By Steve Corkran
Sunday, November 20th, 2011 at 11:27 am in Oakland Raiders.
Safety Matt Giordano changed the complexion of the game with an interception of Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder on a third-down pass near the Raiders goal line.
The Vikings seemed poised to build upon their 7-3 lead when Giordano stepped in front of the receiver, intercepted the pass and returned it 42 yards.
That set up the Raiders’ first touchdown of the day, an 11-yard pass from Carson Palmer to wide receiver Chaz Schilens on a third-and-eight play.
Schilens caught the ball despite double coverage, and he held on as he was upended and landed hard in the end zone. A review of the play confirmed the initial ruling: touchdown, Raiders.
The Raiders also seemed energized by the departure of Vikings running back Adrian Peterson because of an ankle injury at the end of a 12-yard rush.
Peterson had rushed for 12 yards on each of his final two carries before he suffered the injury. He was looked at by trainers on the sideline before being carted off the field and into the locker room. His return is questionable.
A botched hold by Chris Kluwe on a 49-yard field-goal attempt by the Vikings late in the second quarter resulted in an aborted attempt and the Raiders taking over at their own 43.
Back-to-back rushes by Michael Bush got the Raiders to the Vikings 26 and within striking distance once again. He capped the drive with a 2-yard run to give the Raiders a 17-7 lead.
The Raiders were right back in business a few seconds later when they recovered a fumbled kick return at the Vikings 16 with 1 minute, 14 seconds left.
Palmer capped the short drive with a 1-yard sneak to boost the advantage to 24-7.\
It’s not difficult pointing to where this game turned. The Raiders scored three straight touchdowns after Giordano’s interception and Peterson’s departure.
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