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Minnesota Vikings at Oakland Raiders: First Quarter Open Thread

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports


Date: 15 November 2015
Location: Oakland, CA
Time: 3:05 PM Central Stadium: Coliseum
DirecTV Ch 713
Radio: Vikings Radio Network
XM Ch 226 (OAK)
Sirius Ch 112
TV Announcers: Chris Myers
Ronde Barber
Know Thy Foe: Silver and Black Pride
Weather: 57 degrees, winds from W at 20-30 MPH, 0% chance of rain
Line: Oakland -3, Over/Under 44 (Thanks to the SB Nation Odds page)
Chris' Prediction: Vikings 23, Raiders 20
Final Score: Vikings 30, Raiders 14

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We are less than an hour away from kickoff in Oakland for this late afternoon match-up between the Minnesota Vikings and the Oakland Raiders. As you can see from the forecast above, it's going to be a windy one in the Bay Area today. . .even windier than it was last week in Minnesota. We'll have to see if that favors one side or the other in this one.

So, what do the Vikings have to do this afternoon to stretch their winning streak to five?

1) Get after Derek Carr - The Oakland offensive line has been very good overall this season, but this afternoon will be missing center Rodney Hudson, who has been their best offensive lineman all season long. With inexperienced Tony Bergstrom in his place, you can expect the Vikings to amp up the "A"-gap pressure that Mike Zimmer's defenses are becoming known for. With Linval Joseph playing at an incredibly high level right now and the return of Sharrif Floyd, the Vikings should be able to take advantage of that weakness and get in Carr's face.

2) Tackling, tackling, tackling - As Eric has detailed on the Twitter and in other places, over half of the Raiders' receiving yards this season have come after the catch. The Minnesota secondary, led by Xavier Rhodes, Harrison Smith, and a resurgent Captain Munnerlyn, have exhibited solid tackling all season long, and they're going to have to continue that trend today. This defense has been blowing up screens and short passes all season long. We need to continue seeing that this afternoon.

3) Take what you're given - Last week, the Pittsburgh Steelers were able to attack the Oakland defense both by land (170 rushing yards and two touchdowns for DeAngelo Williams) and by air (402 passing yards). In the passing game, the Oakland defense has allowed every opposing starting quarterback this season to throw for at least 265 yards. The Raiders will likely, as most of Minnesota's opponents do, be gearing up to stop Adrian Peterson. If that's the case, then Teddy Bridgewater and company absolutely must take advantage of the Raiders' NFL-worst pass defense. Peterson can keep the Oakland defense honest, and if the Vikings' offensive line can keep Bridgewater upright, he should be able to make plays this afternoon.

This should be a pretty interesting contest, ladies and gentlemen. Here's hoping that our favorite football team can pick up a win in Oakland for the first time in nearly two decades and really establish themselves as a force in the NFC.