By Steve Corkran
Sunday, November 20th, 2011 at 12:19 pm in Oakland Raiders.
The Raiders played it conservatively in the third half, sticking to the ground game, running the clock and relying upon their defense to finish off the Vikings.
Hard to argue with the strategy, given the Vikings are without running back Adrian Peterson, and the Vikings aren’t able to generate much offense otherwise.
Carson Palmer was sacked the only time the Raiders went away from the run their first two drives of the quarter. Even then, that was on a busted play that appeared to be a run play went awry.
Nothing to worry about, though, because the Vikings offense went nowhere on its possessions, either.
The Raiders finally got something going on the strength of a 34-yard punt return by Denarius Moore midway through the quarter. That gave the Raiders the ball at the Vikings 46-yard line.
Even then, the Raiders were forced to punt for a third time after three plays failed to yield a first down.
Finally, the Vikings provided the Raiders with the spark they needed to break through, when rookie quarterback Ponder made an ill-advised pass into heavy traffic.
Cornerback Lito Sheppard deflected the ball into the air, with defensive tackle Tommy Kelly there to make the interception.
That gave the Raiders the ball deep in Vikings territory. The Raiders converted the gift into a field goal and a 27-7 lead.
To recap, the Raiders netted two first downs and three points in the quarter.
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