MINNEAPOLIS — Matt Cassel was sharp from the start, giving Teddy Bridgewater a model touchdown drive to watch.
That’s the early snapshot of Minnesota’s starting quarterback competition.
Cassel led a couple of crisp scoring marches, and the Vikings broke in their temporary new home stadium for the next two years by beating the Oakland Raiders 10-6 in the exhibition opener on Friday night.
Bridgewater relieved Cassel at quarterback after two series, and the rookie’s first name was rhythmically chanted during his first two snaps by a crowd eager to see the first-round draft pick in action. Playing into the third quarter, Bridgewater’s debut was mixed at best: 6 for 13 for 49 yards, two sacks and one fumble the Vikings recovered.
Matt Schaub’s first time in silver and black wasn’t exactly smooth, either. The latest attempt by the Raiders to stop the quarterback carousel from spinning, Schaub finished 3 for 7 for 21 yards.
Schaub played three series, all three-and-outs.
Derek Carr, the second-round draft pick from Fresno State, took over in the second quarter and was only slightly more productive with and against the backups. Carr went 10 for 16 for 74 yards, but his high throw on the run to Jamize Olawale slipped through the fullback’s hands and was intercepted by Kurt Coleman.
Darren McFadden had a 23-yard run, the only highlight by a Raiders starter. Third-string quarterback Matt McGloin had a late 10-yard touchdown scramble.
The acquisition of Schaub from Houston was just one of many moves during a busy offseason for the Raiders, and he’s coming off a rough year. With three seasons of at least 4,000 passing yards for the Texans, though, Schaub has the potential to stabilize this long-unsettled position.
Since Rich Gannon won the NFL MVP award and guided the Raiders to the Super Bowl after that career year in 2002, the Raiders have had 17 different quarterbacks start at least one regular season game. Schaub will be the 18th in September, barring injury for the 33-year-old.