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Versus: Raiders offense looking to get their hands dirty against Danielle Hunter, Vikings

Both the Las Vegas Raiders and Minnesota Vikings are coming off a Week 13 bye as they head into Allegiant Stadium this Sunday.

The Silver and Black come into the showdown after going 2-2 in the month of November under Interim Head Coach Antonio Pierce. The Vikings will pose a challenge with their physical play style, which the Raiders must combat with high intensity if they hope to eke out a win.

Let's dive into key matchups to watch.

Raiders offensive tackles vs. Danielle Hunter

Vikings outside linebacker Danielle Hunter has been quietly having a DPOY caliber season.

The three-time Pro Bowler currently leads the league in tackles for loss (18) and is one sack away from tying his single-season career-high of 14.5. He's been the motor for an improving Vikings defense that's allowed slightly over 17 points per game since Week 6.

"[H]e's a great player," interim offensive coordinator Bo Hardegee said. "Like I've told you guys before, there's one every week. And [the Vikings] as a whole, as a football team, they're a very good football team. ... It would be irresponsible not to pay attention to a great player as we do every week."

Hunter comes off the edge on either side of the line of scrimmage, so the tackle trio of Kolton Miller (if healthy), Jermaine Eluemunor and Thayer Munford Jr. will equally be responsible for limiting him. Despite missing two games due to a shoulder injury, Miller is in the midst of arguably his best NFL season with an 81.7 pass blocking grade from Pro Football Focus. Miller's status could be up in the air as he did not practice Wednesday or Thursday.

Eluemunor has split time this season with Thayer Munford Jr. at right tackle, and both will need to be fully prepared to see time against Hunter this Sunday.

Raiders linebacking corps vs. Vikings running back committee

Alexander Mattison is certainly the guy in the Vikings backfield, but has still found success by committee in the run game.

Mattison has taken over as lead back following the exit of Pro Bowler Dalvin Cook, and is closing in on 600 rushing yards this season. However the Vikings have also mixed in Ty Chandler, making for a formidable running back duo. Chandler, a fifth-round pick from UNC Chapel Hill, is averaging 4.5 yards per carry this season.

"[Their] backs are pretty dynamic in terms of a good combination of size, speed and quickness," defensive coordinator Patrick Graham said. "The thing that stands out the most is the vision, with the stretch run game, finding those cutback lanes."

The Vikings running back committee will be a huge point of emphasis for Raiders linebackers Robert Spillane, Divine Deablo and Luke Masterson. Spillane is currently leading the team in total tackles (105) and interceptions (three). Deablo is second on the team in total tackles (70) while Masterson's two forced fumbles lead the team in that category. Pass coverage must also be a high priority for the defense, as Mattison has three receiving touchdowns this season.

"We've got to be disciplined on the backside, that's one thing," Graham said. "We've got to do a good job of setting the edge and then we've got to be physical when we tackle them because they are guys that break a lot of tackles."

Raiders secondary vs. Jordan Addison

Minnesota Vikings receiver Jordan Addison was taken in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft, and has lit up their offense up.

Addison, a former Fred Biletnikoff Award winner in college, has taken the NFL by storm and established himself as the Vikings WR1 in Justin Jefferson's seven-game absence. Even with concerns of his slender build in early scouting reports, his speed and route-running abilities have led to success on the field and him being tied for the league league in receiving touchdowns among rookies.

The Raiders will need to match Addison's speed with speed. A number of cornerbacks could step in that role. Nate Hobbs and Amik Robertson are viable options that can cover Addison on the outside and in the slot. The duo has combined for three interceptions, nine pass deflections and two forced fumbles on the season. Young cornerbacks Jack Jones and Jakorian Bennett could also be in line for some reps against Addison.

Winning this matchup will be imperative for the Raiders, considering the amount of attention Justin Jefferson will see opposite the Vikings' rookie.

Head inside Intermountain Health Performance Center as the Silver and Black return from the bye week to prepare for their Week 14 matchup against the Minnesota Vikings.

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