Once again, the Minnesota Vikings weren't getting a great deal of respect going into a game against an upstart opponent. Once again, the Minnesota Vikings did what they had to do to win.
In a game that was pretty back-and-forth early on, the Vikings shut out the Oakland Raiders in the second half and made a couple of huge plays at the end of the game to walk out of Oakland with a 30-14 victory. It was their first victory in Oakland since 1996, and their fifth consecutive victory this season.
Minnesota got on the board with their first drive of the game, thanks to an 11-yard touchdown pass from Teddy Bridgewater to Rhett Ellison to make the score 7-0 around four minutes into the contest. After Derek Carr was intercepted by Terence Newman, the Vikings added to their lead, getting a 20-yard field goal from Blair Walsh to extend their lead to 10-0. The Vikings had to settle for a field goal because of an awful drop by Kyle Rudolph in the end zone that should have been an easy touchdown catch.
That wrapped up the scoring for the first quarter, and Minnesota added to their lead early in the second quarter on another field goal by Walsh. This one was from 38 yards out, and it put the Vikings ahead by a count of 13-0. The Raiders finally struck back midway through the second quarter, courtesy of a 10-yard touchdown pass from Derek Carr to tight end Clive Walford to cut the Minnesota lead to 13-7.
Oakland took the lead just after the two-minute warning, as they started picking on safety Andrew Sendejo. Carr first found Amari Cooper for a 38-yard completion, and three plays later Carr hit Andre Holmes for a 34-yard touchdown. Sebastian Janikowski's extra point made the score 14-13 in favor of the home team. But the Raiders didn't have the lead for long, as Cordarrelle Patterson. . .yes, that Cordarrelle Patterson. . .took the ensuing kickoff from the 7-yard line, got a nice series of blocks, and took the ball 93 yards for his first kick return touchdown since 2013. Walsh added the extra point, and just like that the Vikings were back ahead, 20-14. That's the way they went into the locker room at halftime.
After a scoreless third quarter, the Vikings had an opportunity to add points early in the fourth, when they called on Blair Walsh for a 39-yard field goal attempt. Walsh, who missed a 53-yard attempt just before halftime, had this attempt blocked by Keith McGill, and the Minnesota lead stayed at six.
Walsh got back on the right track late in the fourth quarter, hitting a field goal from 34 yards out to make it a two-possession game at 23-14. Oakland got the ball back and drove deep into Minnesota territory, but as he tried to get a play off before the two-minute warning, Carr was intercepted by Terence Newman for the second time on the afternoon for a touchback. On the very next play, Adrian Peterson sealed the deal with an 80-yard touchdown run, with the Blair Walsh extra point making it 30-14. That's how it ended, and the Minnesota Vikings will head back home with their fifth consecutive victory.
Again, Teddy Bridgewater didn't put up huge numbers, as he completed 14-of-22 passes for 140 yards and a touchdown. Offensively, the day belonged to Peterson, but carried the ball 26 times for 203 yards and a touchdown. It was the sixth 200-yard performance of Peterson's career. Stefon Diggs led the Vikings in receiving, as he hauled in two passes for 46 yards.
For Oakland, Carr wound up completing 29-of-43 passes for 302 yards and two touchdowns, but had the two crucial interceptions that led directly to 10 Minnesota points. Minnesota held the AFC's leading rusher in check, holding Latavius Murray to just 48 yards on 12 carries. Amari Cooper led the Raiders in receiving, catching five passes for 78 yards on the day.
The Minnesota victory, coupled with a loss by Green Bay earlier in the day, means that the Vikings are now in sole possession of first place in the NFC North at 7-2. They'll host the Packers next weekend at TCF Bank Stadium. With the loss, the Raiders fall to 4-5 and will travel to Detroit to take on the Lions.
The Minnesota Vikings win their fifth consecutive game with a 30-14 victory over the Oakland Raiders. Thanks to everybody that got their coverage of this week's game right here at The Daily Norseman!