With 2014 NFL Preseason games underway, let’s recap some of the games during this “spring training” stint. We’ll start with the Minnesota Vikings win over the Oakland Raiders.
The Vikings broke in their temporary new home stadium (for the next two years) at TCF Bank Stadium, as they beat the Raiders 10-6 in their exhibition opening game this past Friday night, August 8th. The Vikings covered the spread as -3 point home favorites, and the total went UNDER the 38 point line that was set. Sports odds thought we would see a shootout between the teams, but there was no scoring in either the second or third quarters of the game.
Matt Cassel started the game at quarterback for the Vikings, and on their first drive he was 5 for 6 for some 62 yards and scored on the first drive on offense. After one series, Cassel was relieved by QB Teddy Bridgewater as the fans chanted his name. They were anxious to see Minnesota’s first round draft choice in action. Bridgewater played into the third quarter and his debut was anything but perfect. He completed 6 of 13 passes, gaining 49 yards, but he was sacked twice and fumbled once which his teammates recovered. His coach Zimmer said the rookie faced some situations he had not seen before, but he did complete some great passes. All in allm it was a good first NFL game experience for Bridgewater.
For the Oakland Raiders, Matt Schaub had his first game in the Raider’s silver and Black and was not exactly a pleasing experience. Schaub is the attempt by Oakland to stop the QB situation from continuing to spiral out of control. In this game, Schaub went 3 of 7 for some 21 yards and he played in three series of downs without making a first down!
Then, the Raiders second round draft pick QB Carr of Fresno State took over and he was a little more productive, going 10 of 16 for 74 yards. Unfortunately, he made a high throw to his FB that was intercepted and he then was replaced by 3rd stringer McGloin who had a late TD run for 10 yards and a score. The highlight of the game for the Raiders offense was a 23 yard run by McFadden. Other than that, Coach Allen was disappointed with his team’s performance. The Raiders have faith in Schaub who has previously had three seasons with at least 4,000 yards passing with the Texans, and they think he has the ability to stabilize the team’s offense.
Since 2002, the Oakland Raiders have had some 17 quarterbacks who started at least one season game. Come September, Schaub will be the 18th QB at 33 years of age!
Fortunately, both teams ended the game with no significant injuries. The game marked a two year stay for the Vikings at the Minnesota University Stadium, while their new fixed roof stadium is constructed in downtown Minneapolis.
Neither the Vikings nor the Raiders are expected to be very good this season. Oddsmakers have Minnesota’s season wins odds at 6, with Oakland at 4 1/2. Both are extreme longshots to win the Super Bowl, with the Vikings futures odds at +11,100, and the Raiders an even worst +25,000.