Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) looking to find a receiver as he prepares to throw against the Las Vegas Raiders at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati Sat Jan 15, 2022 in the AFC Wild Card game (AP News photo)
By Rich Perez
Las Vegas Raiders beat writer
It was a heartbreaker the Las Vegas Raiders (10-8) in the AFC Wild Card game. In the first half the Raiders couldn’t take a lead into the dressing room at the half with the halftime score at 20-13 and it was all defense. Both teams in the second half didn’t score much and the Raiders could only muster up two field goals. The Cincinnati Bengals (11-7) scored six points in the fourth quarter and it was enough for the win. The Bengals pulled ahead in the fourth quarter with six points and a 26-19 victory to advance to the next round of the playoffs.
Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow led the Bengals on offensive scoring on six drives, Burrow threw for two touchdowns and kicker Evan McPherson kicked for four field goals not bad for the rookie in a pressure game like the AFC Playoffs and helped the Bengals get a victory over the Raiders.
It was the Bengals first post season win in 31 years and after eight consecutive playoff defeats to finally pick up a post season victory. The Raiders had brought the ball up to the Bengals nine yard line on fourth down Carr got picked off by the Bengals Germaine Pratt in a crucial turnover that costed if not for the pickoff Carr and the Raiders could have possibly got that crucial touchdown that would have made all the difference.
The Bengals got some plays that should have been called for penalties where the officials should have thrown a flag but did not and allowed Burrow to throw a touchdown pass to wide receiver Tyler Boyd that could have been called back.
The Raiders have not been to the playoffs since 2016 when they lost to the Houston Texans in the Wild Card round. The Raiders who had lost five of six games previous to going on that four game win streak just got into the post season with the win streak. The last time the Raiders advanced in the post season was back in 2002 when they won the AFC Championship and got into the Super Bowl.
What really hurt the Raiders was the Bengals scored a perfect four for four in scoring drives in the first half and that really took the Raiders out of their game. There was one play where the official blew the whistle and thought Burrow had rolled to his right and called him out of bounds but the play was able to count. Burrow later threw a ten yard pass to wide receiver Tyler Boyd who caught it in the back of the end zone to put the Bengals up 20-6.
The Raiders had argued on the play that it should not have counted and the ball should have been returned to where it was previously spotted. Burrow threw for 244 yards and two touchdowns. The Bengals are having such a good season it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them advance again no matter who they play next.
Rich Perez was the Raiders beat writer for the 2021-22 Raiders season for http://www.sportsradioservice.com