The Raiders looks to build on their win at home against the Steelers as they head out on the road to battle the Bengals.
With perhaps notion the team had little left to play for in 2018, the Raiders aren’t completely tanking this season after a surprising 24-21 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers last week.
This week, they face another AFC North squad in the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals have underachieved almost as much as the Raiders season as they roll into the game with a disappointing 5-8 overall record.
Easy enough since the Silver and Black crew just beat the top team in the NFC North, right? Well, let’s not make that assumption just yet.
This week’s game is on the road. And just as easily as the Steelers had a tough time flying all the way to Oakland, the Raiders may have just as much difficulty making the trip to Cincinnati. In fact, the Raiders haven’t won a game east of Phoenix this season.
On the other hand, the Bengals offense is playing without starting quarterback Andy Dalton and star receiver AJ Green. They still have Joe Mixon, however, and receiver Tyler Boyd has filled in nicely for Green.
The Raiders defense has been stout against the run recently, allowing only 79 rushing yards and one touchdown to backs the past two games. If they can manage to hold back Mixon, then the Bengals don’t have much else to go to.
On offense, Derek Carr was again interception-free last week and has now thrown 263 passes without a defensive player stealing the ball. Jared Cook has been his main weapon, with four 100-yard receiving games, second best in the league. Cook, who looks every bit a Pro Bowl selection, should have success against the Bengals defense.
The Bengals defense is last in the league and ranks at the bottom against the run as well. The Raiders resurgent rushing game led by Doug Martin and Jalen Richard could be in line for good days.
On the injury front, guards Gabe Jackson and Kelechi Osemele didn’t practice on Wednesday, nor did linebacker Kyle Wilber. Osemele is officially out for tomorrow’s game.
Besides Dalton and Green being out, the Bengals had three players who didn’t practice on Wednesday: linebacker Vontaze Burfict, defensive end Michael Johnson, and cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick.
The Bengals opened as a 3-point favorite despite losing three straight, and the line has remained the same. The total opened at 46.5 points and has dropped by a half point.
Game time is 10 am PST on Sunday.