The top three story lines going into this week’s game at the Cincinnati Bengals are Paul Guenther’s facing his old team, how will the offensive line hold up with the possibility of Chaz Green and Denzelle Good starting at guard, and can the Raiders continue to build on the recent success.
Derek Carr could be under heavy pressure if Good and Green are forced to start. Rodney Hudson’s leadership will be put to the test if he is asked to lead a group of rookie tackles and two reserve guards into battle. Jon Gruden would be wise to stick to a run heavy game plan with a lot of quick throws and not put Carr in harms way.
The Bengals offense will look much different without Quarterback Andy Dalton and wide receiver AJ Green who were both lost for the season with injuries. Filling in for Dalton, is Jeff Driskel. The Raiders are hoping that having Guenther and former Bengal, AJ McCarron around will help give some insight into Driskel’s strengths and weaknesses.
Now let’s see what coaches are saying ahead of the week 15 match up with the Bengals.
Head Coach Jon Gruden, the scouting report on Jeff Driskel
“Well Guenther knows him, AJ McCarron knows him. We know he’s athletic, very athletic. He ran scout team for Guenther last year. We know he’s a capable runner. He can run the read option. I thought he did a nice job. I thought the Bengals played very well last week against a great team in the Chargers down in LA. He’s going into his third straight start now, I believe, maybe his fourth. So experience is often the best teacher. We expect him to play well.”
Offensive Coordinator Greg Olson, the challenge of facing Geno Atkins with a banged up offensive line
“Again, he’s a great player and they’ve got a great defensive front, and they have for years. It’s challenging enough when you have the same five guys you have in there, but when you’ve got some changes up front it creates a little more of an issue. Again, the guys are preparing, they have had a good week of practice here so far and I think they are up for the challenge.”
Defensive Coordinator Paul Guenther, on dealing with Joe Mixon
“He’s a talented guy. Really both backs. I got a lot of respect for Joe and Giovani Bernard, they are both really good backs. ‘Gio’ is a smaller guy, height wise, but he can run with strength and he’s got good short area quickness. They are both good backs. Last week was probably one of their best games running the ball. I know they have been putting an emphasis on that, trying to get him more touches, so we are going to have to deal with him and that’s not an easy task.”
Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis, on the Raiders
“This game this week with Oakland, their last four games obviously they’ve won two of the last four. Lost a game fairly close to Kansas City, lost two close games, so we got to be ready. Got to settle on some of their people, they’ve had a lot of different people throughout the season. The quarterback has done a nice job of protecting the football all season long, doesn’t put them at risk in that way. And defensively, they settled into the guys that are playing now, they really did a nice job and I thought it was impressive in the game against Pittsburgh they just came playing all the way through the game.”