The Las Vegas Raiders and Minnesota Vikings clash Sunday afternoon in week 1 NFL preseason action from Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. The Vikings are coming off an 8-9 record last season, giving the team a second-place finish in the NFC North. As for Las Vegas, they’ve already seen some preseason activity in the annual Hall of Fame Game. In that one, the Raiders posted a 16-point win. Check back all season long for free NFL picks at Sports Chat Place.
Minnesota played their eighth and final season under head coach Mike Zimmer in 2021, ultimately stumbling to an 8-9 record and a second-place division finish. The Vikings were 5-5 on November 21, but would lose four of their final seven games to miss out on the playoffs for the second consecutive season.
This year the Vikings will debut new head coach Kevin OConnell—they’ll also be without 10-year general manager Rick Spielman, who was fired in January. He was replaced by Kwesi Adofo-Mensah. The new group will have the unenviable task of remaking the defense (30th in total last year) and finally topping the Packers in the division.
Over on the Raiders’ side, they had a decent regular season in 2021, finishing 10-7 overall and in second place in the AFC West. Las Vegas’ playoff hopes were dashed early, however. They lost a tough Wild Card Playoffs game to the Bengals 26-19.
In the Hall of Fame Game versus the Jaguars, the Raiders scored 20 points in the first half on the way to a 27-11 win. QB Jarrett Stidham put up 96 yards on 8-of-15 passing, and Zamir White led the rush with 11 carries for 52 yards. Austin Walter scored and had eight carries for 49 yards as well.
PICK: I’m probably going to stay with the Raiders in this one. Most of that is due to home-field advantage at Allegiant. Otherwise, this should be a pretty evenly-matched game and a fun one to watch. Las Vegas bolstered their defense in the draft, and we should get a look at some of those players in this matchup. Overall it’s looking like the Raiders will be in the mix for another playoff run. As for the Vikings, they’ll have some question marks remaking the defense but if all goes well they should make a solid run also.