Both teams have identical records (5-4), are in third place in their divisions, and even have wins over the Ravens and Steelers. But the trajectories of the two teams are going in the wrong direction.
What happens in Vegas does not seem to stay in Vegas for the Raiders, as the franchise is going through a tumultuous time. First of all, head coach John Gruden was fired after some unsavory emails from him were leaked. Rich Bisaccia was named interim head coach, and even won his first two games as the Raiders’ skipper.
In the last few weeks, the Raiders have had to release Henry Ruggs and Damon Arnette due to each player pulling some shocking off-the-field stunts. They were both of the teams’ 2020 first-round picks, so the Raiders are out some of their young talent for the rest of the season.
Despite winning their first two games under Bisaccia, the Raiders have lost two in a row. Their last game was a 41-14 loss in a “get right” game for the Chiefs.
The Bengals are hoping for a similar result in the desert this week.
The Bengals beat the Ravens in a 41-17 upset in Baltimore, claiming the top spot in the entire conference. Since then, the Bengals have lost to the Jets and the Browns, and have looked bad doing it. That caused the Bengals to drop to tenth in the standings, though some losses to the Browns and Raiders have helped the Bengals move back to the eighth spot this week.
The Raiders are at number nine, so this game could be the difference between making the playoffs and taking January off.
Both teams need a win, but who will get it? One team has a stud quarterback with the favorite for Rookie of the Year at wide receiver. The other team has an interim head coach and is out two first round picks.
But Mike White reminded us that anything can happen in the NFL.
Who wins Bengals vs. Raiders?
This poll is closed
The Raiders find a way
The Bengals get it right