It’s easy to overlook a team who has gone 56-136 since their last winning season (2002), and is on their eighth head coach since that last winning season, in which they actually lost in the Super Bowl.
But throw all of that out of the window.
The Bengals are 9-18 all-time against the Raiders. The Raiders are the team who gave the Bengals the dreaded "Curse of Bo Jackson" on January 13th of 1991.
In the Marvin Lewis era, the Bengals are 2-2 against the Raiders, winning both games at home (by an average of 20 points), and losing both in Oakland (both by a field goal). Just a reminder, this game is in Oakland.
The last time the two teams met was in 2012, which is highly memorable by many Bengals’ fans for two reasons.
First, it was the "Carson Palmer" game. The game marked Palmer’s only return to Cincinnati after deciding he would never play in Cincinnati again.
Second, it was the "Whitworth fight" game. Raiders defensive end Lamarr Houston ignored a whistle, blowing a play dead due to a false start, and knocked Bengals’ quarterback Andy Dalton down to the turf. Bengals’ left tackle Andrew Whitworth didn’t take too kindly to the cheap shot on his quarterback, and confronted Houston. A fight ensued, leading to Whitworth, Houston, and fellow Raider Tommy Kelly being ejected from the game.
Over 56,500 fans showed up to boo their former quarterback, and were not disappointed as the defense sacked Palmer four times, and picked him off once.
The Bengals led 24-0 at halftime, and seemed on their way to destroy a Raiders team destined for a 4-12 finish that season.
The Raiders started hustling and got the score to 24-10 as they were driving the ball. That's when Manny Lawson sacked Palmer. The sack led to a fumble recovery by Rey Maualuga, which helped the Bengals stop the Raiders’ momentum.
The Bengals pulled away in the fourth quarter en route to a 34-10 victory.
The 2015 matchup between the Bengals and Raiders doesn't have the same excitement in Bengaldom as the return of Palmer. But, it pairs a seemingly upcoming Raiders squad with a team looking to retain their place as a regular in the post-season.