WEEK 10: 3:05 p.m. AT OAKLAND • Ch. 9 (100.3-FM, 1130-AM)
One man’s prediction: The last time the Vikings were on the West Coast, they slept through a season-opening loss to the 49ers. They flew out to California a day earlier this time, trying to avoid another letdown. They should also get a boost from the presence of quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and other banged-up starters who are expected to play. As long as they don’t let the Raiders turn this into a complete shootout, the Vikings should prevail.
Heads of the class
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer reiterated Friday that Bridgewater, who suffered a concussion in last weekend’s victory over the Rams, would start against the Raiders, who have a pretty good second-year quarterback, too. The Raiders took Derek Carr four picks after Bridgewater last spring, and he has been one of the NFL’s most efficient QBs this season with 19 touchdowns, more than three times as many as Bridgewater has thrown.
More on the mend
The Vikings got some other positive injury news this week. Defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd should be back after a three-game absence. Cornerback Terence Newman is probable, too, and outside linebacker Anthony Barr says he will play despite a hand injury. But rookie middle linebacker Eric Kendricks is doubtful. Chad Greenway will likely slide over to his spot with Brandon Watts making his first NFL start on the outside.
Speedy wide receiver Mike Wallace caught just one pass for 4 yards in the past two games and has scored just one touchdown this season. Wallace is frustrated by his lack of production, but he says winning is most important to him. Still, if the Vikings are paying him all this money, they should probably get him involved. This would be a good week for it. The Raiders rank dead last in the NFL in pass defense.
Player to watch
Khalil Mack, Raiders
With four sacks in eight games, Mack, the second-year Raiders edge rusher, hasn’t put up big numbers in the boxscore. But according to Pro Football Focus, Mack is among the league leaders in quarterback pressures, having disrupted passers on 39 rushes this season. Rookie right tackle T.J. Clemmings will have his hands full again this week while protecting Bridgewater, who passed concussion protocol on Saturday.