5 things to watch for in the Vikings Week 3 game vs. the Raiders

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /
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(Photo by Carlos Gonzalez/Star Tribune via Getty Images) Dalvin Cook
(Photo by Carlos Gonzalez/Star Tribune via Getty Images) Dalvin Cook /

Can the Vikings avoid another Week 3 letdown?

The biggest storyline heading into this week is the Vikings trying to avoid the same letdown that they had a season ago. Overall, the Vikings are a better team on paper than the Raiders, but the key will be showing up ready to play and taking care of a team that doesn’t have as much talent as they do.

Last week was tough for the Vikings, but they showed enough to suggest that it was an aberration rather than the direction this team was heading. With an elite running game and a defense that shut the Packers down after staking them out to a big lead, they should be able to take care of an Oakland team that surprised Denver in Week 1, but could only score 10 points against the woeful Kansas City Chiefs’ defense last week.

If the Vikings can take care of Oakland on Sunday, they’ll head into a crucial early-season matchup with the Chicago Bears with a 2-1 record and some confidence heading into their house of horrors that is Soldier Field. If they can’t, they’ll risk falling into the same malaise that plagued the team last season and could put the jobs of Zimmer and Spielman in jeopardy.

Trending. 3 matchups for the Vikings to worry about in Week 3. light

In the end, this is a game the Vikings should win handily. Whether that actually happens rests in the team’s hands to decide.