OAKLAND -– The Raiders didn’t start fast on Sunday, allowing the Minnesota Vikings to open the game with 13 unanswered points. The Silver and Black responded well, with consecutive touchdowns to take a one-point lead late in the first half.
“They gave us some punches early,” linebacker Malcolm Smith said, “but I felt like we responded better and made it a game for a little bit.”
It was advantage Raiders, for all of 13 seconds. That was the time it took Cordarrelle Patterson to field a squib kick, break left and return it 93 yards for a touchdown.
The Raiders grabbed momentum with a well-timed offensive surge, with two scores before the half and the ball coming out of it. Patterson knocked out the Raiders wind with a big play well blocked down the sideline.
“It was certainly a momentum breaker,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. “We had really captured the momentum and were playing well at that time, so it was definitely a blow.”
It wasn’t a death sentence. That’s how the Raiders felt at the time.
“It was a big play, but our spirits were still high in the locker room at the half,” left tackle Donald Penn said.
The Raiders kickoff coverage has been good thus far, but it broke down in a key spot.
“I agree with you, it has been good It will continue to be,” Del Rio said. “It’s something we emphasize, we believe in. We knew it was going to be a challenge because they have talented guys. With that direction, we’re attempting to put it on the ground to squib it, and it just ended up being deep enough that it turned into almost a normal return.”
Bergstrom steps in: Reserve offensive lineman Tony Bergstrom made his first start since 2012 and his first-ever start at center in place of Rodney Hudson, who was inactive with a sprained right ankle.
Bergstrom’s early reviews were favorable. He played well and generally kept interior pressure at bay. The Vikings played vanilla defense up front on early downs, but tried to confuse on passing downs.
“I thought he did a good job,” quarterback Derek Carr said. “Obviously I have to watch the film because I’m not watching him or anything like that, but I felt like he did a good job. I thought he made great calls. He definitely knew what he was doing. Coach (Mike) Tice and Coach Tim (Holt) did a great job with preparing him and he does a great job of preparing every week regardless so I thought he did really well.”
Injury update: The Raiders came out of Sunday’s game relatively healthy. Cornerback DJ Hayden left for a spell with an ankle injury, but was able to return and finish the game. Mario Edwards and Amari Cooper stepped out after jarring hits, but both players were able to return.
DeBartolo not talking to Raiders about ownership stake: A Sunday morning report from CBS stated that former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo had discussed buying an ownership stake in the Raiders. Owner Mark Davis, who is open to selling a minority share to someone who can help get a stadium built, told Bay Area News Group that discussions with DeBartolo had not taken place.
DeBartolo also sent out a statement saying that he was not interested in getting back into NFL ownership.
The Raiders continue to search for a longterm stadium solution in Oakland and Carson, where they are working on a stadium proposal with the San Diego Chargers.
-- Safety Nate Allen said he came out of Sunday’s game well, in his first action since injuring his knee in the regular-season opener. He had four tackles in the loss
-- Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree have more than 50 receptions each through nine games, the first time a Raiders tandem has reach that milestone since 2002.
-- Khalil Mack exceeded his rookie sack total in nine games, with his fifth of the season.
-- The Raiders pass defense allowed 122 yards against Minnesota, the lowest passing total since Nov. 10, 2013.
-- Vikings running back Adrian Peterson had 203 rushing yards, the first time an opponent has exceeded 200 since Tampa Bay’s Doug Martin rushed for 251 in 2012.