Flying east has its known time zone troubles, which the Oakland Raiders suffered first-hand as they fell to the Minnesota Vikings 10-6 Thursday evening. When the Raiders snapped out of their haze, the first preseason contest for both squads was all but over.
Oakland crawled out of bed and started slow with a three-and-out, and their defense fared no better as Matt Cassel lit up the sky with a 10-play, 70-yard drive that reached the end zone. Another Raiders’ three-and-out followed, and the Vikings answered with a 30-yard field goal. The Silver and Black didn’t score until 1:25 in the fourth quarter when Matt McGloin rushed the ball from 10 yards away (they failed the two-point conversion). Oakland shot off their toes with 13 penalties, eight on the offensive side of the ball, which negated strong line play and an advantage in total yards (268-236).
In Matt Schaub’s team debut, the quarterback threw 3 of 7 for 21 yards with all completions going to tailbacks. The veteran played into the second quarter, in part to Minnesota’s dominance in time of possession and his own slow start.
Derek Carr’s first showing proved he belonged in the NFL but still has a ways to threaten for the starting job. The rookie completed 10 of 16 attempts for 74 yards and had trouble spotting the ball, most evident by an interception that sailed too high through Jamize Olawale’s fingertips into the hands of Kurt Coleman.
Matt McGloin relived Carr by the end of the third quarter and cemented himself as perhaps the best third-string signal caller in the league. The surprise of last season finished 11-of-18 for 90 yards along with his scoring run.
As for the Vikings under center, first-year head coach Mike Zimmer only needed to see Cassel’s first drive to pull him. First round pick Teddy Bridgewater showed exciting mobility but fumbled on his first sack and tossed some errant passes. 2011 first round bust (we can call him that) Christian Ponder appeared enigmatic as ever, especially discouraging facing the third-team.
The Raiders won the line of scrimmage averaging 4.8 yards per rush, allowing two sacks and producing six of their own. Oakland allowed a blocked field goal and Adrian Peterson sat out, but the play of both units is something positive head coach Dennis Allen can point to. The Raiders host the Detroit Lions next Friday, so hopefully after resetting their biological clocks the dismal discipline, tackling and punt coverage will improve.
Photo Credit: Jim Mone / Associated Press