Minnesota Vikings Best and Worst: Week 3 vs. Oakland Raiders
By Adam Carlson
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While the run game was the highlight of the day for the Minnesota Vikings, that doesn’t mean the passing attack was disappointing. Kirk Cousins showed efficiency in this game, completing 15 of his 21 attempts for 174 yards and one touchdown.
Even more, Minnesota wasn’t forced to pass a lot in Week 3 due to the success of the ground game. Oakland does have a struggling pass defense, but Minnesota instead attacked them on the ground, showing they can dominate their way and not to scheme too much outside the team’s biggest strength.
Here are some other good things to come out of the second preseason game for the Minnesota Vikings:
- Setting a tone early is important and Minnesota did a great job of that. Not only did they score a touchdown offensively on their first drive, but they held Oakland to a 3-and-out. This is a big change from last week’s game against the Packers.
- Adam Thielen and Irv Smith Jr. had a nice day. Three passes went Smith’s way and he hauled in all of them, gaining 60 yards and leading the team in receiving yards. Meanwhile, Thielen caught the only receiving touchdown and gained 55 yards for the offense.
- Harrison Smith heads up play. When the defense can get pressure, bad decisions can be made. Derek Carr overthrew a target that got tossed right to Smith, who returned it 13 yards and put the Vikings in great position.
- Speaking of defensive pressure, Everson Griffen is off to an amazing start this year. He has had his way with opposing offensive linemen, gaining a lot of pressure and forcing quarterbacks to move around or adjust their strategies.
- The kicking game appears to be back on track as well. Dan Bailey made all four of his extra-point attempts and connected on both of his field goal tries, including one from 50 yards out that went right down the middle of the uprights.