Like most games played in the morning in the Eastern Time Zone, this one did not go the Raiders way. Oakland’s offense was ineffective throughout and the injuries suffered by virtually the entire offense line made this game an absolute unwatchable slog. I’m not sure what this win does for the Bengals other than put them in a worse draft position where they can select yet another mediocre corner, but they gotta do them.
1) Joe Mixon
Mixon has been one of the only bright spots for the Bengals this season, and he’s pretty much the only reason they held on to win this game. Mixon had some character issues coming out of college, meaning he punched a girl, but he’s been a model citizen in Cincinnati and is an explosive workhorse back- exactly the sort of player the Raiders don’t have. He rushed 27 times for 129 yards and two touchdowns, which is just the sort of day a number one back wants to have every time out on the field.
2) Tyler Boyd
The Bengals are without their #1 receiver, AJ Green (what’s new?) and they needed someone to step up and catch some passes for them. Enter Tyler Boyd, who didn’t exactly have a huge day (4 catches, 38 yards) but did score a touchdown in the first half that made it difficult to come back for the Raiders. With better quarterback play, Boyd would be far more valuable, and even so he went over 1,000 yards on the season today.
3) Darren Waller
Who? That’s what I, and probably many of you, asked myself when he took an end around 21 yards for a first down. He also caught a pass for 44 yards. He’s the Raiders’ fourth tight end, and he’s shown some talent. Enough to where he should probably get some more touches. He’s a big dude and looks pretty fast.
4) Jordy Nelson
Even though he didn’t score a touchdown, Nelson was a huge part of the Raiders offense today. He caught six passes for 88 yards and was one of the few guys who could get around Cincinnati’s defense. This was one of Nelson’s best games in Silver and Black.
1) Jeff Driskel
Driskel’s had his shot this year, nobody can deny that. And he’s been bloody awful. Today despite going against the pillow-soft Raider offense he went 14/33 for 130 yards, a touchdown and a pick. He ran for 32 yards, and running out of the pocket serves him far better than staying within it and passing.
2) Raider offensive line
As mentioned, the Raiders offensive line has been a triage unit this season. The Raiders were starting two guards off the street, but they weren’t really the problem today as much as the tackles were, particularly Kolton Miller. He got beat like a drum against Carlos Dunlap, and Derek Carr was sacked five times including some critical third downs. Bad showing all around.
3) Raiders rush defense
Unlike last week where the Steelers couldn’t run at all against the Raiders, today the Bengals ran all over Oakland. Cincy ran for a total of 171 yards and Driskel was able to extend drives with his legs. That should never happen. The Raiders need some more defensive talent in the worst way.
4) The Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs came into their game Thursday night against the Chargers with a chance to clinch the division and put a strangehold on home-field throughout the playoffs. They’d beaten the Chargers for basically five years straight, and Arrowhead was rocking. Instead, the Chargers’ Mike Williams went nuclear against the Chiefs, scoring three touchdowns and catching a game-winning two point conversion. The Chargers could easily win the division, and right now they might be the best team. The Chiefs decided to start their choke artistry early.