ALAMEDA – The Minnesota Vikings weren’t going to let the Raiders beat them deep. They weren’t going to let Amari Cooper shimmy his way to big yards after the catch.
They were keeping safeties back. They weren’t blitzing many in the second half.
Despite being one score down most of the second half, the Raiders weren’t able to capitalize on that strategy.
The Raiders couldn’t grind out scoring drives and never took control on the ground during Sunday’s 30-14 loss to the Vikings. They averaged 4.4 yards per carry, but didn’t run it much. The Raiders ran 19 times and passed more than double that in a game where, outside two scoring drives, they didn’t sustain much.
“The intent was to run it, try to run it,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said Monday in a press conference. “I thought we were OK at it. I’m not going to sit up here and question the way the game unfolded. I think we were competitive. We had our shot. We had opportunities in that game. Each of the three phases, we just didn’t do well enough to get the win. I think it’s clear that there were opportunities and they were the better team yesterday.”
Latavius Murray finished with 12 carries for 48 yards. Jamize Olawale got five carries for 24 yards. Del Rio said the Raiders felt his size and strength would be beneficial against the Vikings run defense.
Hudson pushing to get back: Raiders center Rodney Hudson missed Sunday’s game with a sprained ankle, but he tried to sneak into the lineup at the last minute.
He made a pitch to play on Saturday by showcasing what agility he had after skipping the practice week. The coaching staff didn’t bite, which could put him in position to return Sunday against the Detroit Lions.
"We’ll see. We’ll see,” Del Rio said. “He tried a little bit on Saturday to make a case for going last week but he wasn’t quite ready. We’ll see how the week goes.”
Bergstrom gets a ‘winning' grade: Tony Bergstrom made his first start since 2012 filling in for Hudson and did well in difficult circumstances. He didn’t allow a quarterback pressure and had a few runs called in his area.
Del Rio was pleased with his performance.
“He had a winning grade,” Del Rio said. “He did a good job going in. It’s not an easy set of circumstances to go in. It’s really a talented nose guard that he went up against. Tony played well in the game for us.”
Could’ve have more sacks: The Raiders registered four sacks of Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, including one each from a young trio of Aldon Smith, Khalil Mack and Mario Edwards Jr. The Raiders had 15 total pressures and created big-play opportunities.
“The quarterback was not comfortable for sure,” Del Rio said. “I thought they did a good job. We feel like we had opportunities for a few more sacks that he was able to escape, but the pressure was really good all day.”
This and that: Del Rio said S Nate Allen “showed a little rust” in his first game back from short-term injured reserve. Allen missed a tackle that sprung a 37-yards pass play by WR Stefon Diggs. … RB Taiwan Jones didn’t take an offensive snap, but Del Rio said it had nothing to do with his fumbles last week. He simply wasn’t featured heavily in the game plan. … LB Neiron Ball is unlikely to return to practice this week. He has missed three straight games with a knee sprain. … TE Gabe Holmes was promoted from the practice squad Friday and then inactive for Sunday’s game. His promotion as a reserve could prevent other teams from poaching the young talent off the practice squad.