Raiders Pick Off Vikings

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RB Michael Bush rushed for 109 yards and a TD in the Raiders 27-21 victory over the Vikings. AP Photo

The Oakland Raiders intercepted Minnesota Vikings QB Christian Ponder three times and held off a late rally to defeat the Vikings 27-21 at Mall of America Field in Minneapolis in 2011 NFL Regular Season Week 11 action. The Raiders won the opening coin toss and deferred their choice until the second half. The Vikings chose to receive. WR Percy Harvin returned the opening kickoff 14 yards to the Minnesota 32. The Raiders effectively forced a 3 and out and P Chris Kluwe's punt went out of bounds at the Raiders 14.

The Raiders managed one first down before Minnesota forced a punt. The Vikings offense took the field at their own 23 after the punt and a minimal return. RB Adrian Peterson's 12-yard TD run for the Vikings gave Minnesota a 7-0 lead with 5:17 left in the 1st quarter.

Rookie RB Taiwan Jones returned the ensuing kickoff 46 yards to the Raiders 45. K Sebastian Janikowski's 29-yard field goal capped a 9-play, 44-yard drive and cut the Vikings lead to 7-3 with 57 seconds left in the 1st quarter.

Janikowski's ensuing kickoff sailed through the end zone for a touchback and the Vikings started at their own 20. The Vikings were turned away when S Matt Giordano picked off a QB Christian Ponder pass and returned the interception 42 yards to the Raiders 47.

The Raiders took advantage when QB Carson Palmer connected with WR Chaz Schilens for an 11-yard TD pass. The play held up under replay review (all scoring plays are reviewed in the NFL now) and Janikowski's extra point gave the Raiders a 10-7 lead with 9:10 left in the 2nd quarter.

After a 35-yard kickoff return, the Vikings started at their own 45. The Raiders forced a field goal attempt, but the Vikings botched K Ryan Longwell's 49-yard attempt and the Raiders took over at their own 43. RB Michael Bush capped the 57-yard drive with a 2-yard TD run. The extra point was good and the Raiders led 17-7. The Vikings then fumbled the ball back to the Raiders on the ensuing kickoff and Oakland took over at the Vikings 16. Palmer capped a 4-play, 16-yard drive with a 1-yard TD run. The extra point was good and the Raiders led 24-7 with 8 seconds left in the second quarter.

After the kickoff return, Ponder took a knee to end the first half.

CB Bryan McCann returned the opening kickoff of the second half to the Raiders 18. The Raiders managed one first down before Minnesota forced a punt. The Vikings took over at their 38 after a short return and a penalty on the Raiders. The Raiders kept the Vikings from mounting a drive and WR Denarius Moore was dropped at the Raiders 5-yard line.

The Vikings took over at their own 38 after holding the Raiders to a three and out and forcing a Lechler punt. Thanks in part to a DE Desmond Bryant sack, the Raiders held Minnesota to a three and out and Kluwe's punt was returned by Moore 34 yards to the Vikings 46.

The Raiders were unable to take advantage and Lechler came on to punt. Rookie CB DeMarcus Van Dyke had a shot to down the punt inside the 5 but was unable to and it went into the end zone for a touchback.

The Raiders got the ball right back when CB Lito Sheppard tipped a Ponder pass and DT Tommy Kelly grabbed it for his first career interception. The Raiders took over at the Minnesota 24. Janikowski's 26-yard FG attempt was good and the Raiders led 27-7 with 51 seconds left in the 3rd quarter.

Janikowski's ensuing kickoff was returned to the Minnesota 28. QB Christian Ponder connected on a TD pass to WR Percy Harvin. The PAT was good, and the Raiders lead was cut to 27-14 with 14:52 left 4th quarter.

McCann returned the ensuing kickoff 36 yards to the Oakland 36. The drive stalled and the Janikowski's 50-yard field goal attempt was blocked and the Vikings took over at their own 40.

The Vikings next drive went as far as it could go without a score as CB Stanford Routt picked Ponder off just inside the end zone and the Raiders took over at their 20.

Several plays later, Bush fumbled and the Vikings recovered at the Raiders 38. Two plays later, Ponder hit TE Kyle Rudolph for a 1-yard TD. The extra point was good and the Raiders lead was cut to 27-21 with 5:08 to play.

Moore returned the ensuing kickoff and a penalty backed the Raiders up to their own 9. The Vikings eventually forced a punt. The kick was returned to the Vikings 29.

The Raiders allowed one first down, but eventually held on 4th and 8 at the Minnesota 46 with less than 2:00 to play.

The Raiders improve to 6-4 on the season and return home to face the Chicago Bears at O.co Coliseum on Sunday, November 27.

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