QB Pressures heading into Week 3, proving once again the Front Seven of the Defence is a formidable force for any defense, recording 5 sacks in Week 1 and 2 Sacks in Week 2. Furthering this, despite a sluggish start, the Vikings effectively held GB to 0 Points for 3 Quarters (conceding the 3rd and Final score 44 seconds into the 2nd Quarter) proving how formidable even a depleted secondary can be. Added to the fact is the return to fitness is Mike Hughes (First Round Pick 2018 Draft) and things will only get better for that Defence.

Secondly, Dalvin Cook is leading the NFL in rushing yards (235) as well as Yards After Contact (4.9) after Week 2. Dominance with the run game is going to be a must to keep tempo and possession, allowing us to once again grind out a result like we did Week 1. Expect Dalvin to breach 100 yards rushing once again, possibly scoring a pair of touchdowns as well as seeing more work in the Redzone after a poor showing from Kirk in that position last week.

The main issue from Week 3 is the offense. They must be comfortable in the passing, know when to throw it away and go through progressions like a true QB would (you can see who I’m aiming this at cant you?). Kirk Cousins, the $84 Million Man, NEEDS a huge bounce back this week, admitting it himself he β€œwon’t be here long” if he plays like he did Week 2 again, it was a poor showing in yet another big game and it is becoming inexcusable. The player was signed as the missing piece, the Defence is showing up yet again and his receivers and running back are all paid and elite: Kirk needs to be too.

The Vikings key to success is simple, Pound the Rock and Pressure Carr. They have a suitable secondary to deal with their deep threats etc. But they MUST suffocate Carr this game, make sure he can’t get any rhythm and simply be as dominant as they were Week 1 from Kick off not taking a Quarter to produce anything like Week 2. 

Simply put, Week 2 is done, Week 3 is now, play how we know they can play and the Vikings will win.

Prediction:- Raiders 14, Vikings 31

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