Found November 25, 2012 on
Bay Sports Nut:
Nothing but pride is on the line for the Oakland Raiders this Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.
But since the Silver and Black has spiraled down with three straight blowouts, perhaps pride will be enough to eke out a road victory in the Queen City. That, and the desire to play spoiler to the Bengals faint playoff hopes in the AFC.
The soap opera storylines are certainly in place as starting QB Carson Palmer returns to the scene of his first NFL franchise as an opponent. His “trade-me-or-watch-me-retire” negotiation tactic of last year got him out of town, but left him with few fans in the orange stripes of the Bengals. Expect a chorus of boos when number # 3 hits the field.
The revenge factor will also be in play for Cincy as former Raiders head man Hue Jackson currently is serving time as one of the Bengals secondary coaches. Things went south quickly for Hue Jack City, as the team finished out of the playoffs despite a 7-4 record at this same point last season.
However, given the debacle that is current head coach Dennis Allen’s defense, last year’s final record of 8-8 seems like the good ol’ days. The Raiders would have to win five of the remaining six games to match last year’s mediocre results.
So, why should the Raider Nation have any hope for a possible victory this week? One name and one name only: Marcel Reece. In the absence of any other healthy running backs, Reece has again become a central figure in the game plan, leading to last week’s 154 all purpose yards against the Saints.
While the Bengals aren’t nearly as bad as the Saints against the run (hell, nobody in the NFL is), Cincy is in middle of the pack in all defensive stats and doesn’t have a ton of playmakers on defense. Certainly, they don’t have anyone who matches up with Reece, a defensive coordinator’s nightmare.
Look for Reece to get loose, maybe for a score or two through the air and on the ground. The Raiders need him to have numbers similar to what he did to the Saints and hope for some luck.
The Bengals aren’t exactly world beaters. Their 5-5 record shows perfectly who they are this year. But QB Andy Dalton has played much better in recent weeks, WR A.J. Smith is a handful for everyone and this team put a big time hurt on the defending champ New York Giants two weeks ago. The Raiders need a huge games from Reece and Palmer, probably a surprise score from Denarius Moore or Darrius Hayward-Bey and a turnover or two.
Vegas has made the Raiders nearly a nine point dog on the road. That’s a little too high given the Bengals’ offense is hardly the high powered scheme that the Raiders have seen with recent opponents.
My gut says the Raiders are looking at a six point loss. So, I think the Silver and Black will beat the spread and have a puncher’s chance for a three-point upset. Let’s see if we can put a little bitterness into Hue’s Irish coffee this week.
The post Oakland Raiders slims hopes rest with Reece appeared first on Bay Area Sports Nut.
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