Vikings-Raiders matchup of the day: Friday

Posted Nov. 18, 2011 @ 1:48 p.m.
Posted By Christian West

Here's a key matchup to watch in Sunday's Vikings-Raiders game.

Vikings RB Adrian Peterson vs. Raiders run defense

The Vikings have to get back to the formula from the Week Eight win over the Panthers, which was simply Peterson, Peterson and more Peterson. In the Week 10 loss to the Packers, the Vikings were forced to get away from that because Green Bay was able to start the game with 17 unanswered points.

Establishing Peterson on their first-quarter drives and getting points out of those will be crucial. Peterson is easily the best player on the offense and getting him the ball eight-plus times in the opening quarter will be key.

As a unit, the Raiders' run defense has struggled, allowing 5.2 yards per carry, tied for the worst in the NFL. They have good players in the front seven, like DT Richard Seymour and MLB Rolando McClain, but it hasn't meshed so far this season.

The foundation of the Vikings' offense always needs to be Peterson. With the secondary in flux and facing a Raiders offense that has explosive players on the outside, the best defense will be using Peterson and the running game to shorten the game by sustaining drives.