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Vikings-Raiders prediction

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Posted Nov. 20, 2011 @ 2:50 a.m. ET
By Christian West

The Vikings-Raiders game pits two teams going in opposite directions. The Raiders still have hope for a playoff berth, while that ship sailed long ago for the Vikings. Even though the Vikings appear to be energized by the switch to Christian Ponder, their talent level isn't up to snuff to compete consistently.

The Raiders have their problems, as well, but they aren't as deadly given the sad state of the AFC West. Trying to transition to a new franchise quarterback in the middle of the season, especially one who had spent the first six weeks of the regular season watching games from his living room, is difficult. But a strong running game and an excellent offensive line have helped to alleviate that concern.

In the end, given that they need this game considerably more, the Raiders should win. The Vikings' secondary should be exploited by a young, fast Oakland receiving corps, and the Raiders' pass rush should be able to harass Ponder throughout. Although Adrian Peterson should find success against a weak run defense, it won't be enough to carry the Vikings to victory.

Prediction: Raiders 27, Vikings 17

Season record: 3-3

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