MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Charles Johnson and Chase Ford each caught touchdown passes in the second quarter for the Minnesota Vikings, who came back from an hour-plus weather delay to defeat the Oakland Raiders 20-12 on Saturday.
Teddy Bridgewater finished 10 for 14 for 89 yards, including the crisp 10-yard throw into Johnson’s outstretched hands in close coverage to finish the third drive by Minnesota’s starters. In three exhibition games, Bridgewater is 22 for 28 for 219 yards and no turnovers. Some of his early passes sailed high, but he settled in and again found a rhythm with short and intermediate routes by his receivers.
Derek Carr, the other member of the NFL’s 2014 quarterback class who started to hit his stride in his first year on the job, completed half of his eight passes. But he had the throw of the night, a beautiful back-shoulder fade to rookie Amari Cooper for a 40-yard gain
That set up a short touchdown run by Latavius Murray, who finished with 20 yards on four carries. Murray, in line to be the featured back, has had a strong training camp. The Raiders were last in the league last season in rushing. They jettisoned Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew and have three new starters on the offensive line, featuring center Rodney Hudson.
Cooper and Bridgewater were teammates at Miami Northwestern High School.
Bridgewater and coach Mike Zimmer improved to 7-0 in preseason games with the Vikings.
Vikings kicker Blair Walsh missed all three of his field goal tries and one of three extra point attempts.
The rain-soaked fans who returned to the stadium following the lightning-prompted evacuation saw Christian Ponder’s return to Minnesota, which was met with some boos. Ponder, the 2011 first-round draft pick who lost the starting job in 2013 to Matt Cassel and eventually to Bridgewater, finished 7 for 11 for 69 yards with no turnovers.
Matt McGloin, competing with Ponder to be Carr’s primary backup, was intercepted in the third quarter by linebacker Brian Peters, a former Canadian Football League player vying for a roster spot. Peters dragged a couple of Raiders trying to tackle him all the way to the 1-yard line, and Blake Renaud powered in two plays later.
The Raiders committed only two penalties last week in their exhibition opener, an 18-3 victory over St. Louis. They were flagged 13 times in this game, totaling 106 yards.
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