In Turnover Plagued Affair, Raiders Survive
Posted on 11/21/2011 8:51:07 PM
The Oakland Raiders used multiple turnovers to defeat the Minnesota Vikings at the Metrodome on Sunday. Minnesota rookie quarterback Christian Ponder contributed to the Raiders' cause by throwing three interceptions as Oakland won 27-21.
The Vikings limped out to a halftime deficit of 24-7, and later trailed 27-7 before nearly making a large comeback in game's final minutes. Ponder threw two crucial interceptions in the red zone that cost Minnesota dearly in the end. Adrian Peterson scored the game's first touchdown on a 12-yard run, but was injured on the play and did not return to the game. After that, most of the game belonged to Oakland as they capitalized on mistakes made by the Vikings.
Carson Palmer played mistake free for Oakland, throwing for 164 yards and a touchdown, with 107.9 quarterback rating and no interceptions. Running back Michael Bush carried the ball 30 times and rushed for 109 yards with a touchdown, as he carried most of the load with a large lead in the second half. A fourth quarter rally by the Vikings fell short when they were unable to convert on a 4th down play with two minutes remaining in the game, while trailing by six. A last second effort fell short when Minnesota stopped Oakland and regained possession, but could not find the end zone on the final play of the game.
Turnovers were a constant hinderance for the Vikings, as they turned the ball over five times, two coming off interceptions deep in the red zone, which cost Minnesota valuable scoring opportunities. Penalties also riddled most of the flow, as Oakland committed 12 penalties for 112 yards. Both teams were relatively even in terms of total yards, but Oakland controlled time of possession after jumping out to a large lead, scoring points off numerous turnovers.
The Raiders improve their AFC West leading record to 6-4 by holding on against the Vikings. Carson Palmer is becoming more comfortable under center as he improves his starting record to 2-1. In a crowded division, Oakland holds a slight lead over the other three teams, as they all sit one game back at the moment. With their close win Sunday, they continue to control their own destiny down the stretch, but have tough division games remaining against Kansas City and San Diego.
The Vikings dismal transition into the "Christian Ponder Exhibition" continues as they fall to a record of 2-8, holding last place in a very tough NFC North. Things continue to take a turn for the worst, as the status of star running back Adrian Peterson is unknown after his exit today due to injury. With continuing problems occurring both in the passing game as well as defending the pass, it seems clear that they have lost their will to win this season. If things do not turn around soon, we could be looking at the first Vikings team to win five games or less since the 1984 team who went 3-13.
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