The Oakland Raiders endured some scares but defeated the Cincinnati Bengals, 17-10, to keep them winless this season. The Raiders came away with the key win that pushed their record to 6-4 and their winning streak to three games, their first that length since December 2016.
Although the Bengals have yet to record a win, the Raiders were prepared for anything. Head coach Jon Gruden had been preaching all week that an upset was possible
The Raiders offense started off the game slowly, going three and out quickly. However, the Bengals offense did not have much time on the field during their first possession either. The Raiders defense blocked a pass, then forced and recovered a fumble.
Thanks to the defense, the offense came back on with just 28 yards to the goal line. Josh Jacobs earned one first down and appeared to earn another, but unfortunately lost control of the ball as he was tackled by multiple defenders, turning it over.
The Bengals made quick work to capitalize on the turnover, converting on a 30-yard rush on the opening drive. Joe Mixon, a bay area native, capitalized on his long run to complete the drive with a touchdown.
The Raiders really relied on the talents of Jacobs throughout the first quarter. Although he earned one first down, his talents were not enough. Derek Carr was sacked for the second time in the game and the Raiders were faced with third and long. Although they converted on a pass, it was not enough for a fresh set of downs.
The second quarter continued with strong Raiders defense, forcing another three and out. Maxx Crosby was key on defense once again by putting pressure on Bengals quarterback Ryan Finley.
The Raiders’ passing game finally seemed to be moving thanks to a 24-yard connection between Carr and Tyrell Williams. The pair converted on an impressive 20-yard connection just a few plays later, highlighted by Carr dropping the pass between three defenders.
The highlight reel continued just a few plays later as Hunter Renfrow made a diving 27-yard catch to get to the redzone. The Raiders then converted on a touchdown pass to Foster Moreau who was completely wide open. Daniel Carlson’s extra point kick tied the score at seven.
Although Jacobs played great, Carr was really the star of the half. He converted on 14-of-15 passes for 151 yards and one touchdown, but also rushed it in for the last touchdown of the half, bringing their lead to 14-7.
The Raiders defense and offense picked up right where they left off. After the defense forced the punt, Carr converted to on a pass to Renfrow again. Unfortunately, Carr telegraphed his next pass and it was picked off by the Bengals. With excellent field position after the turnover, the Bengals converted on a field goal to bring the score to 14-10 in favor of the Raiders.
The Raiders continued to disappoint on offense after the turnover. They went three and out after Carr was sacked for a third time on the night. The game became a punt affair, as both teams punted on each of their next drives to end the third quarter.
Carr continued to play well despite his turnover. He had a number of first down passes, but not enough to get in scoring position. A number of penalties hindered the Raiders as they have all season. The Raiders finished the third quarter with six penalties costing them 37 yards. To the Raiders benefit, Finley and the Bengals offense was no better.
With the Bengals in possession to start the fourth, they ended up with another three and out thanks to a timely Crosby sack. The Raiders offense finally responded to the defense’s energy and started their drive with a number of big plays. Darren Waller caught a 32-yard reception for his fourth catch while Jacobs then ran for 15 yards on the very next play. Unfortunately the big drive slowed considerably once the Raiders got to the red zone. Penalties and dropped passes resulted in just a field goal for the Raiders, bringing the score to 17-10.
The Raiders defense continued to stifle any aerial game the Bengals hoped to have. Halfway through the quarter, Crosby once again sacked Finley for his third sack of the evening. Finley bounced back and converted on a big pass to Auden Tate who took a worrying hit to the neck. He was carried out on a stretcher.
After a near touchdown pass was dropped, the Raiders took over with less than six minutes left.
Carr took over and pushed down field through a number of wide open passes. The Bengals defense seemed to collapse in the last moments of the game, allowing the Raiders to seal their victory.