Jul 31, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; A general view of a Cincinnati Bengals helmet during training camp at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Stripe Hype: Derek Carr showed a lot of people that he has the potential to be a solid NFL quarterback, what is the perception of Carr in Oakland?
Chase Ruttig: The perception of Carr is that of a savior of the franchise after years of awful QB play. Right now he is still a developing piece to the puzzle for the Raiders, but after so many years of mediocre passers filling the role the expectations and pressure are both high on Carr to be the franchise QB that this team needs to go to the next level.
SH: The Bengals are looking for their fifth straight playoff appearance, where the Raiders are looking for their first appearance since 2002. Is Raider Nation thinking that they have a legitimate shot this season or are they still looking to the future?
CR: They are still looking to the future. Khalil Mack and Derek Carr are second-year talents while Amari Cooper is a rookie. When three of your brightest talents have that little of experience you are usually rebuilding, especially with a new coaching staff. Some fans have the hope they can make a surprising run, but the expectation is that the Raiders are one year a way in my opinion.
SH: Hue Jackson will be returning to the Black Hole for the first time since his head coaching stint in 2011. What is the feeling in Oakland about his return as the Bengals offensive coordinator?
CR: If Jack Del Rio wasn’t hired I think the Jackson storyline would be bigger facing the coaching staff that replaced him, but save for the cult following he has I think most fans will be more interested in the season opener than any other storyline. The fact that it is the first game of the year should overshadow any attention to Jackson’s return even if he is the most successful coach the franchise has had since Jon Gruden guided the team to an AFC Championship.
SH: The Bengals haven’t beaten the Raiders on the road since the 1988, when they were in Los Angeles. What makes Oakland such a tough place to play and even win in for opposing teams?
CR: The Raiders won three straight at home to close 2014 as their only wins of the year against teams that were in the playoff race up until they were upset in Oakland, so the Coliseum is still a very tough place to get a win. With the passion of the fans the players can get a ton of momentum quick which is a huge part in why it is so hard to win going up against the Black Hole on Sundays.
SH: Prediction time, Who wins and what is the final score?
CR: My readers will hate me for this, but objectively I have to say the Bengals are a more complete team with a passing attack that will exploit a weak secondary with the young Raiders quarterbacks even if Andy Dalton doesn’t command the respect he deserves at times as a solid regular season QB. It will be a close game, but I think the Bengals will steal one in Oakland in the end.
Bengals 21 Raiders 17