The Oakland Raiders handed the Cincinnati Bengals their 10th-straight loss of the season with a narrow 17-10 victory Sunday afternoon at the Coliseum.
The victory gives Oakland (6-4) the same record as the first-place Kansas City Chiefs in a wide-open AFC West race.
Rookie Trayvon Mullen sealed the game with his first career interception with 1:17 remaining in the fourth.
Two turnovers within 1:18 from each team in the first quarter got things off to a sloppy start. Maxx Crosby got pressure on Bengals QB Ryan Finley and came from behind to knock the ball loose and hand Oakland amazing field position at the Cincinatti 28.
Mixon imposed his will on the Raiders defense, gushing through to the second level on a consistent basis in the first quarter.
The Bengals came into Sunday dead last in sacks, but were able to get to Carr three times against the AFC’s top-ranked offensive line. At the end of the first quarter, the Raiders were down 7-0.
In the first quarter, Oakland had 1 yard of net passing. They finished the half with 151 passing yards while outscoring Cincinnati 14-0 in the second.
The next play, Carr fell back to pass, but kept his eyes up, cut back, and leapt into the end zone for his first rushing touchdown of the season and it capped off Oakland’s dominance in the second quarter.
Finley rushed for 24 yards to the Oakland 41-yard line to set up K Randy Bullock for a 53-yard field goal to cut the lead to four. Fortunately for Oakland, Bullock missed wide left, preserving Oakland’s 14-7 lead going into halftime.
The Raiders started their first second-half drive at their own 9-yard line. The Raiders were marching to midfield until Bates read the eyes of Carr and cut in front of the pass intended for Hunter Renfrow for an interception. Four plays later, Bullock hit a 40-yard field goal.
Three possessions for the Raiders ended in two punts, an interception and failing to score in the third quarter gave the winless Bengals the ball entering the fourth quarter down only 14-10.
Able to get the Bengals offense off the field, the Raiders made their way into the red zone for the first time in the second half in a drive that featured a 32-yard catch from Waller, Oakland’s leading receiver, and a 21-run from Jacobs.
At the 1-yard line, a penalty from G Richie Incognito pushed Oakland back to the 6-yard line. A couple of failed passes attempts forced Oakland to kick a 20-yard field goal for a 17-10 lead, still a one possession game for Cincinnati.
Both teams are young, except that the youth seems to be working in favor of the Raiders. The average age of the Raiders is 25.6, ninth-youngest of the team in the team. There are potential building blocks for Oakland’s franchise on both sides on the ball and it showed in Sunday’s contest.
Crosby had three sacks on Sunday afternoon and caused a fumble, Clelin Ferrell knocked down passes, Renfrow (4 catches, 61 yards) is becoming a steady blanket for Carr, and Jacobs (18 carries, 118 yards) is an absolute workhorse.
The win shows the maturity of Oakland to take every opponent seriously as they enter Week 12 very much in the playoff race. The Pittsburgh Steelers (5-5) and the Tennessee Titans (5-5) are all within half a game of the final wildcard spot. Oakland has a favorable remaining schedule with all opponents struggling.
Next week has Oakland going to New York to face the Jets (3-7) next Sunday at Metlife Stadium.