The Vikings have a chance to go 7-2 if they beat the Raiders in Oakland. Does that seem too good to be true? Here’s how our panel sees this game …
MATT VENSEL, Vikings beat writer
Mike Wallace caught just one pass for four yards in the team’s past two games and is on pace for career lows in catches and receiving yards. But look for Wallace to have a productive day against the Raiders. The Raiders have found themselves in a number of shootouts because their defense is allowing a league-worst 315 passing yards per game. So this matchup is exactly what Wallace needs to get on track. Look for Wallace to top 100 receiving yards against the Raiders, but he will have company. Rookie Stefon Diggs will reach triple digits, too.
MARK CRAIG, Vikings beat writer
A really good Vikings defense will do what a great Vikings defense couldn’t do in Super Bowl XI: Muffle the Raiders offense. Oakland has scored at least 34 points in three straight weeks. They won’t break 23 Sunday as the Vikings win their fifth straight.
JIM SOUHAN, Columnist
I think the Vikings will split the next two games. I’m just not sure which one they’ll win. It’s easy to predict a victory over the young Raiders and a traditional loss to the Packers. But with Teddy Bridgewater a week removed from a concussion and Eric Kendricks out, I think the Vikings will struggle to beat Oakland. At home, against a flawed Packers team, I think the Vikings might win. Derek Carr has a big game and Oakland wins, 27-25.
CHIP SCOGGINS, Columnist
The curse of Musgrave returns. Raiders offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave digs deep in his tiny play card for the right mix of plays that allows Derek Carr to throw for three touchdowns in a high-scoring Raiders victory.
JASON GONZALEZ, Vikings beat writer
Last week, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer made the right decision by giving the ball to St. Louis to start overtime. This week, his decision to leave Minnesota a day early so his players could acclimate to West Coast time will be the little detail that helps propel the Vikings past Oakland.
MICHAEL RAND, Page 2 guy
Teddy Bridgewater was cleared to play, but I don’t think he’ll make it through this whole game. That means Shaun Hill steps in … and delivers a pair of second-half touchdowns against a suspect Oakland defense as the Vikings rally for the win and set up a showdown of 7-2 teams next week vs. Green Bay.
CHRIS MILLER, sports team leader
Derek Carr’s quarterback rating has him among the NFL’s elite, which seems to show that Oakland knew what it was doing when it plucked him in the 2014 draft. Carr (19 TD passes, only four INTs) will have a big game today — more than 300 yards — in a shootout-type Raiders victory.