Raiders look for 3rd straight home win with Bengals coming to town

sfgate.com photo: Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) is sacked by Oakland Raiders defensive end Clelin Ferrell during the second half of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019.

SRS Contributor

OAKLAND — With back-to-back wins at home, the Raiders look to finish off their three-game home stand at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum with a win over the visiting Cincinnati Bengals as the two teams hook up for action in Week 11. This will be the first matchup between the two clubs since 2015, in a game that the Bengals won convincingly, 33-13 in Oakland.

Cincinnati currently holds a three-game winning streak over Oakland, with the Raiders last defeating the Bengals, 20-17, in Oakland back in 2009.

Kickoff for this battle in the AFC is at 1:25 p.m. PT and will be broadcast on CBS.

In Week 10, the Raiders defeated their AFC West rival, the Los Angeles Chargers, 26-24, to improve their record to 5-4. Oakland sealed their second-straight victory at home behind rookie running back Josh Jacobs’ 18-yard touchdown run in the final minute of regulation. Jacobs finished with 71 yards on 16 carries and three catches for 30 yards in the game.

In the process, Jacobs became just the 16th player in NFL history to rush for at least 800 yards in his first nine career games per Elias Sports Bureau. Currently, Jacobs has rushed for 811 yards this season. His seven rushing touchdowns are tied with Arthur Whittington for second-most by a rookie in franchise history.

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr recorded his 18th career fourth-quarter comeback, and his 19th career game-winning drive. Carr threw for 218 yards and one touchdown. On the Raiders’ final offensive drive of the game, Carr completed 6-of-8 passes for 57 yards that would setup Jacobs’ go-ahead touchdown.

But the real story of the game was the play of Oakland’s defense, who made life extremely difficult for Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers.

For the second-straight game, safety Karl Joseph would make the game-sealing play, intercepting Rivers in the final seconds of the game.

Safety Erik Harris recorded two interceptions for Oakland on the night in the first-quarter, which included a 56-yard pick-six that extended the Raiders’ lead to 10-0. It was Harris’ second pick-six of the season.

Oakland registered five sacks on Rivers, with rookie defensive end Clelin Ferrell posting a career-high 2.5 sacks, and 1.5 sacks by defensive end Benson Mayowa. Mayowa now has a career-high seven sacks.

Defensive end Maxx Crosby and defensive tackle Maurice Hurst each logged 0.5 sacks in the game.

Cincinnati (0-9) is coming off a 49-13 thrashing at the hands of their AFC North rival, the Baltimore Ravens in Week 10.

Rookie quarterback Ryan Finley made his debut for Cincinnati and had a game to forget.

Finley, who replaced franchise quarterback Andy Dalton after Dalton was benched during the team’s bye week, completed 16-of-30 passes for 167 yards, one touchdown and one interception that was returned 89 yards for a pick-six by Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters that made the score 28-3 midway through the second quarter.

The loss to the Ravens were the Bengals’ 11th-straight loss dating back to the last season, tying the longest two-season losing streak in club history per Elias Sports Bureau. They’re one loss away from matching the worst start in club history.

Following Sunday’s game, Oakland heads east to New York to take on the Jets at MetLife Stadium in Week 12, while the Bengals return home to face the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Raiders enter the bye week a game over .500

Photo credit: @Raiders

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

After five weeks of NFL games, the Raiders find themselves on a bye week entering Week 6 of the 2019 schedule.

The Raiders (3-2) shook off a 1-2 start and are riding a two-game winning streak heading into break thanks in large part of a efficiency on offense, and aggressive defense.

Quarterback Derek Carr has gotten off to a good start, completing 118 of 161 passes for 1,117 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions while sporting a 96.7 passer rating through five games.

In a season that was expected to feature superstar wide receiver Antonio Brown to be a key weapon for Carr after acquiring the mercurial Brown from the Pittsburgh Steelers in an offseason trade before Brown would force his way out of Oakland, the Raiders signal-caller has spread the ball around field most notably to tight end Darren Waller.

Waller, who is in his second season with Oakland, leads the team in receptions (37) and receiving yards (359) this season. Even though wide receiver Tyrell Williams leads the team with four touchdown catches, Carr looks for Waller on almost every passing play.

Oakland ranks 18th in total offense, averaging 20.6 points per game.

But the true weapon for Oakland’s offense is rookie running back Josh Jacobs, who is the engine that powers Oakland’s ninth-ranked rushing attack.

Through five games, Jacobs is easily the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year with 88 carries for 430 yards and four touchdowns to lead all rookie rushers. His 430 yards on the ground are more than Hall of Fame running back Marcus Allen through Allen’s first five games in Silver and Black per the Elias Sports Bureau.

Throw in six catches for 77 yards as an added bonus, and Jacobs is a complete running back who fits in today’s NFL where running backs must be reliable in the passing game.

Defensively, linebacker Tahir Whitehead paces the team with 31 total tackles (25 solo, 6 assisted); while defensive end Benson Mayowa leads the Raiders with 4.5 sacks this season.

Oakland ranks 16th in the NFL in scoring defense, surrendering 24.6 points per game.

Safety Erik Harris has Oakland’s biggest play on defense this season, cementing Oakland’s 31-24 win in Indianapolis in Week 4 with a pick-6 interception in the fourth quarter.

Following Oakland’s Week 6 bye, the Raiders continue their five-game road trip (even though last week’s 24-21 victory over the Chicago Bears in London was considered a “home” game), with a trip to Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers in Week 7 before finishing up against the Houston Texans in Week 8.

Raiders start long road journey away from Oakland Sunday in Minnesota

Photo credit: dailynorseman.com

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

After two AFC West divisional games to start the season at home, the Raiders get set for their first road test of the year as they prepare to face the NFC North’s Minnesota Vikings in Week 3. The Silver and Black are 9-5 all time against the Purple People Eaters, with each team winning two games apiece over their last four matchups.

In their last meeting, the Vikings took down the Raiders 30-14 on Nov. 15, 2015 at the RingCentral Coliseum in Oakland.

Kickoff is set for 10:00 a.m. PDT this Sunday at U.S. Bank Field, as the Raiders begin a 49-day stretch away from Oakland and the first of four games against the NFC North this season.

The Raiders (1-1) lost 28-10 to the visiting Kansas City Chiefs in Week 2, after jumping out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes shredded Oakland’s defense in the second quarter, throwing 278 of his 443 yards and four touchdowns in the period that put the game out of reach.

With the win, Mahomes improved to 3-0 against Oakland and has now thrown for 10 touchdowns to just one interception in those three games.

History was made in the game for Oakland as quarterback Derek Carr surpassed Hall of Fame quarterback Ken Stabler for most passing yards in franchise history, as Carr threw for 198 yards in the game and now stands at 19,196 threw his first 80 games.

Wide receiver Tyrell Williams caught his second touchdown of the year, while tight end Darren Waller led the Raiders in receptions again for the second-straight week as he caught six balls for 63 yards.

Per the Elias Sports Bureau, Waller joined Todd Christensen (1986) and Brandon Myers (2012) as the only tight ends in team history to record at least 50 yards receiving in the first two games of the season.

Defensively, the Raiders didn’t muster much of a pass rush against the Chiefs but Benson Mayowa had a day to remember, as he recorded 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble.

Mayowa became the first Raiders player to record at least one sack and one forced fumble in each of the first two games of the season since sacks became an official statistic in 1982, while also becoming just the seventh defensive player league wide to do so since 2010 according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

After defeating the Atlanta Falcons 28-12 in Week 1 at home, the Vikings (1-1) lost on the road in Green Bay, 21-16 in Week 2 at Lambeau Field.

Vikings running back Dalvin Cook rushed for a career-high 154 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries against the Packers. It was the second-straight game that the third-year pro from Florida State rushed for over 100 yards.

Through the first two games of the season, Cook is the NFL’s leading rusher with 265 yards.

Vikings signal-caller Kirk Cousins can play like he’s a top-10 NFL quarterback at times, making tough throws look routine to stud wideouts Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs.

Then there are times where Cousins will throw those head-scratching passes late in a game that’ll get intercepted, sealing a loss that makes you wonder, if he’s even worth the $84 million fully guaranteed the Vikings are paying him?

Minnesota has Super Bowl aspirations and the pressure is on Cousins to guide them to Miami (the site of Super Bowl LIV), this season.

After throwing just 10 times in the season opener against the Falcons, Cousins finished 14-of-32 with one touchdown and two interceptions against the Packers.

With a chance to throw a potential game-winning score for Minnesota late in the fourth quarter, Cousins was intercepted by Green Bay cornerback Kevin King in the end zone.

Didn’t I mention a few spaces before about those head-scratching throws from Cousins that’ll cost you a game?

But the ultimate strength of the Vikings is its defense, which has been among the NFL’s best during head coach Mike Zimmer’s six seasons in Minnesota. The Vikings can generate a strong pass rush from its edge rushers in Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen, which will give its strong secondary led by strong safety Harrison Smith and cornerback Xavier Rhodes opportunities to create turnovers.

Carr and the offense have to be on high alert for a tough Vikings team and one of the toughest venues in the NFL, U.S. Bank Stadium this Sunday.

Following Sunday’s game, the Raiders will travel to Indianapolis to battle the Colts in Week 4 before flying to London to take on the Chicago Bears in a “home game” in Week 5.

The Vikings will begin a two-game road trip when they take on the Bears in Week 4 followed by a trip to New York for a date with the Giants in Week 5.