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Game Preview

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Game Preview: Week 11 Bengals at Raiders

Cincinnati Bengals cornerback B.W. Webb (23) stands on the field during the first half of a NFL football game.
Cincinnati Bengals cornerback B.W. Webb (23) stands on the field during the first half of a NFL football game.

Kickoff: 4:25 p.m. Eastern.

Television: The game will air on CBS-TV. In the Bengals' home region, it will be carried by WKRC-TV (Ch. 12) in Cincinnati, WHIO-TV (Ch. 7) in Dayton and on WKYT-TV (Ch. 27) in Lexington. Broadcasters are Greg Gumbel (play-by-play), Trent Green (analyst) and Melanie Collins (sideline reporter).

Radio: The game will air on the Bengals Radio Network, led by Cincinnati flagship stations WLW-AM (700), WCKY-AM (ESPN 1530; all sports) and WEBN-FM (102.7). Broadcasters are Dan Hoard (play-by-play) and Dave Lapham (analyst).

The game also will air nationally on Sports USA Radio, with broadcasters Ted Robinson (play-by-play) and Doug Plank (analyst).

Setting the scene: Still is in search of their first win of the season, the Bengals this week travel to Oakland to face the Raiders on Sunday at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

"We're shooting ourselves in the foot and not giving ourselves the best opportunities," head coach Zac Taylor said after the Bengals lost 49-13 at home to Baltimore (7-2) last week. "But we still have a bunch of players and coaches that believe in what we're doing, and that it's going to come at some point.

The Baltimore game marked the first start in the career of QB Ryan Finley, a rookie fourth-round pick who took over as Cincinnati's starter during the team's Week 9 bye. Finley drew positive reviews for much of his performance, which featured 16 completions in 30 attempts for 167 yards and a TD pass. But he also had two costly mistakes — an INT that was returned 89 yards for a TD, and a lost fumble that was returned 33 yards for a score.

"We had some really good drives," Finley said after the game. "But we have to finish them with points and eliminate some of those negative plays — that pick-six and that fumble for a touchdown. If we do that, the game is a lot closer."

A bright spot that emerged from the Baltimore game was the resurgence of HB Joe Mixon, who has not matched his output from a year ago, when he led the AFC with 1168 rushing yards. On Sunday, Mixon rushed for 114 yards on a career-high 30 carries against the Ravens, who entered the contest ranked second in the NFL in rush defense. Mixon also added 37 receiving yards (on two receptions), which gave him a season-high 151 yards from scrimmage.

And while the Bengals' 0-9 record has been disappointing, Taylor says he's confident a turnaround is near.

"It's always going to feel bad when you've lost as much as we have," Taylor said. "But we just need to approach this as a new game. It's a new opportunity for us. Our guys still believe we can win and get this thing turned around. I don't feel any differently when I'm in front of the team talking to them. We're excited to go play Oakland. It's another opportunity for our guys to put the past behind us, get a win and get the season jumpstarted and try to finish it the right way."

The Raiders enter Sunday's matchup 5-4, after a 26-24 win over the L.A. Chargers at home last week on Thursday Night Football.

The series: The Raiders lead, 20-11, including 2-0 in postseason, though the Bengals have won three straight, and four of the last five meetings. Despite the Bengals' recent success against the Raiders, Oakland has dominated as the home team throughout the series, leading the Bengals 14-2 in both Oakland and Los Angeles. The Bengals' road win in the most recent meeting in Oakland in 2015 was the team's first in 11 visits to Oakland dating back to 1968 (the Raiders were based in Los Angeles from 1982-94).

In all games, home and road, the Bengals are 7-14 against the Oakland Raiders and were 4-6 against the L.A. Raiders. The series includes two playoff games. The Raiders won 31-28 in a divisional game at Oakland in 1975, and they won 20-10 in a divisional game at Los Angeles in '90.

Bengals-Raiders connections: Bengals HB Joe Mixon is from Oakley, Calif. (Freedom High School) ... Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan was on the Raiders' staff in 2018. He also attended high school in Concord, Calif., where he played QB at De La Salle High School and was part of the program's national-record 151-game winning streak ... Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther was on the Bengals' staff from 2005-17 ... Raiders head coach Jon Gruden is from Sandusky, Ohio, and played quarterback at the University of Dayton ... Bengals OT Jonah Williams (Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform) is from Folsom, Calif. (Folsom High School) ... Bengals CB Tony McRae entered the NFL as a college free agent signee of the Raiders in 2016 ...Raiders LB Vontaze Burfict (Reserve/Suspended) entered the NFL with the Bengals as a college free agent in 2012, and was with the team through the '18 season ... Raiders QB DeShone Kizer is from Toledo, Ohio (Central Catholic High School) ... Raiders LB Quentin Poling is from Gomer, Ohio (Elida High School) and played at Ohio University ... Raiders DT Johnathan Hankins played at Ohio State University ... Bengals running backs coach Jemal Singleton was on the Raiders' staff in 2018 ... Raiders linebackers coach David Lippincott was on the Bengals' staff from 2011-17. He is also from Cincinnati (Moeller High School) and attended the University of Dayton ... Raiders defensive line coach Brentson Buckner played for the Bengals in 1997 ... Raiders assistant defensive backs coach Taver Johnson is from Cincinnati (Cincinnati Academy of Physical Education [CAPE]). He played (1990-93) and coached ('94-95) at Wittenberg University, and coached at Miami (Ohio) University (2000-03; 05-06) and Ohio State University ('07-11; '18) ... Bengals assistant strength and conditioning coach Todd Hunt played (2012-15) and coached ('16-17) at Fresno State University ... Bengals assistant strength and conditioning coach Garrett Swanson played at Fresno State University from 2012-15 ... Raiders tight ends coach Frank Smith played (1999-2003) and coached ('04-05) at Miami (Ohio) University ... Bengals WR Trenton Irwin (practice squad) played at Stanford University ...Bengals LB Hardy Nickerson (practice squad) is from Oakland, Calif. (Bishop O'Dowd High School), and played at the University of California, Berkeley from 2012-15 ... Bengals S Trayvon Henderson (practice squad) is from Sacramento, Calif.

Hey, Mr. Wilson: Coming into the 2019 season, Bengals S Brandon Wilson had just one career kickoff return — he was on the receiving end of a 36- yard pooch kick designed to run out the clock in the first half of Game 9 vs. New Orleans last season. But this season, Wilson leads the NFL with a 36.0-yard average on KORs, nearly seven yards better than the next-best qualifying player, Chicago's Cordarrelle Patterson (29.1). Wilson's 12 returns for 432 yards this season have included four of at least 40 yards and one TD.

Opportunity came knocking for Wilson in Game 5 this season, when the Bengals, who were already down their No. 1 KOR Darius Phillips (Reserve/Injured; knee), lost No. 2 KOR Alex Erickson to a concussion. On his first opportunity, Wilson, a third-year pro from the University of Houston, returned a kickoff 52 yards and nearly broke free for a TD. He later added a 40-yarder that was called back by a penalty.

The next week at Baltimore, Wilson bolted 92 yards for a TD on the game's opening kickoff, marking the first time in team history a Bengal has opened a game with a kickoff-return TD. The NFL's Next Gen Stats service, which tracks players' speed by using GPS, clocked Wilson's TD dash at 22.03 MPH, the third-fastest speed in the NFL this year and the fastest by a Bengal since NGS' launch in 2016. In Game 7 vs. Jacksonville, Wilson nearly scored again, but had to settle for a 61-yard return thanks to a shoestring tackle as he broke into the clear. And in Game 9 vs. Baltimore, he added a 47-yarder to his resume.

25 points does the trick: Since 2011, the Bengals own a 46-1-2 record (.959) when scoring 25 or more points. Only Miami has a better winning percentage, at .971 (33-1-0), when topping the 25-point mark over that span.

The Bengals were a perfect 6-0 in 2018 when scoring 25 points or more, and 0-10 when failing to hit the mark. They have yet to reach 25 points in a game in 2019.

Bengals draft picks stick in NFL: A familiar trend has emerged this season regarding which teams have the most keen eye for talent in the draft, and the Bengals are again toward the top of the list. As of Monday (11/11), there were 47 players on NFL rosters who entered the NFL as draft picks of the Bengals, two shy of New England for the most of any team in the NFL.

Cincinnati was among the top three teams all of last season as well, and even held a double-digit lead over the second place team early in the year before 13 qualifying players landed on the Bengals' Reserve/Injured list. Only players on active 53-man rosters are counted in this data.

Of the 53 players on Cincinnati's active roster on Monday (11/11), 39 entered the NFL with the Bengals — 32 as draft picks, and seven as college free agents. That total includes OT Andre Smith, a Bengals first-round pick in 2009 who later spent time with Minnesota and Arizona before rejoining Cincinnati.

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