The good, bad and ugly vs. Vikings

A look at the good, the bad and the ugly versus the Minnesota Vikings

The Oakland Raiders took their first road trip of the year as they went to Minnesota to take on the Vikings in the second week of preseason.

In a game that was uncertain to even happen due to inclimate weather, the game was suspended in the second quarter due to lightning strikes.

Even with all of the delays, the two teams were able to complete the game eventually with the Raiders falling 20-12 on Saturday night.

Here are some thoughts on what happened on the field:

The Good

  • Running back Latavius Murray had another strong outing, despite being on a limited snap count. Murray finished with just 20 yards on only four carries, but looked like he was seeing the holes nicely. He continues to look like a running back the Raiders can rely on.
  • Rookie running back Michael Dyer had a nice performance against the Vikings defense after coming in during the second half. Dyer finished with 12 rushes for 45 yards. With Trent Richardson struggling, Dyer continues to fight for the backup role. You can see more on Richardson below.
  • It was good to see wide receiver Rod Streater back on the field, despite finishing with just one reception for six yards. Streater can be a valuable weapon for the Raiders moving forward in a much deeper wide receiver corps than they’ve had in awhile.
  • Quarterback Derek Carr showed that he has plenty of arm strength to stretch the field, something that he was criticized for not doing last year. Carr connected with rookie wide receiver Amari Cooper on a 40-yard pass down the sideline, then almost hit Seth Roberts on a similar pass.
  • Speaking of which, Cooper only caught one pass but he goes in the “good” category for what he showed on the play. The young receiver showed nice footwork to beat the defender and get open deep down the sideline and then showed even nicer footwork to keep his feet in bounds. The Raiders sorely missed big plays last season, and Cooper continues to show he can be a playmaker.
  • Rookie linebacker and fifth-round pick Ben Heeney continues to show his playmaking abilities and led the team in tackles once again. Heeney was in the right place often on Saturday, finishing with seven tackles. The Raiders linebacking corps was exposed last season, but it appears to have much more depth this season.
  • The Raiders seem to have much more depth all around, with the exception of the cornerbacks. Second-year players Shelby Harris and Denico Autry have shown the ability to add some depth, as well as Benson Mayowa.

The Bad

  • After being penalized just twice in the first week against the St. Louis Rams, the Raiders were penalized 13 times for 106 yards. While some may consider this an “ugly” thing, I think it is only bad because it is preseason. The Raiders have plenty of time to correct this, and this was the first road trip of the season in a hostile environment.
  • After a strong first game, wide receiver Seth Roberts struggled to get open on Saturday night. He did beat a defender down the sideline but Carr was unable to connect with him as the ball went off of Roberts’ fingertips.

The Ugly

  • Cornerback D.J. Hayden had a rough outing with Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater picking on him consistently, especially on crucial plays. Wide receiver Charles Johnson had a nice touchdown reception on Hayden when he was playing in the slot.
  • Running back Trent Richardson had a tough going against the Vikings, finishing with just five yards on five carries. Richardson also struggled on a couple of pass-blocking situations, which will also hurt his chances of winning the backup job, let alone making the 53-man roster.

The Raiders will return home for the third preseason game, which is considered a dress rehearsal. They’ll take on a tough opponent in the Arizona Cardinals.

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