Oakland, CA – The adulation that followed the signing of Aldon Smith was overshadowed by a poor performance by the Raiders today. It wasn’t what anyone expected as the defense flatlined against a dominant Bengals offense. Oakland was embarrassed and shutout 33-13 by Cincinnati in their season opener.
A rough start for the Raiders, the talked-about pass-rushing game never happened. The only rushing game we saw in the first quarter was LaTavius Murray with one carry for 2-yards. Derek Carr struggled to find open receivers, overthrew passes and was not in sync with the offense.
“Not the kind of performance we expected to have out there today,” said head coach Jack Del Rio. “It’s a very disappointing, embarrassing effort and I take full responsibility, but we’ll get it turned around and corrected.”
The Bengals out smarted Oakland’s defense on opening drive. Jeremy Hill rushed for a 3-yard touchdown making it a 7-0 game. He totaled 9 carries for 41 yards with two touchdowns in the first half. Aaron Dalton went 18-for-23 for 154 yards and one touchdown in the first half.
“We got the look that we wanted,” Dalton said. “Our guys made plays. I think that’s what it came down to. We executed exactly how we wanted to and it allowed us to have big games.”
The Raiders held Cincinnati to 24 points in the first half and that in itself was a miracle. At one point Oakland seemed to be a threat in the red zone but that didn’t last long. A 32-yard field goal from Brandon Tate extended Cincinnati’s lead 10-0 in the second. Things got worse for the Raiders when they lost their starting quarterback.
“Its a huge blow, he’s our starting quarterback, the leader of our offense, we need him,” Amari Cooper said.
No timetable on Carr’s return, neither his teammates nor coach had any answers as to how serious his injury is. Del Rio mentioned that x-rays that were taken showed were negative.
It appears Carr’s injury was on his throwing hand, he left the game with 5:21 in the second with a hand injury.
Matt McGloin replaced him and seemed unprepared. Oakland didn’t take a snap in Bengals territory until the first play of the fourth quarter. Cincinnati continued to out play Oakland’s defense on every level.
Hill got his second touchdown rushing for 2-yards giving the Bengals a 17-0 lead. And with 7 seconds left, Dalton found Tyler Eifert for a 13-yard touchdown to end the half.
McGloin’s struggles continued to start the third. His pass intended for Mychal Rivera was intercepted by Reggie Nelson. Khalil Mack just missed Dalton for the sack who found Rex Bulkhead for the first down. Then Giovani Bernard rushed for 28-yards setting up Eifert’s second touchdown who scored on a 8-yard pass from Dalton making it a 30-0 game.
“I am shocked, I thought we did very well this week,” said Justin Tuck. “Obviously we didn’t execute our game plan like they did. We didn’t play good at any phase. We have to go back to work next week, learn from this and move forward.”
Oakland avoided a shutout late in the fourth when McGloin found Marcel Reece twice for a 11-yard and 9-yard touchdown. The Raiders offense got better but had dug a hole to deep to recover. Reece finished the game with three receptions and 26yards and two touchdowns for his first career multi-touchdown game.