Game Balls: Raiders vs Bengals


The Oakland Raiders’ Survive the Cincinatti Bengals in the Black Hole on Sunday.


Raiders head coach Jon Gruden warned his team about the 0-9 Bengals and used Kentucky’s loss to Evansville last week as an example. He told them that they needed to come out and play a clean game and take Cincinnati lightly. Quarterback Derek Carr took it to heart and led the Oakland Raiders to a 17-10 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

It was a tough, hard-fought victory for the Raiders who could be half a game behind the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West standings should they lose to the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday Night Football. The Raiders are fighting for a playoff spot and are in a position to punch their ticket, in-part thanks to a soft schedule the remainder of the way. The Silver and Black had to overcome a sluggish start and a very questionable false start call on offensive guard Ritchie Incognito in the fourth quarter, but rookie cornerback Trayvon Mullen came through with an interception to preserve the win.

Who deserves game balls? Three players stood out, and while Josh Jacobs had another stellar game (23 carries for 112 yards), I went in a different direction. Tyrell Williams also had a beautiful game for the Raiders catching four balls for 82 yards.


Now it is time to honor the players I thought balled out and give out the ” Raiders vs Packers Game Balls.”


Max Crosby:

Photo Credit: Las Vegas Review-Journal

When Raiders GM Mike Mayock drafted “Mad Max” Crosby in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft, he wanted him to continue to play with a high motor and create havoc for opposing quarterbacks. The Raiders didn’t expect Crosby to be a force this early though. On Sunday, Crosby had four sacks against the Bengals, setting a Raiders rookie record, and just missed on a few others. He also had four tackles and an assist. On the season, Crosby has 6.5 sacks and is getting better by the week.




Photo Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Derek Carr:

Carr is having an outstanding year. On Sunday, he continued to build on his exceptional year by going 25/29 for 292 yards with a touchdown and interception in the victory. He also had a rushing touchdown that showed his toughness and willingness to lay it all out on the line for his teammates. On third down and goal, Carr scrambled and eluded three Bengals defenders before leaping high between Cincinnati defenders into the endzone to give the Raiders a 17-10 led.

On the season, Carr is completing 72.3% of his passes for 2,494 yards, 15 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions. More importantly, he is executing Gruden’s offense to perfection. He isn’t pressing and forcing throws, rather he is taking what the defense is giving him and making big throws in critical parts of the game (i.e., third down and in the 4th quarter).


Photo Credit:

Darren Waller:

The Raiders found a diamond in Waller. His amazing season continued on Sunday as the explosive tight end caught five balls for 78 yards. But what stood out to me about Waller Sunday was his clutch catches in critical parts of the game. Late in the third quarter, Waller caught a second-down pass and turned upfield for a 25 yard gain, but a holding call nullified the play. Two plays later, on third down, Waller caught a Carr pass between multiple defenders and not only picked up the first down, but also an additional 15 yards.


The Raiders take on the Jets this Sunday at 10 am on CBS. If you want a place to watch the game, eat and have a good time, head to Al’s Garage in Summerlin. There are multiple televisions to watch all the games and Al’s has “Happy Hour” starts at 9 am and extends to 9 pm. Al’s Garage is located at 11760 W. Charleston Boulevard, Las Vegas, Nevada 89135.

Raiders vs Bengals

Joe Arrigo

Joe is the Co-Founder of Franchise Sports Media, former Los Angels sports talk host & producer, has covered Las Vegas sports for over five years and co-hosts The Q&A Raiders Podcast.

Raiders vs Bengals

Here is where you can follow Joe on social media:

Raiders vs Bengals