With the Raiders at home, head coach Jon Gruden’s squad should have the fans on their side as they root for the 5-4 to maintain their winning streak and hopefully reach the postseason.
The Bengals should not give too much resistance for Oakland, but here are two x-factors to watch for as they face off on Sunday.
The rookie running back for the Raiders has had an incredible first-year campaign through nine games. Jacobs, a 21-year-old Alabama product selected in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, has rushed for 811 yards on 168 carries, scoring seven touchdowns. Additionally, Jacobs has chipped in 14 receptions for 132 yards, helping franchise quarterback Derek Carr in the passing game.
Meanwhile the Bengals may have the worst rushing defense in the league. Cincinnati’s defense has allowed 1,557 yards in nine games (173 yards per game)—by far the worst in the NFL. The Bengals are tied for giving up the second-most rushing touchdowns to opponents.
Jacobs should feast against this team at home, gobbling up yards to propel Oakland’s offense towards another victory—and that much closer to a playoff berth for Gruden and company.
If you’re asking “who?”, you’re not alone. The 24-year-old rookie Ryan Finley was picked by the Bengals in the fourth round of the 2019 draft and has since leapfrogged over longtime starting quarterback Andy Dalton in the depth chart, with first-year head coach Zac Taylor rolling out Finley with nothing else to lose for the remainder of the season.
Finley was not good in his career debut last week against Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens. Finley completed 16 of 30 pass attempts for 167 yards, scoring one touchdown in the air and throwing one interception. He also rushed for 22 yards on five carries.
Preventing Finley from having a breakout performance for the Bengals will be key for Oakland to cruise to a win.
The Raiders have back-to-back relatively easy games on the schedule with the Bengals visiting today and Oakland traveling to New Jersey to play the New York Jets—extending the two-game winning streak to four by beating up on bad teams will be crucial to stay in the AFC Wild Card race (the Chiefs should run away with the AFC West division title).
The Raiders can keep the good mojo flowing by beating up on the rookie Finley and the Bengals on Sunday.