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Week 15 Game Recap: Oakland Raiders 16, Cincinnati Bengals 30


What you need to know

Oakland Raiders

-The top three offensive guards were all out and the rookie offensive tackles both had rough games, which led to the Bengals dominating the trenches.

-Doug Martin and Jalen Richard split time in the backfield but the Raiders were unable to generate much of anything on the ground.

-The lone bright spot for Oakland was speedy backup tight end Darren Waller, who had 66 yards on just two touches.

Cincinnati Bengals

-Jeff Driskel had a rough day, sailing the ball over the heads of open receivers far too often.

-Joe Mixon was the Bengals offense. He again handled a massive workload (29 touches) and looked great doing it.

-Tyler Boyd looked on his way to a big game but injured his knee and didnít play the final two quarters. His season is likely over with a sprained MCL.

-John Ross, Alex Erickson, and Cody Core will be asked to carry the load at wide receiver the rest of the way with both A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd sidelined.

Oakland Raiders

QB Derek Carr, 59 offensive snaps, Pass: 21 - 38 - 263 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rec: 1 - -9 - 0 (1 targets)
Carr has now started nine games since his last interception, though it took some luck to keep the streak alive. On one of his first pass attempts, he threw it straight into the chest of Bengals safety Shaun Williams for what should have been an easy pick six but Williams dropped it. Carr did have one turnover on the day, though it is hard to pin the blame on him for the strip sack. Bengals defensive end Sam Hubbard blew by left tackle Kolton Miller and drilled Carr from the blindside. Hubbard almost had a strip sack from the other side on the next possession. He hit Carrís arm and knocked the ball out as Carr started to throw but it was ruled an incomplete pass. Pass blocking was a major issue all day for the Raiders. Miller struggled at left tackle and Oaklandís interior also had issues, which was understandable since the top three guards were all sidelined. On the day, Carr was sacked five times and hit another seven times. Carr threw a 1-yard touchdown off of play action to a wide-open Lee Smith. He should have had a second touchdown when Jordy Nelson was left all alone on a broken coverage. Carr put way too much air under the pass and didnít lead Nelson, which forced him to slow down and come back for it. He made the catch and was tackled at the 7-yard line. It was good for a 44-yard gain but the Raiders were eventually forced to settle for a field goal on the drive.

RB Jalen Richard, 30 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 9 - 0, Rec: 5 - 67 - 0 (6 targets)
One of the factors that has led to Richard not getting a lot of carries has been poor ball security. The problem reared its ugly head again against the Bengals. On a 2nd-and-3, Richard did a good job of churning his legs to push forward past the first down marker. However, while he was pushing for extra yardage, a Bengals defender was able to rip the ball loose and another Cincinnati defender recovered the fumble. Richard picked up 21 yards on a pair of catches in the final seconds of the first half with the Bengals in prevent defense. Richard blew by a linebacker in coverage on a wheel route to haul in a 32-yard reception.

RB Doug Martin, 27 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 39 - 0 (1 targets)
Martin was adequate but there werenít any highlights. His best gain of the day went for nine yards right up the middle. Martin was held to just nine touches, at least in part because the Raiders quickly fell into a 17-0 hole in the first half.

WR Jordy Nelson, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 88 - 0 (8 targets)
Nelson found himself wide open deep down the field due to a blown coverage by the Bengals defense. Carr put too much air under the ball, which forced Nelson to come back for the catch. It went for a 44-yard gain but the poor throw allowed a Bengals defender to recover and tackle Nelson seven yards short of the end zone. Nelson picked up 18 yards on a deep crossing route from the slot.

WR Seth Roberts, 40 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - -2 - 0, Rec: 3 - 29 - 0 (4 targets)
Roberts had a 20-yard gain down the seam on a well-designed play. A fake toss to the running back fooled the Bengals linebackers and left the middle of the field wide open for Roberts.

WR Marcell Ateman, 49 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 20 - 0 (5 targets)
A miscommunication between Ateman and Carr nearly led to a pick six on the opening possession. Carr expected Ateman to cut more to the inside and his route instead let the safety get between him and the quarterback for what should have been an easy interception that was dropped. Ateman caught a 12-yard pass on a slant route.

TE Darren Waller, 9 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 21 - 0, Rec: 1 - 44 - 0 (1 targets)
Waller hadnít touched a ball in an NFL game for over two years but made the most of his couple opportunities against the Bengals. He took a handoff on an end around for 21 yards, showing the speed that made him an intriguing prospect a few years ago before suspensions derailed his career. Waller nearly scored on his 44-yard reception. He caught a short crossing route about five yards down field and broke an attempted tackle to get loose. He sprinted down the sideline before a diving ankle tackle brought him down just inches short of the goal line.

TE Jared Cook, 52 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 23 - 0 (5 targets)
Cook lined up outside one-on-one with a safety and ran a go route down the right sideline. He had a step on the defender but the throw was too far outside for him to make a play on the ball. Cook picked up 13 yards on a slant lined up wide out left versus safety Shaun Williams.

TE Lee Smith, 7 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 1 - 1 (1 targets)
Smith scored a short touchdown for the third straight week. Primarily a blocking tight end, he had just four touchdowns in seven seasons prior to this three-week touchdown streak. His 1-yard score came off of play action and there wasnít a defender within five yards of him in the end zone.


Cincinnati Bengals

QB Jeff Driskel, 80 offensive snaps, Pass: 14 - 33 - 130 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 7 - 32 - 0
Driskel had his first really rough outing despite getting his first career win as a starter. His downfield passes were off all day long. Driskel had John Ross open deep for what could have been a long touchdown in the first quarter. However, he under threw the pass, leaving it five yards too short and it was instead intercepted. Late in the first half, Driskel had Tyler Boyd wide open for what should have been a 20-yard touchdown and again misfired badly. His balls were sailing high and he was simply off target most of the game. Driskel threw a strike on a slant route to Tyler Boyd for a 7-yard touchdown for his only real highlight of the day through the air. He did at least make some big plays with his legs. Just inside the red zone and facing 3rd-and-8, Driskel was able to scramble for a 13-yard gain to setup a touchdown. He showed nice speed and even made a man miss to get the first down. On a later 3rd-and-10, Driskel outraced a defender to the edge and was able to tiptoe along the sideline for a 13-yard gain.

RB Joe Mixon, 52 offensive snaps, Rush: 27 - 129 - 2, Rec: 2 - 1 - 0 (4 targets)
Mixon got off to a bit of a slow start on the ground but the Bengals were persistent in sticking with the run. It paid off. Mixon had a fantastic effort to break loose for a career-long, 47-yard gain. He made a man miss in the hole, bounced outside and weaved his way down the sideline. After the long gain, Mixon later finished off the drive with a 1-yard touchdown. Marvin Lewis decided to go for it on fourth down and Mixon rewarded his faith in the run game, burrowing through a small hole and keeping his balance to barely push across the goal line. Mixon took a toss sweep to the right and was able to get to the edge for a 15-yard touchdown. Mixon didnít have much success as a pass catcher, gaining just one yard on four targets. He was targeted near the goal line but Driskel misfired badly on the short pass. Overall, it was another excellent effort for Mixon who was the clear focal point of the offense. The Bengals are now 6-1 this season when Mixon carries the ball 20 times or more.

RB Giovani Bernard, 30 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 7 - 0, Rec: 2 - 25 - 0 (2 targets)
Bernard wasnít able to get much going on the ground. He had a 6-yard run up the gut in the second quarter but aside from that, he managed just a single yard on his other five carries. Bernard lined up in the slot and took a crossing route for a 22-yard gain.

WR Tyler Boyd, 39 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 38 - 1 (5 targets)
Boydís first catch of the day was a big one, keeping a first-quarter drive alive with a 7-yard gain on 4th-and-2. There wasnít much separation but he was able to bring it in and hold on despite the defender being right there. Boyd has had a knack for coming up big on key plays this season. Later on the same drive, Boyd caught a post route for a 21-yard gain to put himself over 1,000 receiving yards for the season and set the Bengals up inside the Raiders 10 yard line. A few plays later, Boyd finished the drive off with a 7-yard touchdown catch on a slant. He was able to get inside positioning and hold on through contact and push his way across the goal line. Boyd was wide open for what should have been his second touchdown of the day. He ran a post corner route and had the cornerback all turned around but Driskel fired the pass well off the mark. Boyd injured his knee while blocking and didnít play in the second half. His injury has been reported as a low-grade MCL sprain. However, with only two weeks left in the season and the Bengals eliminated from playoff contention, it could be a season-ending injury.

WR Alex Erickson, 36 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 23 - 0 (5 targets)
Erickson had a solid game that could have been even better but for two John Ross penalties that cost him yardage. One was a hold and the other a block in the back, that wiped out a long gain. Erickson also starred on special teams, with a 77-yard kick return putting the Bengals in position to ice the game. With Tyler Boyd likely out for the season, Erickson should be a starter the rest of the way.

WR John Ross, 73 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 3 - 0, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (5 targets)
The Bengals took a deep shot to Ross on the opening possession. He caught the ball but wasnít able to get either foot down in bounds. Ross has to do a better job of holding his ground against bump and run coverage to give the quarterback some room to work with along the sideline. Cincinnati took another deep shot to Ross on their next possession. This time, Ross got behind the defense on a deep post and would have had a long touchdown if the ball was not under thrown. Instead, the poor pass was intercepted. Rossí lone catch was a quick screen on third and long. Ross took a pitch on an end around for a short gain. Ross had a bad day as a blocker, with a block in the back on a big gain by Alex Erickson especially costly. He also had a holding penalty on another Erickson catch. Ross couldnít make a play along the side of the end zone on a crossing route. With the Bengals desperate for Ross to emerge, he continues to disappoint.

TE C.J. Uzomah, 69 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 27 - 0 (5 targets)
Uzomah had a quiet day but did get open down the seam for a big 27-yard gain.