Raiders get past turmoil to take on AFC champion Bengals in playoffs

LAS VEGAS (10-7) at CINCINNATI (10-7)

Saturday, 4:35 PM EST, NBC

MATCH: Bengal with 5 1/2, according to FanDuel SportsBook.

AGAINST THE SPREAD: Raiders 8-9; Bengal 10-7.

SERIES RECORD: Raiders lead 21-12.

FINAL MEETING: Bengals defeated Raiders 32-13 on Nov. 21 in Las Vegas.

LAST WEEK: Raiders beat Chargers 35-32, OT; Bengals lost to Browns 21-16.

RAIDERS HILL: GENERAL (11), RUSH (28), PASS (6), SCORING (18).

RAIDERS DEFENSE: OVERALL (14), RUSH (19), PASS (13), SCORING (26).

BENGAL ATTACK: GENERAL (13), RUSH (23), PASS (7), SCORING (T-7).

BENGAL DEFENSE: GENERAL (18), RUSH (5), PASS (26), SCORING (17).

REVENUE DIFFERENCE: Raiders minus-9; Bengal 0.

RAIDERS PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Derek Carr gets his first postseason shot after missing out on the Raiders’ appearance in 2016 with a broken leg. Carr’s 127 career starts are the third most for a Super Bowl-era QB without appearing in a playoff game. Carr set the Raiders’ season record with 4,804 yards passing, but was not at his best the second half of the season. Carr has been ranked 18th in the NFL in passer rating for the past 10 weeks with 14 turnovers and only 11 TDs. But he has led four of his 30 winning races in that span.

BENGAL PLAYER TO WATCH: WR Ja’Marr Chase had one of the best rookie seasons in NFL history and is a leading candidate for Offensive Rookie of the Year. His 1,455 yards are the most for a Super Bowl-era NFL rookie. His 81 receptions and 13 touchdowns are the most for a Bengals rookie. He finished 18 yards short of the NFL rookie record for a single season held by Houston’s Bill Groman (1,473 in 1960 in the AFL).

IMPORTANT MATCHUP: Las Vegas pass rush vs. offensive line from Cincinnati. Las Vegas has some monstrous defensive linemen. Voted Pro Bowl starter Maxx Crosby had 11 pressures and two sacks of Chargers QB Justin Herbert. That gave him 101 pressures for the season, the third most followed by Pro Football Focus. Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue combined for 18 sacks in 2021. With injuries, Cincinnati relies on rookies for O-line depth.

MAIN INJURIES:

Raiders: Lost DT Darius Philon last week to a significant knee injury due to a blow to their running defense. …TE Darren Waller returned from a knee injury last week, but had just two catches in his first game since Thanksgiving.

Bengals: QB Joe Burrow has a sore right knee but is expected to play. … Starting guards Quinton Spain and Hakeem Adeniji are held back by ankle injuries, but have been practicing this week. … K Evan McPherson (right groin) is back to practice after missing last Sunday’s game. … CB Ricardo Allen is out with a concussion.

SERIES NOTES: The Bengals defeated the Raiders 32-13 in Week 11. …The Bengals have won four of their last five encounters and five of their last seven. … The Raiders are 2-0 against Cincinnati in the playoffs, winning 31-28 in a division game in Oakland in 1975 and 20-10 in a division game in Los Angeles in 1990.

STATS AND THINGS: This is the Raiders’ first visit to Cincinnati since moving to Las Vegas in 2020. …They are in the postseason for the first time since 2016, aiming for their first playoff win since winning the 2002 AFC Championship. …Las Vegas won four in a row to close out the season , with each game being decided by four points or less. … The Raiders set an NFL record with six wins with the winning score on the final game, tying the 2011 Cardinals for most OT wins in a season with four. … The minus-65 point difference in Las Vegas is the fourth worst ever for a playoff team. … Raiders K Daniel Carlson has five winning FGs in the last game and became the fourth player to make at least 90% of his FGs in a season with at least 40 tries. … Las Vegas RB Josh Jacobs had a career-high 132 yards rushing last week and is averaging 94 yards rushing per game during the win streak after averaging 45.1 yards per game for that time. … Raiders WR Hunter Renfrow became the third player in franchise history to have at least 100 catches in a season with 103 for 1,038 yards. … Las Vegas has allowed opponents to convert 21 of 29 fourth-down attempts (72.4%), the worst in the NFL. … The Raiders have enabled opponents to score TDs on a league-worst 81.4% of red zone drives and have scored TDs on 51.7% of their own red zone drives, sixth worst . … The Bengals have lost eight consecutive playoff games since their last win, 41-14 over the Houston Oilers on January 6, 1991 … Cincinnati won three in a row, taking the AFC North with a 34-31 victory over the Chiefs on January 2 before resting most of their starters in a 21-16 loss to the Browns in the regular season finale. …The Bengals went from worst to first in the division for the fifth time. They also did it in 1970, ’81, ’88 and ’90. … Burrow’s 108.3 passer rating was the best in team history, breaking Andy Dalton’s 2015 high of 106.3. Burrow’s 4,611 yards passing yards and 34 touchdowns broke Dalton records in 2013. … Burrow had a 70.38% completion rate, second best in team history (70.55% by Ken Anderson in 1982). … Chase’s five 100-yard receiving games tied him for the second most in Bengal’s history. AJ Green had six in 2013. … RB Joe Mixon, voted to the Pro Bowl, scored a TD in nine consecutive games. His 1,205 rushing yards were third best in the league. … Chase and DE Trey Hendrickson were also voted to the Pro Bowl. … McPherson’s nine FGs of 50 or more yards were the most in Bengal’s history. … Cincinnati has the second fewest penalties in the NFL (72) and fewest penalty yards (620). … The Bengal offense is third in the league in passing yards per game (8.66) and fourth-down efficiency (65%). … Hendrickson’s 14 sacks were the fifth best in the NFL.

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