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Vikings beat Raiders 3-0 in lowest-scoring NFL game in 16 years

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Vikings beat Raiders 3-0 in lowest-scoring NFL game in 16 years
AP
MARK ANDERSON
December 10, 2023

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The brand of football Minnesota and Las Vegas played on Sunday set the NFL back 16 years.

Only Greg Joseph's 36-yard field goal with 1:57 left that gave the Vikings a 3-0 victory over the Raiders prevented the teams from setting the league back 80 years.

It was the first 3-0 game since Pittsburgh beat Miami on Nov. 26, 2007, the third in the past 40 years and the seventh in the Super Bowl era. The last game that ended regulation scoreless was a 0-0 tie between the New York Giants and Detroit Lions on Nov. 7, 1943.

The Vikings (7-6) had just 230 total yards, and the Raiders (5-8) — losers of three in a row — were limited to 201 yards and nine first downs. Minnesota beat an AFC West opponent for the first time this season after going 0-3.

It was Minnesota's first shutout since defeating Green Bay 16-0 on Dec. 23, 2017 and the first blanking of Las Vegas since its 24-0 loss to New Orleans on Oct. 30, 2022.

Nick Mullens relieved an ineffective Joshua Dobbs at quarterback in the fourth quarter and led the Vikings on their lone scoring drive. His 22-yard completion to Jordan Addison to the Raiders 20 set up Joseph's kick.

“You never know when your name is going to be called, but you prepare and work as hard as you can and trust that there's a plan out there for you,” Mullens said. “I did that, stepped in. The guys did an incredible job. ... It doesn't matter what it looks like, a win is a win.”

Dobbs was 10 of 23 for 63 yards; Mullens completed 9 of 13 passes for 83 yards.

“I felt like my trust in Nick with his preparation he could be called upon,” Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell said. “We made sure he got some reps last week so he was ready to go, and he did exactly that. Went out and made some critical, critical plays to move the chains and ultimately get us in range for the very limited amount of points we got today.”

O'Connell said he didn't know who would start going forward.

Raiders interim coach Antonio Pierce could face a similar situation after Aidan O'Connell completed 21 of 32 passes for 171 yards with an interception, but the quarterback wasn't the only one at fault.

“No excuse there,” Pierce said. “It is shocking. Plenty of time to prepare for an opponent. They did nothing new. Poor coaching. Poor performance by the players.”

The Vikings lost wide receiver Justin Jefferson, the 2022 AP Offensive Player of the Year, in the second quarter to a chest injury. He was taken to a hospital, but O'Connell said the early prognosis was promising. This was Jefferson’s first game back after missing the previous seven because of a hamstring injury.

Las Vegas lost running back Josh Jacobs to a knee injury in the fourth quarter. Jacobs led the NFL in rushing last season with 1,653 yards. He had rushed for more than 100 yards in two of the prior three games.

Neither team scored in the first half, the second time that happened Sunday. The Houston Texans-New York Jets game also was 0-0 at intermission. According to the Fox Sports broadcast, it was the first time since October of 1988 that two games were scoreless at halftime on the same day.

The game remained scoreless entering the fourth quarter, the first time that has happened since Week 17 of the 2017 season when the Cowboys and Eagles faced each other. It's the first time the Raiders have ever been involved in such a game and the second for the Vikings — Nov. 14, 1971 against the Packers was the other. That game also ended in a 3-0 win for Minnesota.

Both teams didn't capitalize on scoring chances. Joseph missed a 49-yard field goal in the second quarter and Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow lost a fumble at Minnesota's 20.

VIKINGS OC MAKES TRIP AFTER ARREST

Minnesota offensive coordinator Wes Phillips traveled with the team and worked the game after his Friday night arrest on suspicion of drunken driving in Minneapolis.

“I was incredibly disappointed, there's no question,” O'Connell said. “But we want to allow the facts and do our due diligence from that standpoint. The league is clearly involved as well. It's very important that we as coaches understand we're setting the bar for our organization and for our players. Wes knows he fell short of that.”

MILESTONE SACK

Maxx Crosby became the fifth Raider to record 50 career sacks when he got to Dobbs in the second quarter. He is the first player in franchise history to get there in his first five seasons. Crosby later added a second sack.

TRIBUTE TO VICTIMS

Crosby led the team onto the field carrying flags representing UNLV and law enforcement. The team had a moment of silence before kickoff to honors the three UNLV professors who were fatally shot Wednesday and two Nevada Highway Patrol officers who died after being struck by a car on Nov. 30.

INJURIES

Vikings: RB Alexander Mattison (ankle) was injured in the third quarter. ... RT Brian O’Neill (ankle) was hurt in the second quarter. ... WR Jalen Nailor is in concussion protocol.

Raiders: DT Adam Butler (foot) and LB Kana’i Mauga (knee) were injured in the second quarter. Mauga had just been activated off injured reserve on Saturday. He was on IR because of a knee injury. ... C Andre James (ankle) was injured in the third quarter.

UP NEXT

Vikings: At Cincinnati on Saturday.

Raiders: Host the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday night.

___

AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl

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