COVERING ALL THINGS SILVER AND BLACK

Darrius Heyward-Bey Injured in Raider Win

Palmer, Raiders hold on to beat Vikings, 27-21

By JON KRAWCZYNSKI
|  Sunday, Nov 20, 2011  |  Updated 1:51 PM PDT
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Oakland Raiders' Darrius Heyward-Bey runs after a reception.

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 Carson Palmer and the Oakland Raiders weren't in the celebrating mood after beating the Minnesota Vikings to remain in first place in the AFC West.
 
       Their thoughts were with injured receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, who was carted off the field in the second half with a neck injury.

         Palmer threw for 164 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score in a 27-21 victory over the Vikings on Sunday.
 
       Michael Bush rushed for 109 yards and a touchdown for the Raiders (6-4), who barely held on in a mistake-filled fourth quarter that may have been influenced by Heyward-Bey's scary exit.
 
       Adrian Peterson left the game in the second quarter because of an injured left ankle for the Vikings, who fell to 2-8 for the first time since 1962.
 
       Palmer, who completed 17 of 23 passes, led the Raiders to touchdown drives after two turnovers and a botched field goal by the Vikings, helping Oakland take a 27-7 lead into the fourth quarter.
 
       But Heyward-Bey was injured when linebacker E.J. Henderson's knee inadvertently hit him in the back of the head while he was being tackled, and his teammates were visibly shaken as he was taken off the field with no movement in his extremities visible. There was no immediate word on his status.
 
       After that, the Raiders had a field goal blocked and their defense committed a rash of penalties to help the Vikings get back in the game.
 
       Christian Ponder threw a 26-yard TD pass to Percy Harvin to make it 27-14. Three Raiders penalties helped the Vikings move into scoring range again on the next possession, but Stanford Routt intercepted Ponder in the end zone to end that threat.
 
       But Bush fumbled a few players later and Ponder zipped a 37-yarder to Visanthe Shiancoe to set up his 1-yard TD to Kyle Rudolph with just over five minutes to play.
 
       Minnesota's defense held one more time, giving the Vikings the ball at their own 29 with three minutes to play. But Tyvon Branch broke up a pass to Harvin on fourth down to preserve the victory.
 
       Ponder was 19 for 33 for 211 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions.
 
       Peterson left the game early in the second quarter after a nifty 12-yard run. He lost the shoe on his right foot during the run and his left ankle rolled grotesquely as he was pulled down from behind by a couple of Raiders defenders. Peterson limped off the field and was taken by cart to the locker room for X-rays.
 
       Palmer did what a veteran quarterback is supposed to do _ capitalize on mistakes. After Matt Giordano picked off a poorly thrown pass from Ponder at the Raiders 5 and returned it to near midfield, Palmer guided the Raiders the rest of the way, capping the drive with an 11-yard TD pass to Chaz Schilens for a 10-7 lead.
 
       The Vikings botched a field goal attempt on the next drive when holder Chris Kluwe bobbled the snap, preventing Ryan Longwell from even attempting the kick before Kluwe was swallowed up by Branch. Bush ripped off a 28-yard run, Palmer executed a nice shovel pass to Marcel Reece and Bush flattened safety Tyrell Johnson after meeting in the hole at the 2-yard line to bulldoze into the end zone.
 
       Just when it looked as if it couldn't get any worse for the Vikings, Lorenzo Booker fumbled the ensuing kickoff, giving the Raiders the ball at the 16 with about 90 seconds to go in the first half. Palmer hit Kevin Boss for 11 yards and sneaked into the end zone from 1 yard for a 24-7 halftime lead. 
 

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