The Oakland Raiders returned home hoping to bounce back from a last-second loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road last week.
This time, they took on the NFC North-leading Minnesota Vikings, who jumped out to a quick start against the Raiders on Sunday.
After deferring to the second half, head coach Jack Del Rio saw his defense take the field first, though struggling to slow down Teddy Bridgewater and the Vikings at all. Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner used just nine plays to go 80 yards in just four minutes, capitalizing with an 11-yard touchdown pass to tight end Rhett Ellison.
Second-year quarterback Derek Carr and the Raiders offense would fail to answer the touchdown, following it up with a three-and-out and a bad interception thrown by Carr. Vikings cornerback Terence Newman read Carr perfectly and came away with the interception, giving Minnesota great field position. The Raiders defense would hold, forcing just a field goal but giving them the early 10-0 deficit.
Down 13-0, offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave would finally get his offense going on the team’s fourth drive. Carr led the team down the field 68 yards with a nine-play drive of their own, culminating in Carr finding his rookie tight end Clive Walford for the touchdown from 10 yards out to help the momentum shift.
The defense would build on the momentum, holding Bridgewater and the Vikings offense to get Carr the ball back with just under four minutes remaining in the first half.
Carr went up to his rookie wide receiver Amari Cooper quickly, who made a great adjustment on a jump ball to haul in a 38-yard reception to start the drive. Just two plays later, Carr would use another 38-yard pass to get into the end zone, this time to Andre Holmes. The score would give the Raiders the 14-13 lead after the extra point.
But that lead would be short-lived for the Raiders, lasting just 12 second. Vikings wide receiver and kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson would return the ensuing kickoff 93 yards for the touchdown, giving the Vikings the 20-14 lead with 1:51 remaining in the half.
The Vikings actually had a chance to pad their lead, but ultimately missed a field goal to end the half with the gusty conditions at O.Co Coliseum.
After 34 total points in the first half, things slowed down for both offenses and the two defenses settled in and held the third quarter scoreless.
It looked as if the Vikings would finally be able to increase their lead to a two-score game when they had a 39-yard field goal attempt. But cornerback Keith McGill got into the backfield and tipped the ball, keeping it at just a one-score deficit at 20-14.
Carr and the Raiders offense failed to capitalize on the extra life though, going three-and-out and putting the tired Raiders defense back on the field.
Bridgewater didn’t hesitate to take advantage, finding a mismatch with Raiders safety Nate Allen was lined up on speedy wide receiver Stefon Diggs, who made Allen miss and took the ball 37 yards down the field. From there, Turner would turn to his All-Pro running back, Adrian Peterson, to get the ball closer and within field goal range. Blair Walsh would knock in the 34-yard field goal, making it a two-score game with under four minutes remaining.
Carr was able to drive the offense down the field with no-huddle, getting all the way to the end zone before making a costly mistake. Carr looked for Holmes again in the corner of the end zone, but instead was intercepted by Newman again. With just 2:03 remaining in the game, it all but iced the game and handed the Raiders their fifth loss of the season.
Peterson put the game even further out of reach, breaking free on the very next play and trotting 80 yards for another touchdown. The score gave Peterson 203 rushing yards on the day.
Carr would add some garbage-time yards, but ultimately the Raiders would fall 30-14 and drop to 4-5 on the season. The Raiders will head back out on the road next week, taking on the Detroit Lions who are coming off of a big win against the Green Bay Packers.