Prior to the Oakland Raiders Week 1 matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals, we highlighted three matchups that would be critical in the final outcome of the game.
The Silver and Black fell to the Bengals 33-13 in their 2015 season opener at O.co Coliseum, so let's recap those three matchups we looked at earlier in the week.
Raiders Cornerbacks vs. Wide Receiver A.J. Green
All things considered, the young stable of Raiders corners performed valiantly against Green.
Defensive coordinator Ken Norton, Jr., put different players on Green, mainly TJ Carrie and DJ Hayden, and the Bengals wide receiver was targeted 8 times by Andy Dalton, catching 5 passes for 63 yards.
Game action photos from the Raiders Week 1 matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Green is a four-time Pro Bowler, so one would assume he would get his numbers, but the Raiders were able to limit his productivity, particularly big plays – excluding one pass from Dalton that Green hauled in and weaved through the Raiders secondary for a gain of 30 yards.
Defensive Coordinator Ken Norton, Jr. vs. Offensive Coordinator Hue Jackson
It's hard to give the advantage in this matchup to anyone besides the Bengals offensive coordinator.
The Silver and Black simply could not contain the Cincinnati offensive attack – especially in the first half where they allowed 265 total yards.
The tandem of Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard ran for 127 yards and 2 touchdowns, and tight end Tyler Eifert finished the day with 9 receptions for 104 yards and 2 touchdowns as well.
"You have to leverage and tackle if you're going to be any good on defense," Head Coach Jack Del Rio said postgame. "It doesn't matter what your scheme is. If you're not leveraging and tackling, you're going to have a hard time."
When all was said and done, the Bengals racked up 396 total yards en route to a 33-13 Week 1 win.
Wide Receiver Amari Cooper vs. Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick
While he wasn't spectacular, the rookie wide out performed solidly in his regular season debut, catching 5 passes from quarterbacks Derek Carr and Matt McGloin.
He led the team with 47 receiving yards, with multiple Bengals defenders getting a crack at the rookie from Alabama.
Cooper's longest catch of the day was a 25-yard reception from Carr, which occurred after Cooper was able to gain separation from Bengals cornerback Adam Jones.
"There's always room for improvement," Cooper said. "I think we just have to go back to the drawing board and get better."