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Rookie fourth-round Maxx Crosby continued his impressive rookie season as a pass rusher today, with a day that was highlighted by a strip-sack in the first quarter on Cincinnati rookie quarterback Ryan Finley.
Derek Carr began the game with more than a dozen completions in a row and over 100 total yards passing on the Raiders’ fourth drive of the game. The Cincinnati defense had no answers for either Darren Waller, Tyrell Williams or Hunter Renfrow. Carr fell short of perfection, misreading the Bengals’ zone coverage on a slant to Renfrow that was picked off by safety Jessie Bates II.
Rookie quarterback Ryan Finley had a solid first half but fell apart in the final two quarters of play. On top of throwing what could have easily been a pick-six that was dropped by cornerback Trayvon Mullen, he was also picked off to seal the game late in the fourth quarter by the same man.
In what has ultimately been an uneven season for running back Joe Mixon due to this team usually being down big, he was able to get in the score column today with a nifty cutback run.
While the offense is working a rookie in at quarterback, the Cincinnati defensive line is tasked with an uphill battle to compete in the NFL. However, a seven-point defeat is no reason to be discouraged for standout performers Sam Hubbard and Carlos Dunlap on the edge. And interior defensive lineman Geno Atkins is still displaying elite traits in his age-31 season. Atkins scored his first sack on a stunt around left guard Richie Incognito to put a stop to Oakland’s first drive, and he found Carr again at the end of the first quarter, slicing past right guard Gabe Jackson in under two seconds.
While the Bengals’ defensive line kept the team in the game, coverage miscues from the linebackers and secondary undid much of that work. Strong safety Shawn Williams was guilty of a full handful of missed tackles, and the Cincinnati zone defense forced less than four incompletions the entire game.