They are coming off a frustrating loss at Green Bay. They are at home against what appears to be a mediocre team. If they lose today, something is seriously wrong with the 2019 Vikings.
They are unlikely to lose.
The Oakland Raiders are 1-1, having beaten Denver at home on a Monday night in their opener. They were crushed by Kansas City last week, as quarterback Derek Carr was sacked three times and threw two interceptions.
The last time the Vikings played at home, they overwhelmed the Falcons, who turned around and beat Philadelphia at home in Week 2.
The Vikings should win big today. They should be able to take advantage of crowd noise, a strong running game and a strong pass rush to overwhelm an overmatched opponent. But this is Week 3, and last year the Vikings turned in their least-explicable performance, and that game, too, followed a frustrating performance at Green Bay.
Last year, the Vikings tied the Packers, 29-29, in Week 2 at Lambeau, then lost, 29-6, to the Bills at home.
That game was more of a trap game than this one, though.
The Bills looked like they might be historically bad, and Everson Griffen was going through his mental health crisis.
This year, the Vikings know they need to win, and the presence of Carr, running back John Jacobs and coach Jon Gruden should keep their attention.
If the Vikings’ front slows Jacobs, the Vikings should win big.
Mike Hughes will make his season debut, helping with cornerback depth. Anthony Barr is out today with a groin injury. He tested himself on the turf Sunday morning but is inactive.
The Star Tribune will have Ben Goessling, Andrew Krammer, Mark Craig and myself covering the game today.
My pick: Vikings 33, Raiders 16.