Oakland Raiders are coming off a truly devastating loss to the Pittsburgh Ste..."/> Oakland Raiders are coming off a truly devastating loss to the Pittsburgh Ste..."/>

Oakland Raiders: Keys To Victory Over Minnesota Vikings

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November 1, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack (52) tackles New York Jets running back Chris Ivory (33) during the first quarter at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Rediscover Their Run Defense

For much of the season, the Raiders have been in the top two or three in run defense. They’ve been one of the NFL’s stingiest units in giving up yards on the ground.
Until last week.

With Pittsburgh star Le’Veon Bell out for the year with an injury, the Steelers relied upon backup DeAnglo Williams to carry the load for the team. And carry the load he did. Williams gashed the vaunted – and at the time, second ranked – Raiders run defense for 170 yards on 27 carries. All told, the Steelers destroyed Oakland’s run defense for 195 total yards – part of a very nearly 600 yards of total offense on the day.

Williams was the first running back to go over the century mark against the Raiders, and his effort dropped Oakland out of the top ten in run defense.

The job of the run defense isn’t going to get any easier this week as Adrian Peterson – the NFL’s leading rusher – rolls into town. Peterson hasn’t been the same dominating back this year that he has been in season’s past. He’s notched just four 100 yard games this season and allowed the San Francisco 49ers to limit him to 31 yards in the season opener, and the Chiefs held him to just 60 in week six.

So while Peterson is obviously, still a very good back performing at a high level, he’s not the same Adrian Peterson of season’s past.

And since Minnesota’s offense pretty much flows through Peterson, it is critical that Oakland rediscovers the run stuffing form that allowed it to be one of the league’s very best in that category. And they need to find it again very, very quickly.

Next: Set The Tone