Raiders vs. Bengals: Oakland’s Issues Go Beyond Talent

The Oakland Raiders travelled to Cincinnati and predictably got beat by the Bengals. After giving up 34 points, the Raiders have now allowed 169 points in the past four games. There’s nothing new about the Silver and Black getting blown out on the road and giving up more than 30 points, but they are finding new ways to lose big every week.

The recipe for Oakland’s losses has been slightly different each week and has rotated from issue to issue. Once the Raiders think they have corrected one, a different problem emerges. After the game against the Bengals, there are literally no silver linings left for the men with silver hats about their heads.

Oakland’s issues go far beyond talent. That’s what having issues in basically every imaginable area indicates. Sure, it would be nice to be able to pin all of Oakland’s problems on talent, but if that’s the case the Raiders are lacking it at literally every position. That clearly isn't the situation and why the coaching and culture have to be evaluated as possible reasons for Oakland’s poor play.

The Raiders lost their composure for the first time under head coach Dennis Allen. Lamarr Houston slammed quarterback Andy Dalton to the ground after a false start and Andrew Whitworth took exception which sparked a prolonged scuffle. Whitworth, Houston and Tommy Kelly were ejected and punches were thrown by several players on both teams.

The ejections came a play after the Raiders were robbed of a fumble recovery that was returned for a touchdown by an inadvertent whistle. The score would have cut the Bengals’ lead to 10 points. Cincinnati would instead go on to put the game away with a touchdown pass to tight end Jermaine Gresham.

Despite a badly blown call and the boiling over of emotions that followed, it was a defense that allowed 24 points in the first half and cost the Raiders the game. ...

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