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

AP photo by John Locher / Greg Joseph (1) kicks a 36-yard field goal with less than two minutes to play in the Minnesota Vikings' road win against the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday.
AP photo by John Locher / Greg Joseph (1) kicks a 36-yard field goal with less than two minutes to play in the Minnesota Vikings' road win against the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday.

LAS VEGAS — The brand of football the Minnesota Vikings and the Las Vegas Raiders 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 prevented the teams from setting the league back 80 years.

It was the first 3-0 game since the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Miami Dolphins 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) were limited to 201 yards and nine first downs. Minnesota, an NFC North member, beat an AFC West opponent for the first time this season after going 0-3 the division. The Raiders have lost three in a row.

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

Nick Mullens relieved an ineffective Joshua Dobbs at quarterback in the fourth quarter and led the Vikings on their scoring drive. His 22-yard completion to Jordan Addison to the Raiders' 20-yard line 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 passing for 63 yards, while Mullens was 9-of-13 for 83.

"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 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 Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia 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, with Nov. 14, 1971, against the Packers was the other. That game also ended in a 3-0 win for Minnesota.

Both teams failed to capitalize on scoring chances. Joseph missed a 49-yard field-goal attempt in the second quarter and Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow lost a fumble at Minnesota's 20.

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