It was the first time the Bengals won since late-October, as they ended a deplorable 1-7 stretch. Even so, the win wasn’t without warts. Here are the winners and losers from the Bengals in Week 15.
Joe Mixon: The second-year running back had his career-long run in 47 yards in the first half and inched his way closer to his first 1,000-yard rushing season. Mixon finished with his second consecutive 100-yard rushing game and his second touchdown clinched the win.
Tyler Boyd: What a season for the third-year receiver. While the stats weren’t eye-popping on the day because he left the game early with a knee injury, he eclipsed 1,000 yards on the season and scored a touchdown.
Boyd’s 1,000-yard season is the first by a Bengals receiver not named A.J. Green since Chad Johnson in 2009. He will likely be a guy the team looks to extend this offseason, let’s just hope the injury that ended his game in the second quarter isn’t serious.
Marvin Lewis: The defense he took over a few weeks forced two turnovers, while also garnering four sacks and spearheaded the rout by the team. Over the past two weeks, the Bengals have played inspired football, which was a stark contrast from the previous month and a half.
While the Bengals’ win doesn’t do them any favors in terms of draft positioning, the team’s trademark late-season surge with the year out of control helps Lewis. Might some late wins save his job for 2019?
Darqueze Dennard: While the Oakland passing attack isn’t the most potent in the league, Cincinnati’s defense held strong throughout the game. Dennard was particularly active, knocking down a pass while providing exceptional coverage and recovered a Jalen Richard fumble.
Sam Hubbard: Talk about rookie-on-rookie crime. Hubbard beat the Raiders’ first-round pick Kolton Miller multiple times and ended up with two sacks and a forced fumble. He has six sacks on the year and has been a nice find in the third round.
Geno Atkins: After disappearing for a stretch of games, Atkins ate the Raiders’ backup guards alive. He had six total tackles and three sacks, giving him 10 on the year.
Alex Redmond: Early in the game, Redmond had a false start penalty to stall out their first drive. He was part of a unit that paved the way for Mixon’s 100-yard rushing day, but the struggles up front continue to point to the potential need for Christian Westerman.
C.J. Uzomah: For how many times Uzomah was targeted on the day, just one catch for 27 yards was a pretty poor output. Some of it was due to errant Jeff Driskel throws, but others rattled off of his hands for incompletions. In this case, a “loser” is more akin to “a tough day at the office.”
John Ross: In this game, Ross had more block-in-the-back penalties (two) than catches (one). Ross has stepped up in the way of scoring touchdowns lately, but failed to take advantage of a beleaguered Raiders defense. He accounted for just nine total yards on two touches.
Jeff Driskel: As mentioned when talking about Uzomah, a lot of the overall struggles on offense came with Driskel’s inconsistent play. The team’s backup quarterback finished 14-of-33 for 130 passing yards, a touchdown and an interception.