Raiders vs. Vikings Key Matchup: Oakland WRs Against Minnesota Secondary

This week, Carson Palmer and the Oakland Raiders face the Vikings in Minnesota. The Vikings are a team that has been abysmal against the pass this year and will be without starting safety Husain Abdullah, as well as their top two cornerbacks in Antoine Winfield and Chris Cook. That leaves a skeleton crew of has-beens and never-weres to attempt to slow down the Raider passing game. Earlier in the week I previewed the battle between Jared Allen and Jared Veldheer, but the battle between the Vikings secondary and the Raider receivers is just as important and the two are significantly linked. If the Vikings defensive line can get pressure, Palmer will not be able to find open receivers. If the receivers are covered, the Vikings will have more time to get to Palmer.

However, it's hard to imagine that happening on a consistent basis. The Vikings are really banged up right now and can't stop the pass even when they are healthy. There's no reason to believe they can stop Denarius Moore or Carson Palmer when San Diego, who has a vastly better set of defensive backs, could not do that whatsoever. The Vikings are very good against the run, but those numbers may be affected by the fact that they are so awful against the pass that teams don't feel the need to run very often. The Raiders should have no trouble establishing a balanced offensive scheme, even if the rush game is bottled up by the likes of Allen and Kevin Williams.

Jacoby Ford may miss the game, but Darrius Heyward-Bey and Denarius Moore will play and it's difficult to see them not having great success against the Vikings. Last week Aaron Rodgers threw four touchdown passes and gave a clear blueprint for exactly how to dismantle the Vikings defense. Carson Palmer has the ability to achieve similar results in this week's game.

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