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December 6, 2021

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Live coverage: Raiders’ tailspin continues as Bengals win comfortably at Allegiant

Joe Mixon scores two touchdowns for Cincinnati

Raiders-Bengals

David Becker / Associated Press

Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (91) sacks Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in Las Vegas.

Updated Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021 | 3:53 p.m.

The score may not look as embarrassing, but the Raiders’ second straight home loss was every bit as bad as the first.

Cincinnati beat Las Vegas 32-13 Sunday afternoon at Allegiant Stadium, handing the Raiders their third straight defeat overall. The Raiders now sit at 5-5 heading into Thursday’s Thanksgiving game against the Cowboys in Dallas.

The possibility of a playoff berth now officially feels remote, much unlike a month ago when the Raiders were sitting in first place in the AFC West. Las Vegas knew the game against Cincinnati shaped up as vital, but still came out with little energy and plenty of mistakes.

The Raiders’ offense could never get on track and didn’t find the end zone until early in the fourth quarter when Foster Moreau caught a 19-yard touchdown pass from Derek Carr. That made the score 16-13 to give the Raiders life, but then their defense couldn’t hold the way it had most of the day.

The Bengals went on a 12-play, 57-yard scoring drive capped by Ja’Marr Chase catching a six-yard touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone. Derek Carr, who threw for 215 yards in completing 19 of 27 attempts, threw an interception two plays later and the game might as well have been called then.

Cincinnati added a 20-yard touchdown run from Joe Mixon, who had 123 rushing yards on 30 carries, after Carr’s interception to build a cushion. Rookie kicker Evan McPherson paced Cincinnati for the rest of the game, making three field goals of more than 50 yards and also adding a 47-yarder inside the final two minutes.

Mixon also had the first touchdown of the afternoon after a controversial unnecessary roughness penalty on Brandon Facyson, who led with the crown of his helmet on a third-down stop, in the second quarter.

Las Vegas’ defense, led by another game of consistent pressure by Yannick Ngakoue and Maxx Crosby, routinely held Cincinnati at bay early. But penalties were a problem as the Raiders totaled seven flags for 77 yards, most of them on the defense.

They had an offensive game plan set up around tight end Darren Waller, who caught seven passes for 116 yards, but his biggest plays didn’t come until the fourth quarter. He had two long receptions to set up Moreau’s touchdown, but it proved to be too late.

Much like in the 41-14 loss to the Chiefs a week ago, the Raiders could neither make stops when it mattered nor muster enough offense for a comeback.

Check back to lasvegassun.com later for more coverage and read below for live updates from throughout the game.

Bengals starting to pull away

The Raiders are staring at a three-game losing streak after the Bengals’ second touchdown drive of the afternoon.

Ja’Marr Chase caught a 6-yard touchdown on a third-and-goal play with five minutes remaining to put Cincinnati up 22-13. Evan McPherson, whose made 50+ yard field goals today for the Bengals, missed the extra point.

Las Vegas’ defense had been up to the task of slowing Cincinnati for most of the day, but had its worst possession when it mattered. The Bengals went 57 yards on 12 plays for the scoring drive.

Raiders answer

The Raiders finally found the end zone for the first time in nearly a full game, dating back to last week’s loss to the Chiefs.

Las Vegas had to make something happen on offense, and it did so with a 19-yard touchdown pass from Derek Carr to Foster Moreau. The Raiders trail the Bengals 16-13 with 11:42 remaining after a quick-strike three-play, 75-yard scoring drive that took only 1:35 of game time.

Two completions to Darren Waller, for a total of 56 yards, set up Moreau’s score.

Bengals go up 10 points

For the first time today at Allegiant Stadium, it’s a two-score game. For the fifth time today, a field goal attempt was good.

Evan McPherson made a 51-yard field goal to finish off the Bengals’ latest drive and put them ahead 16-6 with 13:17 left to play. The Raiders’ defense continues to play well, having held Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow to 121 yards on 24 attempts, but the offense hasn’t been able to do anything to capitalize on it — and now they’re running out of time.

Las Vegas has to make something happen on this drive if it wants to avoid a three-game losing streak.

Evan McPherson makes another long field goal

Field goals continue to rule the day at Allegiant Stadium.

The Bengals are up 13-6 after a 53-yard field goal from Evan McPherson, his second of the day, was good to cap a nine-play, 34-yard drive. Las Vegas had only one first down in the opening drive out of halftime before punting back to Cincinnati.

Both offenses have struggled, as the Raiders sit at 127 yards on 27 plays while the Bengals have racked up 156 yards on 44 plays. All the Raiders' points have come from Daniel Carlson, who converted on field-goal attempts of 26 and 47 yards.

Joe Mixon scores game’s first touchdown

A controversial penalty has led to the first touchdown of the day at Allegiant Stadium.

Las Vegas had a third-down stop on Cincinnati, but for the third time this afternoon, extended the drive with a penalty. Brandon Facyson was called for unnecessary roughness on the tackle for leading with the crown of his helmet.

The crowd erupted in boos, the Raiders protested and the Bengals scored on the next play. Joe Mixon went off the right tackle for an 11-yard touchdown after the 15-yard penalty.

Cincinnati now leads Las Vegas 10-6.

Daniel Carlson knocks another one through

Another drive, another field goal.

Daniel Carlson made his second kick of the day, a 47-yarder to put the Raiders up 6-3 early in the second quarter. The Raiders leaned heavily on Josh Jacobs and Kenyan Drake on a 32-yard drive that ultimately stalled for the field goal.

Bengals get a field goal of their own

The Raiders’ defense is more or less responsible for all six points in a game tied 3-3 with the Bengals at the end of the first half.

After setting up the Las Vegas offense for an easy field goal early, it also got Cincinnati into field goal range on the next drive. The Raiders had forced a turnover on downs but Yannick Ngakoue shoved Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow late on a third-down play to get a roughing-the-passer penalty.

The Raiders had stopped the Bengals but the flag enabled the latter to extend their drive and eventually get Evan McPherson in position for a 54-yard field goal.

Raiders settle for field goal after forcing turnover

The Raiders have managed to score the game’s first points and somehow still get lightly booed.

Daniel Carlson made a 16-yard field goal to put Las Vegas up 3-0 on Cincinnati in the opening five minutes, but it was set up for much more than that. Yannick Ngakoue and Maxx Crosby combined to force a turnover on the Bengals’ first possession, causing Joe Burrow to fumble. Dallin Leavitt scooped the loose ball and returned it to the 10-yard line.

The Raiders could only gain one yard from there, however, and settled for the field goal.

Inactives list

Third down/receiving back Jalen Richard is out for the Raiders’ game this afternoon against the Bengals. Other than that, Las Vegas’ inactive list looks almost identical to past weeks.

Cornerback Keisean Nixon, linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski, defensive end Malcolm Koonce, tackle Jackson Barton and defensive tackle Kendal Vickers round out the report. Las Vegas still has some important players on injured reserve — fullback Alec Ingold joined cornerback Trayvon Mullen and guard Richie Incognito this week, to name a few — but it’s relatively healthy for being Week 11 of the season.

So are the Bengals, though, as they come off a bye for today’s game. That makes it two relatively evenly-matched teams for the showdown at Allegiant Stadium scheduled to kick off at 1:05 p.m.

Pregame

Three weeks ago, Cincinnati and Las Vegas were the top two seeds in the AFC playoff picture. It’s been all downhill from there for both sides. Neither the Bengals nor the Raiders have won since then, and now sit as the first two teams outside of the seven-team AFC postseason projection. Their paths have mirrored each other, as they both fell from grace with an upset loss in New Jersey — the Jets beat the Bengals while the Giants downed the Raiders — before getting blown out in by a division rival — the Kansas City Chiefs battered the Raiders while the Cleveland Browns crushed the Bengals. Their declines and head-to-head jockeying for playoff positioning make this matchup look much more significant than it appeared coming into the season. Given the stakes, and the fact that the Bengals are coming off their bye, the Raiders are expecting the most out of their opponent.

WEEK 11

• Who: Bengals (5-4) at Raiders (5-4)

• When: 1:05 p.m.

• Where: Allegiant Stadium

• TV: KLAS Channel 8, CBS

• Radio: Raider Nation Radio 920 AM, KOMP 92.3

• Betting line: Bengals -1, over/under: 50.5

Favorable matchup: Raiders’ defensive front vs. Bengals’ offensive line

Some version of this seems like it’s the favorable matchup every week, but there’s no getting around that the Raiders’ pass rush has been the team’s most consistent advantage all season. Edge rushers Maxx Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue are having Pro Bowl-caliber seasons, and the Bengals’ offensive line is not equipped to handle them. Cincinnati’s line has improved from last year when it was the consensus worst in the league — at least in pass protection. The Bengals rate 25th in allowing sacks on 7.63% of plays, but their past two games have been their worst as defenders have sacked Joe Burrow a combined eight times. Run blocking is even more of a problem as the Bengals rate last by power success rate, according to Football Outsiders. Therefore, Raiders linemen like Johnathan Hankins and Quinton Jefferson could be as disruptive as Crosby and Ngakoue.

Problematic matchup: Ja’Marr Chase vs. Raiders’ secondary

THEY SAID IT

“If you try to put blame on one particular thing, it ends up being a side street to a solution, and we try not to do that.” — Interim coach Rich Bisaccia on what problems he’d most like addressed out of the two-game losing streak

•••

“Maybe someday I’ll write a book and rank all my receivers. That would be fun.” — Quarterback Derek Carr when asked about working with Hunter Renfrow

•••

“Like Anchorman style if we all met up at a park? I think we would definitely have one of the stronger units. Daniel (Carlson) is massive for a kicker, so I think we’d have a really strong chance in an all-out special teams brawl.” — Punter A.J. Cole on a hypothetical fight involving the specialist units (punters, kickers, long-snappers) of all NFL teams

•••

“I coached with Joe (Burrow)’s dad, Jimmy Burrow, at North Dakota State, so I’ve known the family for many years and known Joe. Obviously, I think he was in seventh grade when they left but I know how competitive Joe is.”— Bradley on his personal connection to Burrow

When a team gets exposed in an area one week, it can be all but certain to get challenged in a similar fashion the next week. Kansas City created mismatches with its top receiver, Tyreek Hill, in a 41-14 victory in Las Vegas and Cincinnati will likely try to emulate the Chiefs’ success with Chase, a favorite to win Offensive Rookie of the Year. Chase has racked up 44 receptions for 835 yards and seven touchdowns. Las Vegas was lucky to avoid Hill converting more deep shots, but he tore the Raiders up on intermediate routes in between zones of their Cover 3 defense. Chase came into the league known as a deep threat, and the Bengals will try to get him behind the Raiders’ defense on occasion, but he’s been far more than just that through the first nine games of his career. He’s not easy to defend in any capacity.

Gamebreaker: Free safety Tre’von Moehrig

The Chiefs ruthlessly targeted strong safety Johnathan Abram in last week’s game, but mostly tried to stay away from Moehrig. That’s a testament to how well the rookie second-round pick has played at the back of the Raiders’ defense. There was one play he’d certainly like back from last week, however, as Moehrig dropped a sure interception just outside the end zone. After losing the turnover battle in back-to-back games, the Raiders are placing an emphasis on flipping it in their favor against the Bengals. They should have opportunities to pick off Burrow, whose 11 interceptions is tied with Carolina’s Sam Darnold for most on the year. Moehrig got his first career interception to all but clinch a victory in Denver last month, and he’s as good a bet as anyone on the defense to snag another against the Bengals. The keys will be maintaining his stellar level of play and keeping up with Chase on vertical routes.

Big Number: 102

That’s the league-leading number of tackles by linebacker Denzel Perryman, who has become the linchpin of the Raiders’ defense since arriving in a trade from Carolina in training camp. Wrapping up and finishing tackles will be vital this week, given that running back Joe Mixon ranks second in the NFL with 14 broken tackles and fifth with 308 yards after contact. Raiders defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said he was confident the team’s tackling was improving all season until last week. The Chiefs regularly ran through initial contact and added extra yards. If anyone can set the tone to fix the mistakes, it’s Perryman.

Best Bet (5-4 this season): Joe Burrow to throw an interception

The “yes” on the “Will the Joe Burrow throw an interception?” prop is available at as low as even money. That seems inaccurate for a player who averages more than one interception per game and has only gone two games this season without throwing one. The Raiders have just four interceptions, but they’ve been in position for more. Bradley says the Raiders have dropped six interceptions this year. That’s usually more indicative of bad luck than a fundamental, underlying problem. Burrow is aggressive and often faces a collapsing pocket. Las Vegas will make an effort to prolong his turnover woes.