Only twice during the game did the Raiders follow a running play with another running play. One week after giving up 597 yards and 38 points in a three-point loss to Pittsburgh, the Raiders gave up 385 yards in a 30-14 loss to Minnesota. That shows that they just are not quite there yet.
An example of this came in the 2nd quarter of yesterday's game.
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. Cordarrelle Patterson had a 93-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the second quarter for Minnesota.
"Everybody just trying to grab a man and let CP do his thing", Asiata said. It was like a hole being punched into a hot air balloon, they deflated and fell to their death after that.
By playing smart football and grinding teams down while trusting their defense, Minnesota has turned itself into one of the most complete teams in the league. The momentum was gone, the Vikings were ahead and they stayed ahead til the clock struck zero. Peterson finished this past Sunday with his third consecutive game of 100 yards rushing and back-to-back games in which he reached the end-zone. There are too many mistakes being made to come out with a victory in games like this, too many problems to overcome just yet. All that touchdown did was make the game look like a blowout when it was actually a well fought game.
Players are stepping up for the Vikings each and every week. That still means something, even in a loss. It gave us a chance to get the lead back.
The Raiders insist that didn't break them though. Minnesota had its highest-rated win of the year against Oakland this week, but the Vikings still are just 17th in weighted DVOA. On the ensuing play, Bridgewater handed the ball to Peterson, who ripped through the Raiders' front seven, sped into the secondary and pulled away like American Pharoah down the stretch of The Belmont.
The Oakland Raiders have lost back-to-back games, not their confidence. In fairness, even fewer could have envisioned it the last time the Vikes, who'd gone 7-9 in 2014, visited the San Francisco Bay Area: On September 14, the first Monday night of the 2015 campaign, Minnesota endured a 20-3 thrashing at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers and looked pretty damned far from respectable.
"I think this team probably exemplifies the personality of the coach better than any team I've been on", linebacker Chad Greenway said. Confidence and experience goes a long way and going on another mini streak would reinvigorate everybody. It's bringing the offense down and the team's once-possible playoff hopes with it.