Raiders get past turmoil, face AFC champ Bengals in playoffs

LAS VEGAS (10-7) at CINCINNATI (10-7)

Saturday, 4:35 p.m. EST, NBC

BETTING LINE: Bengals by 5 1/2, according to FanDuel SportsBook.

AGAINST THE SPREAD: Raiders 8-9; Bengals 10-7.

SERIES RECORD: Raiders lead 21-12.

LAST MEETING: Bengals beat Raiders 32-13 on Nov. 21 in Las Vegas.

LAST WEEK: Raiders beat Chargers 35-32, OT; Bengals lost to Browns 21-16.

RAIDERS OFFENSE: OVERALL (11), RUSH (28), PASS (6), SCORING (18).

RAIDERS DEFENSE: OVERALL (14), RUSH (19), PASS (13), SCORING (26).

BENGALS OFFENSE: OVERALL (13), RUSH (23), PASS (7), SCORING (T-7).

BENGALS DEFENSE: OVERALL (18), RUSH (5), PASS (26), SCORING (17).

TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Raiders minus-9; Bengals 0.

RAIDERS PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Derek Carr gets his first shot at the postseason after missing the Raiders’ appearance in 2016 with a broken leg. Carr’s 127 career starts are the third most for a QB in the Super Bowl era without appearing in a playoff game. Carr set the Raiders’ single-season record with 4,804 yards passing, but hasn’t been at his best the second half of the season. Carr ranks 18th in the NFL in passer rating over the last 10 weeks with 14 turnovers and only 11 TDs. But he has led four of his 30 career winning drives in that span.

BENGALS PLAYER TO WATCH: WR Ja’Marr Chase had one of the best rookie seasons in NFL history and is a leading candidate for Offensive Rookie of the Year. His 1,455 yards are the most for an NFL rookie in the Super Bowl era. His 81 receptions and 13 touchdowns are the most for a Bengals rookie. He finished 18 yards short of the NFL rookie record for a single season held by Houston’s Bill Groman (1,473 in 1960 in the AFL).

KEY MATCHUP: Las Vegas pass rush vs. Cincinnati offensive line. Las Vegas has some monster defensive linemen. Maxx Crosby, voted a Pro Bowl starter, had 11 pressures and two sacks of Chargers QB Justin Herbert. That gave him 101 pressures for the season, third most tracked by Pro Football Focus. Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue combined for 18 sacks in 2021. Injuries have Cincinnati relying on rookies for O-line depth.

KEY INJURIES:

Raiders: Lost DT Darius Philon to a significant knee injury last week in a blow to their run defense. … TE Darren Waller returned last week from a knee injury but had only two catches in his first game since Thanksgiving.

Bengals: QB Joe Burrow has a sore right knee but is expected to play. … Starting guards Quinton Spain and Hakeem Adeniji are slowed by ankle injuries but practiced this week. … K Evan McPherson (right groin) is practicing again after missing last Sunday’s game. … CB Ricardo Allen is out with a concussion.

SERIES NOTES: The Bengals routed the Raiders 32-13 in Week 11. … The Bengals have won four of the past five meetings, and five of the last seven. … The Raiders are 2-0 against Cincinnati in the playoffs, winning 31-28 in a divisional game at Oakland in 1975, and 20-10 in a divisional game at Los Angeles in 1990.

STATS AND STUFF: This is the Raiders’ first visit to Cincinnati since moving to Las Vegas in 2020. … They are in the postseason for the first time since 2016 and are seeking their first playoff victory since winning the 2002 AFC championship. … Las Vegas won four straight to end the season, with each game being decided by four points or fewer. … The Raiders set an NFL record with six wins with the winning score coming on the final play, and tied the 2011 Cardinals for most OT wins in a season with four. … Las Vegas’ minus-65 point differential is fourth worst ever for a playoff team. … Raiders K Daniel Carlson has five winning FGs on the final play and became the fourth player to make at least 90% of his FGs in a season with at least 40 attempts. … Las Vegas RB Josh Jacobs had a career-high 132 yards rushing last week and is averaging 94 yards rushing per game during the win streak after averaging 45.1 yards per game before then. … Raiders WR Hunter Renfrow became the third player in franchise history with at least 100 catches in a season with 103 for 1,038 yards. … Las Vegas has allowed opponents to convert 21 of 29 fourth-down tries (72.4%), worst in the NFL. … The Raiders have allowed opponents to score TDs on a league-worst 81.4% of red-zone drives and have scored TDs on 51.7% of their own red-zone drives, sixth worst. … The Bengals have lost eight consecutive playoff games since their last victory, 41-14 over the Houston Oilers on Jan. 6, 1991 … Cincinnati won three in a row and clinched the AFC North with a 34-31 victory over the Chiefs on Jan. 2 before resting most of its starters in a 21-16 loss to the Browns in the regular-season finale. … The Bengals went from worst to first in the division for the fifth time. They also did it in 1970, ’81, ’88 and ’90. … Burrow’s 108.3 passer rating was the best in team history, breaking Andy Dalton’s high of 106.3 from 2015. Burrow’s 4,611 yards passing yards and 34 touchdowns broke records set by Dalton in 2013. … Burrow had a 70.38% completion percentage, second best in team history (70.55% by Ken Anderson in 1982). … Chase’s five 100-yard receiving games tied him for second most in Bengals history. A.J. Green had six in 2013. … RB Joe Mixon, voted to the Pro Bowl, scored a TD in nine straight games. His 1,205 rushing yards were third best in the league. … Chase and DE Trey Hendrickson also were voted to the Pro Bowl. … McPherson’s nine FGs of 50 or more yards were the most in Bengals history. … Cincinnati has the second-fewest penalties in the NFL (72) and fewest penalty yards (620). … The Bengals’ offense is third in the league in passing yards per play (8.66) and fourth-down efficiency (65%). … Hendrickson’s 14 sacks were fifth best in the NFL.

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