Last time I can remember a Raiders’ tackle having such a decisive win over a dominant pass rusher was 2001, when right tackle Lincoln Kennedy made Michael Strahan disappear into the Meadowlands in a 28-10 win over the Giants.
Jared Veldheer took care of Vikings pass rusher Jared Allen, stopping his streak of games with at least a half sack in the first nine games of the season. Veldheer did get one holding call, but it prevented Allen getting to Carson Palmer, so it was more than worth it.
“That was one of my goals, not just to keep sacks off the board but to keep him out of there, in general,” Veldheer told reporters afterwards. “You’re not allowed to put any pressure on the quartergback or let alone touch the guy. That was my mindset going in.”
Some more notes and observations from the comfort of my home while Steve Corkran takes care of the print stuff today:
– Twelve more penalties for 117 yards, and judging from the amount of time devoted to the topic on today’s on-line chat, fans are livid. Livid with the Raiders for the penalties. Livid with the officials for calling them. Livid with Hue Jackson for not being able to stop them.
Jackson took a different post-game tact, going on the offensive and saying he would talk to the league rather than having his own team accept full responsibility. Most Raiders coaches drift into that realm from time to time, the victims of frustration and what they feel is an uneven playing field.
Makes sense in that Jackson should stick up for his guys, as long as he keeps in mind most of the Raiders problems with penalties are of their own making.
The Raiders are runaway leaders in both penalties (103) and penalty yards (892) through 10 games.
– Hard to fathom the Raiders had a 27-7 lead, Adrian Peterson out of the game, Allen under control and the game squarely in the hands of Christian Ponder _ and then had to hold on by their fingernails.
The penalties, a costly fumble by Michael Bush, the inability to keep Ponder in the pocket and other miscues all played a role. It will look like 6-4 in the standings, however.
– Some big time performances today from backup tight end Brandon Myers, who forced a fumble on a kickoff with a big hit, and made spectacular catch for a 21-yard gain on Carson Palmer’s longest pass play of the game.
– An even, measured no-turnover game from Palmer. Vikings patchwork secondary actually held up fairly well, forcing Palmer to throw short to medium depth routes instead of striking deep. Gorgeous throw to Chaz Schillens on the 11-hyard touchdown pass in the second quarter.
– It’s been a breakout year for Tyvon Branch, whose special teams play cost the Vikings a shot at a field goal and who covered exceptionally well. Keep in mind Branch was beaten often last season either through his own coverage issues or miscommunication problems with teammates. It’s a distant memory at this point. He might be the Raiders’ best defensive player at this point.
– The 124 yards rushing and 5.2 yards per carry average against the Vikings was deceiving with Ponder getting 71 yards on scrambles. Peterson, before he was hurt, and Toby Gerhart gained 44 yards on 13 carries (3.4 yards per carry).
– It used to be the Raiders blackouts were on local television. Now they’re in the fourth quarter. The Raiders scored their last points in the fourth quarter with 10 minutes to go against Houston on a Sebastian Janikowski field goal.
That was 85 minutes ago _ the last 10 minutes against the Texans and five consecutive goose eggs against Cleveland, Kansas City, Denver, San Diego and Minnesota.
– Center Samson Satele didn’t finish the game with a concussion, with Stefen Wisniewski moving over from left guard and Stephon Heyer taking over for Wisniewski.