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Opposing Viewpoint: Raiders Writer Answers 5 Questions About Oakland

An AFC foe is making the rare trip to Minnesota, as the Raiders will visit the Vikings in Week 3.

Kickoff is at noon (CT) Sunday in what will be Oakland's first trip to for a regular-season game since 2011. The Raiders, who played in preseason games at the University of Minnesota in 2014 and 2015, will make their first appearance at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Both Minnesota and Oakland are 1-1 in the early part of the season.

And while there has been plenty of coverage on the Purple this week, chatted with Raiders reporter Kyle Martin for a glance at what the other side is thinking before Sunday's contest.

Here is the Week 3 edition of Opposing Viewpoint:

The Raiders and Vikings are 1-1 so far. What has been your biggest takeaway from the team through the first two games as they get set for their first road game of 2019?

Kyle Martin: I think the biggest thing I've taken away from the Raiders so far this season has been their ability to stop the run, which should make for a good matchup with the Vikings given Dalvin Cook's immense talent. So far, the Silver and Black are allowing only 63 yards rushing per game, a vast improvement over last year's 140.6 yards per game. I think much of this game will come down to the battle in the trenches.

Rookie running back Josh Jacobs already looks like a star. What has the former Alabama standout done to have such success early in his career?

KM: Coming out of the 2019 NFL Draft, several NFL analysts questioned whether Jacobs would be able to handle the workload of a bell-cow, but it's clear he can do that and more. The rookie has had success with his one-cut running style due to great vision and ability to fight through defenders – it also helps that he has a stout offensive line. Jacobs cares more about how hard he runs than his stats, and I think that's apparent in his game.

The Raiders stifled the Chiefs offense for three quarters Sunday; who is looked at as the leader of that unit for Oakland?

KM: While the Raiders did relent 28 points to Patrick Mahomes in the second quarter of last week's game, the defense held its own for three quarters. I think it all comes down to Vontaze Burfict, who has truly elevated defensive coordinator Paul Guenther's unit. After playing in Guenther's system for years [in Cincinnati, including 2012-13 with Zimmer as defensive coordinator], Burfict is a great communicator, and it's helped everyone around him not overthink as much.

Jon Gruden is in his second season in his second stint with the organization. How is he impacting the Raiders?

KM: I think you can see the impact of Coach Gruden all throughout the Raiders facility. His mentality, determination to win, and overall presence impact those around him. He's determined to restore the Raiders and bring them back to greatness by installing a physical brand of smash-mouth football, reminiscent of the days of old. The players rally around him, and they genuinely enjoy playing for him.

Which Vikings player are you most interested in watching Sunday, and why?

KM: I'm most excited to watch Dalvin Cook for a few reasons. The former Florida State Seminole is one of the top backs in the league when healthy, and he can hurt teams with his versatility; whether it's catching passes out of the backfield, or taking a run 70-plus yards, he's electric. The Raiders will face a tough challenge in stopping him, but I think it will be a good matchup.