NFL

Playoffs? PLAYOFFS?!?! Raiders fail important test against Minnesota

The Oakland Raiders showed once again that if the offense can’t carry the team, the defense won’t step in and do the heavy lifting. Aside from a short period of success in the second quarter, Derek Carr and company never really got it going. Meanwhile, the defense did very little to keep them in a game the Raiders would end up losing 30-14.

Minnesota controlled time of possession as Adrian Peterson dominated the game, putting up 203 yards and a touchdown while averaging 7.8 yards per carry. The Raiders’ run defense, once a strength, has become a huge weakness over the last two weeks. The defense as a whole failed to stop the opponents’ go-to weapon for the second straight week, as well.

The Raiders once again had issues protecting the ball — Derek Carr threw two interceptions at inopportune times as the offense went pass-heavy. None of the offensive skill players had particularly good days as both Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper were held mostly in check. The Raiders never got the ground game going, only attempting 17 runs while throwing the ball 43 times, and, as a result, failing to sustain many drives … punter Marquette King got a lot of work.

The only real bright spot in the game was the fact that the Raiders finally had a decent pass rush, finishing with four sacks and holding Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to 140 yards passing.

This game was a big test for the Raiders, and they didn’t answer many questions correctly. The Vikings are a quality team, but they are by no means world-beaters. The Raiders were probably thinking playoffs before this week, and they got a rude awakening. It’s a better team than the one we saw a year ago, but they have a long way to go — so long that they probably will not get there this season.

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