Both teams are in the midst of a two-game losing streak and simply look like a shell of their former self in recent weeks. At times, the Bengals and Raiders held some of the top seeds in the AFC Conference, that is not the case anymore.
Heading into Week 11, Cincy and Vegas both stand at 5-4 attempting to gain playoff traction yet again. For Cincinnati, they have a handful of favorable matchups they must take advantage of in a game that is expected to be tightly contested.
If the stripes can capitalize on particular one-on-one battles, several Bengals could be in for huge days. Now let’s get crazy, here are three bold predictions.
1. Joe Mixon will gain 150+ all-purpose yards vs. the Raiders
Cincy’s running back Joe Mixon is in the middle of one of his better seasons in his career: 636 rushing yards, 4.2 yards per rush, 194 passing yards, and nine all-purpose touchdowns.
The Bengals’ offensive line has struggled in the run-blocking department in several games, so this makes Mixon’s year even more impressive at this point. The O-line is coming off back-to-back games where they did not play too well; the offensive line shows up this week after getting much-needed rest in the BYE week.
If Mixon is given good blocking, he will shred defenses this season at his current level of play. Plus, the Raiders’ rushing defense is their weakness allowing 129.1 rushing yards per game (27th) and 4.5 yards per attempt (24th).
Furthermore, Zac Taylor could look to establish the run due to the Vegas pass rush. Pass rushers will become a little more hesitant and start thinking more when the run is working. A good rushing attack will also allow the Bengals to avoid 3rd-and-longs (the obvious passing downs).
Mixon could have a huge day thanks to a favorable game script and facing a subpar rushing defense. Look for Mixon to have a huge day if the stripes emerge victorious Sunday afternoon.