Going to get our prediction widget out here a little earlier than I have the last couple of weeks, folks. Here it is, straight from our friends at The Crowd's Line.
Once again, the Minnesota Vikings aren't being given a whole lot of credit going into a match-up against an up-and-coming opponent. Thus far, the Oakland Raiders have already surpassed their win total from 2014, and are going to be looking for more on Sunday. With a victory this weekend, the Vikings can match their 2014 win total with seven games left on the schedule.
One of the keys for the Vikings when the Raiders have the football will be to get after quarterback Derek Carr. Carr has played brilliantly for the Raiders so far this season, and has only absorbed ten sacks in the Raiders' first eight games. However, the Raiders will likely be playing without center Rodney Hudson, who has been listed as doubtful with an ankle injury. With the Vikings getting defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd back in the fold, the Vikings could make things pretty miserable for the interior of the Raiders offensive line if Hudson. . .who has been graded as the league's best center so far this season by Pro Football Focus. . .is unable to go. If they can't get to Carr, he's going to test a Minnesota secondary that has been very solid so far this season.
When the Vikings have the ball, Minnesota's strength on offense matches up with Oakland's strength on offense. Behind the NFL's leading rusher, Adrian Peterson, the Vikings have been very good at running the football, ranking sixth in the NFL in that category. Oakland's defense is currently seventh in the NFL against the run, allowing only 96.9 yards a game on the ground. However, the Vikings' weakness on offense. . .the passing game. . .has a real chance to get going against a Raiders' defense that allows more passing yards per game than any team in the NFL. Oakland gives up an average of 314.6 yards/game through the air. With Teddy Bridgewater coming back. . .probably. . .after suffering a concussion last week, it stands to reason that if the Vikings can't get things going in the passing game against this defense, they might not really get it going all season.
Historically, the Vikings haven't had a lot of success when they've traveled to Oakland. They've won once there in team history, and haven't done so in almost 20 years. Normally, that sort of thing might concern me a little bit. . .but, you know, the Vikings have exorcised a few demons so far this season. What's one more?
Vikings 23, Raiders 20 in the best game of the weekend in Week 10 in the NFL. That's my prediction.
What does everyone else have for this one?