Lions' next opponent: Raiders struggle in loss to Vikes
Oakland, Calif. — Derek Carr led Oakland back from a slow start to go ahead late in the first half. The lead lasted just 13 seconds, and the Raiders never fully recovered from Cordarrelle Patterson’s kick return touchdown.
Patterson put Minnesota up for good with his 93-yard return and Adrian Peterson took it from there by rushing for 203 yards and a touchdown in his record-tying sixth career 200-yard game as the Vikings beat the Raiders 30-14 on Sunday.
“It was certainly a momentum breaker,” Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said. “We had really captured the momentum and were playing well at that time so it was definitely a blow.”
Oakland (4-5) still had its chances in the second half but failed to score against Minnesota’s stout defense as Derek Carr threw his second interception late in the game to send the Raiders to their second straight loss.
“We lost a game. We’re not about to go crazy,” left tackle Donald Penn said. “There’s no panic at all, none of that at all. We’re positive and upbeat. We’re a little sad because we know we left a lot out on the field today.”
Teddy Bridgewater threw a touchdown pass, and the Vikings (7-2) held the Raiders’ potent offense in check. Minnesota has won five straight games heading into next week’s division showdown at home with Green Bay (6-3).
Few outside the Vikings saw that coming following a 20-3 season-opening loss in San Francisco. But with Peterson regaining his form after sitting out almost all of last year, a stout defense and big plays on special teams, Minnesota is in prime position.
“It doesn’t matter where we are right now,” Bridgewater said. “The only thing that matters is where we finish the season at. So, we can’t just be satisfied with being where we are today. We have to continue to work hard, continue to just ride the wave that we have now.”
Minnesota squandered chances to build a two-score lead when Blair Walsh missed a 53-yard field goal at the end of the first half to snap a streak of 17 straight makes and then had a 39-yarder blocked by Keith McGill early in the fourth to keep the score at 20-14.
But after the Raiders went three-and-out following the second miss, Bridgewater hit Stefon Diggs on a 37-yard pass that helped set up a 34-yarder for Walsh that made it 23-14 with 3:50 to play.
Minnesota sealed the win when Terence Newman intercepted Carr in the end zone with 2:03 left for his second pick of the game. Peterson scored on an 80-yard run on the next play for the exclamation point.
Peterson has four straight games with at least 100 yards and leads the NFL with 961 yards on the ground this season. Peterson also tied O.J. Simpson with his sixth 200-yard game.
“You have to be sharp the whole game with him,” linebacker Malcolm Smith said. “Obviously, he made us pay. We just have to be sharper, more detailed and just finish better. Obviously, that’s been kind of our downfall.”
After scoring at least 30 points in three straight games, the Raiders struggled for most of the day against a Vikings defense that hasn’t allowed more than 23 in a game all season.
With nose tackle Linval Joseph dominating the middle against backup center Tony Bergstrom, the Raiders struggled to get a consistent running game going and Carr was often under pressure and sacked twice.
The Vikings started fast, getting an 11-yard touchdown pass from Bridgewater to Rhett Ellison on the opening drive, intercepting Carr later in the first quarter and breaking out to a 13-0 lead.
The Raiders quickly erased that hole. Carr threw TD passes to Clive Walford and Andre Holmes that put Oakland up 14-13 with under two minutes left in the half.
That was short-lived as Patterson bobbled a squib kick from Sebastian Janikowski before taking it back all the way untouched for his third career kick return touchdown, making it 20-14 at the break.
Raiders at Lions
Kickoff: 1 p.m. Sunday, Ford Field, Detroit
Line: Pick ‘em
Records: Raiders 4-4, Lions 2-7
Series: Raiders lead 6-5 (Last: Dec. 18, 2011 — Lions 28, (at) Oakland 27)