Bengals stop skidding with confidence win over Raiders – CBS Sacramento


CINCINNATI (AP) – The Cincinnati Bengals have lost the first game after the week off in each of the past five seasons.

It provided a little extra motivation for Sunday’s game against the Las Vegas Raiders.

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The Bengals (6-4) have done enough good things and wore down the declining Raiders (5-5) in the second half to a 32-13 win who snapped a two-game slip and restarted their confidence before a rigorous seven-game stretch run.

It’s also worth noting that the sixth victory tied the combined total of coach Zac Taylor’s first two seasons at Cincinnati.

“We just stayed the course,” said defensive end Sam Hubbard, who sacked and recovered the fumble from Derek Carr. “We are improving day by day, game after game. “

Knowing they would have to throw the ball against the Raiders’ strong pass defense, the Bengals gave the ball to Joe Mixon 30 times. He and the offensive line eventually wore out Las Vegas, with Mixon picking up 97 of his 123 yards in the second half. He ran for two touchdowns.

Quarterback Joe Burrow struggled more than usual, completing 20 of 29 attempted passes for 148 yards. His best throw of the day was a 6 yard beauty to widened rookie Ja’Marr Chase in the left-back corner of the end zone that opened up a 22-13 lead for Cincinnati with five minutes remaining.

Chase, an offensive rookie of the year contender, leads all freshmen with eight touchdowns.

Rookie Evan McPherson became the 13th player in NFL history to score three goals for at least 50 yards in a game, including one from 54 yards all season to tie the score at 3 in the first quarter. His four field goals have been the highest in a game this season. He made 11 of 14 attempts.

WHAT WORKS

The defense limited the Raiders to 278 yards, the second time the Bengals have held an opponent to less than 300 yards in a game. It was the third lowest total for Las Vegas this season. Carr has been sacked twice, and Cincinnati cornerback Eli Apple intercepted him in the fourth quarter. Two pieces after Apple’s choice, Mixon broke for a 20 yard TD which puts the game out of reach. The Raiders were just 1 for 7 on the third down.

WHAT NEEDS HELP

Burrow was not sharp. His 148 passing yards were a career low. He forced the shots, dabbled in Cincinnati’s first possession and was manhandled by Raiders passers. He has been sacked three times. The fourth-quarter kicking pass to Chase was his first touchdown throw in eight quarters. After a sack at the end of the first half, he limped off the pitch in favor of his surgically repaired left knee, but apparently he’s doing fine.

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“Each game will be played with a different style,” said Taylor. “We knew it was a game we were going to have to lead the football on. (Burrow) just wants to win, and he doesn’t care what that looks like.

STORE

Mixon – and the offensive line – continued to grind and ultimately broke the Raiders. After averaging just 2.4 yards on 11 carries in the first half, he pushed it to 6.5 on 19 carries in the second. His 30 races were a season high.

“We were really lucky to exhaust the guys,” Mixon said, “and the big runs started to happen.”

SOLD OUT

Besides Chase’s slick touchdown, the Bengals receivers were missing out on big plays. Tyler Boyd had six catches for 49 yards, Chase has three for 32, and Tee Higgins has two for 15. The longest gain was a 17-yard reception by Chase.

KEY NUMBER

1 – Number of penalties of the Bengals against the Raiders.

NEXT STEPS

The Bengals got right back into the AFC North race. Five of their last seven games are at home and they face the three rivals AFC North again, starting with the Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday.

“I’m really proud that they come out after a pass, get a big win on the road and come back and get ready for an important division game with us,” said Taylor.

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