The Week 15 matchup in Cincinnati was a little chilly, 45°F to be exact. By now Raider Nation is used to the offense coming out hot in their first drive but this week, we looked frozen.
This game included a milestone, Derek Carr became the franchise leader in most completions without an interception. Also Lee Smith has three consecutive games with one reception resulting in a wide open touchdown.
Production was expected to be a bit down today as starting guards Kelechi Osemele and Gabe Jackson were ruled out today, also their backup Jon Feliciano was ruled out for the season last week. So an already struggling offensive line took a big hit & it showed early, just not with who you would expect. Kolton Miller having the roughest game of the group, maybe missing that veteran presence on his side.
Congrats to S Erik Harris on his first career INT coming deep in Bengal’s territory.
A flat first half resulted in the Raiders going into the locker room losing 20-7.
Even though it’s been the most frustrating position group in recent years, the secondary has finally been trending upward. Gareon Conley only allowed one catch for a touchdown in the first half, came out in the third quarter and made a beautiful play on the ball. That play somehow resulted in a P.I. penalty and worse, hitting the back of his head resulting in a concussion. He wouldn’t return the rest of the game.
With the opposing offense struggling with injuries (AJ Green & Andy Dalton already ruled out, Tyler Boyd suffering an injury in the middle of game) our defense was also helped out by a massive amount of overthrown passes from Bengal’s backup signal caller Jeff Driskel.
Heading into the fourth quarter our chances of a win were somehow still alive.
Midway through the fourth quarter our defense forced a “3 & out” off of S Karl Joseph’s sack, forcing a punt and giving us the ball at midfield.
Offense showed some spark, moving the ball enough to kick a field goal and making it a seven point game.
Then bam, special teams unit takes a lunch break on the kick return and gives up 56 yards to KR Alex Erickson. That play was followed by a huge run from RB Joe Mixon resulting in a touchdown. 14 point game with 4:04 left on the clock.
The rest of the game was history. Losing 30-16. We go back to what looks like our last game in Oakland, Christmas Eve, with a 3-11 record.
Old man WR Jordy Nelson comes away as the leading receiver with 88 yards on six catches. The defense held Driskel to 130 yards with one touchdown & one interception. Karl Joseph led the team with eight total tackles. K Daniel Carlson finishes 3/3 matching his career long 50 yard field goal. P Johnny Townsend has another rough day, six punts averaging 38.2 yards with 42 being his long.