#33 Tyvon Branch
Today on the road, the Oakland Raiders scored 27 points in three quarters to the Minnesota Vikings 7. QB Carson Palmer and RB Michael Bush led the way for Oakland. Then came the fourth quarter and a scary injury to wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey.
The Vikings would score two touchdowns in the quarter and force the Raiders defense to step it up a notch. After three quarters of offensive consistency the Raiders offense had gone a bit flat. Maybe the Heyward-Bey injury played a part in it, maybe not.
DID U KNOW: The Raiders have not scored in the final quarter since a Janikowski field goal with 10 minutes to play at Houston…on Oct. 9…five games ago.Read more: Raiders stave off Vikings in Minnesota 27-21
What did play a huge roll in getting the team back on track was the defense. They played aggressive all day while accumulating 12 penalties for 117 yards, many questionable, but penalties wouldn't derail this bunch. Their sack attack (5) was still going strong, even without DT Richard Seymour. They also forced four of the five Viking turnovers. Today, unlike previous seasons, they refused to break under pressure.
With Vikings running back Adrian Peterson sidelined in the second quarter from an ankle injury, Minnesota would ride the arm and legs of rookie quarterback Christian Ponder. Ponder did a decent Tim Tebow impersonation rushing 5 times for 71 yards, but the Raiders defense had seen that show before and would not allow an encore.
My "Play of the Game" with under two minutes left and Christian 'Tebow" driving his team toward a go ahead score:
4th and 8 at MIN 46 (Shotgun) C.Ponder pass incomplete
Raiders Tyvon Branch broke up a pass to Harvin on fourth down to preserve the victory.
The Oakland Raiders may not have played an all around complete game today, but they did what coach Hue Jackson has been asking them to do; THEY FINISHED!
note: There was a Chaz Schilens sighting today. The wide receiver caught 1 pass for an 11 yard touchdown. Get well DHB!