Fans of the Minnesota Vikings wanted to see Teddy Bridgewater make his debut in any kind of NFL game but weren’t left impressed with the rookie; a bit more with the 10-6 win over the Oakland Raiders, who have made their own changes to the quarterback position, although they didn’t get much from another newcomer, Matt Schaub.
For now in Minnesota, it’s Matt Cassel who is the leading candidate to start in week 1. He didn’t throw any touchdown passes but he did complete 5-of-6 passes for 62 yards. There’s nothing too exciting about him, and yet experience and familiarity with what the Vikings are trying to do is giving him the advantages over the rookie out of Louisville at the moment.
The Vikings scored just one touchdown, on the ground of course. With Adrian Peterson getting to rest, it was Matt Asiata with a powerful run in the first quarter that gave the Vikings and early lead, one which they extended and kept until the end of the game, despite quarterback Matt McGloin rushing late for a touchdown to put the Raiders within one possession a bit too late for them to come back.
Bridgewater completed 6 of 13 passes for 49 yards. He was sacked twice, fumbled the ball once and looked a bit behind on steps and counts despite the backing of the fans, who aren’t really excited about another season with Ponder and Cassel. The Vikings had a problem protecting their guys, allowing six sacks, including Ponder hitting the ground three times.
The Raiders did a much better job protecting their quarterbacks, including rookie Derek Carr who played his college football at Fresno State, less than three hours away from Oakland. McGloin completed 11-of-18, Carr, who threw the game’s only interception, was 10-of-16, while Matt Schaub, trying to kickstart his reputation after an awful season in Houston, completed just 3-of-7 passes.
Both teams are in something of a slump, and for the Raiders it’s been going on for much longer. However, the Vikings have a lot less question marks and a bit more reasons to be optimistic about what comes next, while the Raiders have the doubt clouds of relocation hanging over their heads.