Penalties, poor field position and an uncharacteristic interception doomed the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.
The Raiders were penalized twice on the Minnesota Vikings’ opening drive, ending with a wide-open Adam Thielen for a 35-yard touchdown as the Vikings rolled to a 34-14 victory.
“We’ve got to get better as a team,” Raiders coach Jon Gruden told reporters. “In spurts, we hung in there and did some good things, but if we can’t convert a fourth down and half a yard and failed to make a play in the passing at the end of the half, which could’ve been a huge play. We lost the turnover battle and fell behind and it’s not good.”
Here is what else went wrong for the Raiders:
▪ The Raiders didn’t do anything on their first drive, going three-and-out, and the Vikings capitalized again, benefiting from two 15-yard penalties that fueld a touchdown drive for a 14-0 lead.
▪ Derek Carr overthrew Foster Moreau and was intercepted. Minnesota marched down and scored on Thielen’s 1-yard run for a 21-0 lead.
▪ Facing, second-and 9, the Vikings took advantage when Karl Joseph was called for a face mask. Six plays later, Minnesota scored again.
“The interception on a quick pass is something you rarely see from Derek, certainly the pressure,” Gruden said. “You feel the pressure, but overall I thought he did some good things, but I got to take a good look at it before I say anything else.”
Carr finished 27 of 34 for 242 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
The Raiders’ field position that also bothered Gruden.
The Raiders started drives deep in their own territory twice. One began at the 17-yard line and another at the 9. Oakland ended up punting.
The other Oakland drives started at the 25-yard line seven times.
“Our field position was horrific,” Gruden said. “I’ve been saying that at every press conference since I’ve come back to coach. We got to get better field position to start drives. It’s too hard to go 80 yards every single possession.”