Prior to the Oakland Raiders Week 10 clash with the Minnesota Vikings, Raiders.com Senior Editor Jerry Knaak posited five questions. In the wake of the Raiders 30-14 loss at home to the Vikings, here are the answers to those questions.
1. Will the Raiders be able to slow down Adrian Peterson?
The short answer is no. The Raiders contained the NFL's leading rusher for a half but Peterson was able to salt the game away in the 4th quarter, with an 80-yard touchdown run in particular. Peterson finished the day with 203 yards on 26 carries. After ascending to No. 2 in the NFL in run defense, the Raiders have now allowed 373 yards to Peterson and Steelers RB DeAngelo Williams in consecutive weeks.
Raiders fall to Minnesota Vikings at home in Week 10. Alas, players and coaches remain confident and find motivation for remaining weeks.
- Will the Raiders be able to run the ball against the Vikings?**
Yes and no. Latavius Murray and Jamize Olawale combined for 72 yards on the ground and averaged 4.2 yards per carry, but on only 17 attempts. Quarterback Derek Carr added 12 on two scrambles. But 19 carries hardly makes for an effective running game. Carr aired it out 43 times as the Raiders played catch up most of the game.
3. Can the Raiders keep scoring 30 points per game?
No. After scoring more than 30 points per game three weeks in a row, the Vikings held the Raiders to just 14. The Silver and Black came close on their last two possessions but an interception with just over 2:00 left, and incomplete passes in the end zone and near the goal line as time expired kept the Raiders at 14.
4. Can the Raiders contain Stefon Diggs?
Another yes and no answer. He only caught 2 passes but they went for 46 yards, including a 37-yard catch and run in the 4th quarter that jump-started a drive and got the Vikings into Raiders territory when the home team really needed a stop. With 8:52 left in the game, on 2nd and 9 at the Minnesota 22, Bridgewater hit Diggs on an in-breaking route. Diggs broke a tackle and went 37 yards. This play set up a K Blair Walsh field goal that put the Vikings up 23-14 with 3:54 left in the game.
5. Will the Raiders pass rush improve? Yes. It certainly did in this game as Raiders pass rushers were in Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater's grill most of the day. However, Bridgewater is just mobile enough and has just enough escapability to drive defenses mad. The Raiders sacked Bridgewater four times, and were oh so close many other times. Bridgewater scrambled twice for 23 yards.