It was a brisk one at Paul Brown Stadium Sunday; a cool 42 degrees with a bit of wind coming from the Ohio River, but nonetheless, the Oakland Raiders and the Cincinnati Bengals had a Week 15 matchup slated to take place. It might have been a road game on the schedule for the Raiders, but there was a lot of Silver and Black in the lower bowl.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Extra Points from the action:
Raider Nation invaded Paul Brown Stadium - As mentioned above, Raider Nation was in full force at Paul Brown Stadium. From Derek Carr to Bo Jackson, there were Raiders jerseys everywhere, and they weren’t afraid to let their voice be heard. Raider Nation travels with the best of them, and the support means a lot to the coaching staff, and players.
The offense avoids a costly mistake - On the Raiders opening drive of the game, Derek Carr targeted rookie wide receiver Marcell Ateman, but Ateman was nowhere near Carr’s throw. The two weren’t on the same page, and it almost resulted in a Bengals interception, but the Cincinnati defensive back was unable to hang on to the pass. The play could’ve ended Carr’s eight-game streak without an interception, but he’d live to fight another day.
Carr coughs it up - The Raiders signal-caller was obliterated from his blindside, as Bengals defensive end Sam Hubbard burst around the edge and drilled No. 4 from behind. The hit jarred the ball from Carr’s hands and the Bengals were able to recover the fumble. Without guards Kelechi Osemele and Gabe Jackson available Sunday, keeping Carr protected was going to be challenging against such a stout Bengals defensive line.
Erik Harris records his first INT - After Carr’s fumble, the Bengals offense took the field and immediately turned the ball over on the first play of the drive. Quarterback Jeff Driskel tried to take a deep shot, but Raiders safety Erik Harris sprinted downfield and hauled in an over-the-shoulder catch. Harris’ first interception of the season sucked all the energy out of Paul Brown Stadium, and allowed Carr to go back to work.
Bengals fourth down conversion leads to points - On fourth-and-two, Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis kept his unit on the field, and they were able to convert. The decision to go for it eventually resulted in a seven-yard touchdown pass, and the first points of the game. With a little under five minutes left in the first quarter, the Bengals led 7-0.
Raiders unable to hold on fourth down again - Once again the Raiders defense wasn’t able to hold their grown on fourth down. From the one-yard line, Lewis kept his unit on the field, going to his bonafide playmaker, Joe Mixon. On his 12th carry of the day, Mixon punched it into the end zone for a one-yard score, bringing his stat line to 77 rushing yards, and one touchdown with a little over nine minutes left in the second quarter.
Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers - It was a rough first half for the Raiders, fumbling two times, with the Bengals recovering both of them. The second fumble of the day gave the Bengals excellent field position, starting their drive on the Raiders 34-yard line. Offensively, the Silver and Black sputtered most of the first half, and the turnovers were a main reason why. The fumble led to a Bengals field goal, increasing their lead 17-0.
Carr sets a franchise record - In the second quarter of the team’s Week 15 matchup, Carr completed his 278 pass without an interception, breaking Rich Gannon’s record of 277 passes without an interception. No. 4 has accomplished a lot during his five seasons as a Raider, and Head Coach Jon Gruden wants to help him continue unleashing his potential.
Nelson gets WIDE OPEN - Veteran wide receiver Jordy Nelson had the entire field to himself late in the third quarter due to a busted coverage by the Bengals secondary. Carr found Nelson 44 yards down field, placing the Raiders on the seven-yard line. The Bengals were able to limit the Raiders to a field goal, but the Silver and Black narrowed Cincinnati’s lead to a one possession game.
Bengals special teams comes up clutch - Following a field goal from the Raiders, the Bengals took the kickoff late in the fourth quarter 77 yards, and set up a 15-yard touchdown run for Joe Mixon, his second score of the day. Field position was the name of the game on Sunday, and the Bengals capitalized on it. The return, and Mixon's score, put a wrap on the day, and secured the Bengals' win.
The Raiders weren't able to win back-to-back games, falling to the Bengals 30-16. With Week 15 in the books, the Raiders remaining two games feature divisional battles against the Denver Broncos and the Kansas City Chiefs. The Silver and Black will return home to the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum next weekend for their final home game of the 2018 season, as they host the Broncos for a Christmas Eve special.
Go inside the Raiders' locker room before Sunday's game, see arrival photos and see the Raiders warm up at Paul Brown Stadium for Week 15 against the Cincinnati Bengals.