Minnesota will take a short trip back home to battle the Oakland Raiders. A game that is a must-win because this will push them to a winning record and they’re playing a weaker team before going on the road to take on the Chicago Bears.
Much like the Vikings, the Raiders are 1-1. Their one win coming against the Denver Broncos in week one, but taking a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs the following week. Considering how they won just three games last season, Oakland is looking better than last year.
After taking on Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan in the first two weeks, the Vikings will take on Derek Carr. An easier matchup, but still a decent quarterback. This season Carr has 457 yards, two touchdowns and interceptions.
The bulk of the Vikings troubles on defense will come from rookie running back, Josh Jacobs. Jacobs has looked every bit of a first-round selection thus far, creating 184 rushing yards and two touchdowns on just 35 attempts this year. That places him fourth in the league in rushing yards.
Minnesota did a good job stopping the run-in week one against Devonta Freeman and company, but the Packers run game was great against a usually good run-defense.
Beyond that, wide receiver Tyrell Williams and tight end Darren Waller have been the bulk of the Raiders aerial attack. Minnesota might be welcoming back cornerback Mike Hughes this week and that will be a big help.
On offense, the Vikings biggest concern comes from the quarterback position. After having to throw 10 passes against the Atlanta Falcons, Cousins looked shaky in his start against the Packers. In that game he was 14-of-32, with 230 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
He made a lot of mistakes and couldn’t hit wide open targets. In all the games he’s suited up for the purple and gold, Cousins has never looked that off. He should be able to get things going on offense this week at home with Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs and Kyle Rudolph as his targets.
The one consistent on offense for Minnesota has been Dalvin Cook. Through two weeks, he leads the league in rushing yards and TDs. He has looked impressive in every game, including 75-yard touchdown run against the Packers.
Minnesota must win this game if they want to go into week four against the Bears with a winning record. That game won’t be easy, so they must take advantage of a weaker opponent.
Header photo: Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers talks to Minnesota Vikings’ Kirk Cousins after an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers won 21-16. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)