After a disappointing loss in Week 2, the Minnesota Vikings needed to put together a big performance and put themselves back on the right track. Fortunately for them, the Oakland Raiders were willing to oblige.
Behind yet another dominant performance from the running game, the Vikings steamrolled the Raiders in Week 3 action, taking the victory by a final score of 34-14 at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Things got off to a bit of a rough start for the Vikings, as Kirk Cousins was tripped up by his own center, Garrett Bradbury, on the first play from scrimmage for a loss. However, the Vikings recovered in a big way, and got on the scoreboard first with a 35-yard touchdown pass from Cousins to Adam Thielen, with Dan Bailey’s extra point giving them an early 7-0 lead.
Thielen destroyed Riley. Whitehead fell over on the PA pic.twitter.com/fCQD4AjFxF— Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) September 22, 2019
The Vikings added to the lead on the first play of the second quarter, as Dalvin Cook found the end zone from a yard out to give the home team a 14-0 lead.
Minnesota was quickly in position for more points, as a pass from Derek Carr intended for Foster Moreau was intercepted by Harrison Smith and returned to the Oakland 30-yard line.
Derek Carr's base is throwing as if he's under pressure. He's not, but that's what leads to the overthrow of Moreau pic.twitter.com/zvFeiDUknX— Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) September 22, 2019
The Vikings took advantage of the short field to give Adam Thielen his second score of the afternoon, this one on a 1-yard run around right end on an inside handoff. In less than 20 minutes of football, the Vikings found themselves leading 21-0.
Diggs motion moves Daryl Worley out of the box, Elflein wraps to lead Thielen on his run and misses the block. Regardless, TD pic.twitter.com/VFt8WWdoPv— Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) September 22, 2019
The Raiders used some trickeration to get on the scoreboard on their next drive, as Carr handed the ball to Josh Jacobs, who pitched it back to Carr on the flea-flicker. Carr then hit J.J. Nelson for a 29-yard score to cut the Minnesota lead to 21-7 with Daniel Carlson’s extra point.
Eric Wilson loses JJ Nelson and it's a TD on the fleaflicker pic.twitter.com/k9u295dY0T— Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) September 22, 2019
That’s how they went into the locker room, with Minnesota holding a 21-7 lead.
Minnesota added to their lead midway through the third quarter, courtesy of the first National Football League touchdown for rookie running back Alexander Mattison.
Alexander Mattison with more hang time than a Kaare Vedvik punt pic.twitter.com/0leL3zdSua— Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) September 22, 2019
That 10-yard run gave the Vikings a three-touchdown lead after Dan Bailey’s extra point made it 28-7. They added to that on the first play of the fourth quarter, as Bailey connected on a 50-yard field goal to make it 31-7. Bailey connected on a 24-yarder near the end of the game to make it 34-7 late. The Raiders did get a garbage-time score, as Derek Carr found Tyrell Williams for an 11-yard touchdown to cut the deficit to 34-14.
Kirk Cousins didn’t put up big numbers in this one, but he had a very nice bounceback from his disaster in Green Bay last week. He completed 15-of-21 passes for 174 yards and a touchdown. The leading receiver wound up being rookie tight end Irv Smith Jr., who finished the day with three receptions for 60 yards. Adam Thielen had three catches for 55 yards and a touchdown. Stefon Diggs had three catches, but gained just 15 yards, and Kyle Rudolph had an 11-yard reception that he nearly turned into a touchdown in the first quarter.
The day, however, belonged to Dalvin Cook. Cook put up another huge game, despite only carrying the ball 16 times. He finished the day with 109 yards and a touchdown, and it wasn’t just him that came up big. Mattison carried the ball 12 times for 58 yards and a score, and Mike Boone even got into the act with some big runs, finishing with 28 yards on three carries. Kirk Cousins had four carries for 16 yards, and Thielen had his 1-yard touchdown run.
The Vikings move to 2-1 on the season, and have a big test next week, as they’ll head to Soldier Field to battle the Chicago Bears. The Raiders fall to 1-2, and they’ll continue their massive road trip next week as they’ll take on the Indianapolis Colts next Sunday afternoon in Indy. They’re currently in a stretch of 43 days without a home game, including a trip to London.
Big win for the Minnesota Vikings in Week 3, as they demolish the Oakland Raiders by a final score of 34-14. Thank you to everyone that got their coverage of this week’s game right here at The Daily Norseman!