Matt Cassel led the Minnesota Vikings to their only touchdown of the game and the Vikings’ revamped defense under new head coach Mike Zimmer did the rest Friday night in a 10-6 victory over the Oakland Raiders in the preseason opener for both teams at TD Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
Cassel, trying to hold off rookie Teddy Bridgewater for the starting quarterback job for the Vikings, was an efficient 5-for-6 for 62 yards, playing on the first possession only.
Cassel engineered a 10-play, 70-yard drive on Minnesota’s first possession that was capped by Matt Asiata’s 1-yard touchdown run.
After Oakland went three-and-out for a second straight possession, Bridgewater came in and took the Vikings 42 yards in 10 plays to set up Blair Walsh’s 30-yard field goal for a 10-0 Minnesota lead.
Bridgewater was inconsistent, going 6-for-13 for 49 yards and taking two sacks for 16 yards. He also fumbled once, but it was recovered by the Vikings.
Bridgewater played through the first possessio0n of the second half before Christian Ponder finished.
Ponder was 3-for-7 for 39 yards.
The Raiders offense had a hard time getting anything going against the Vikings’ new-look defense. Starting quarterback Matt Schaub played three possessions and was 3-for-7 for 21 yards. Rookie David Carr was 10-for-16 for 74 yards and an interception and Matt McGloin went 11-for-18 for 90 yards and scored Oakland’s only touchdown on a 10-yard scramble with 1:25 remaining in the game.
New Raider running back Maurice Jones-Drew carried the ball twice, gaining 10 yards, while incumbent Darren McFadden gained 23 yards on his only carry of the game. Latavius Murray led the Oakland ground game with 28 yards on seven carries and former Canadian Football League star Kory Sheets had 18 yards on five attempts.
Rookie Jerick McKinnon had 45 yards on 12 carries for Minnesota, fellow rookie Dominique Williams gained 27 yards on nine attempts and Joe Banyard picked up 22 yards on eight carries. Adrian Peterson did not have an offensive touch in the game.
It was a cleanly played game in one sense, in that Carr’s interception in the second quarter to Kurt Coleman was the only turnover of the game.
However, the Raiders were flagged 13 times for 94 yards in penalties, compared to only five infractions stepped off against Minnesota for 25 yards.
The Raiders go home next Friday to host the Detroit Lions, while Minnesota hosts the Arizona Cardinals on Aug. 16.