The Cincinnati Bengals found a way to knock out the Las Vegas Raiders in the first NFL playoff game this season. Neither of these teams had been able to win a postseason matchup in years, but Joe Burrow’s Bengals were the ones to break that streak. Cincinnati won 26-19 but were winning practically the entire game. Cincinnati now advances to face off against the Tennessee Titans, a team that is coming off a bye week. As for the Raiders, they are now facing a top-24 draft selection.
Burrow’s Bengals Got It Done
Burrow was the leader of this team the entire way. He threw for 244 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. He needed to be efficient though as Joe Mixon only had 48 yards on 17 attempts. Burrow definitely had a lot of help in the passing game, with his top wideout Ja’Marr Chase grabbing nine receptions for 116 yards.
Defensively, they didn’t do anything insane. They racked up three sacks throughout the contest on Derek Carr. One of those sacks was by Trey Hendrickson, a guy who has broken their franchise record in that category in just his first season with the organization. On that play, he forced a fumble on Carr that dramatically changed the course of the game. Then Germaine Pratt snagged an interception to end the game with the Raiders driving to try and tie it up.
How Did the Raiders Perform?
The Raiders didn’t back down whatsoever. With all the off-field issues they were going through, they kept it close the entire game. Carr wound up throwing for 310 yards, a touchdown and that late game interception which came on a fourth down. Josh Jacobs had 13 rush attempts for 83 yards but should have been used a lot more than he was throughout the game. As expected, Darren Waller led the receiving stats with seven catches for 76 yards.
The real problem was their defense here. Unlike Cincinnati, Las Vegas didn’t make a single big play on defense the whole contest. They had two sacks and didn’t force a single turnover. Winning the turnover battle is key, and the Raiders didn’t do that here.
Side-story here, the officiating crew that did this game has since been banned from any other postseason game this year. They had a number of controversial calls and apparently the backlash was enough for the league to finally punish the referees for poor performances.
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