OAKLAND, Calif. _ The 33-13 Opening Day victory over the Raiders sent the Bengals winging back East as the only unbeaten team in the AFC North after the first weekend of play. It was their fourth straight September victory and sixth out of the last seven. It was also the first time they won back-to-back openers since they won three straight from 2005-07. . . .
Yes, the Raiders did roll out Aldon Smith Sunday after signing him Friday and as far as Bengals left tackle Andrew Whitworth could see, he was on the field for virtually every pass. But in one of the finest efforts ever by a tandem of Bengals tackles, quarterback Andy Dalton didn't get sacked in Sunday's 33-13 Opening Day victory over the Raiders.
Most of the time Smith was over Whitworth, but he also took seven or eight shots at right tackle Andre Smith. Smith, meanwhile, fended off sophomore sensation defensive end Khalil Mack with mostly one-on-one work. A handful of times he took a shot at Whitworth. But nothing.
"It was tough," Whitworth said of finding out when the team landed here Friday night that Smith was going to play.
Aldon Smith was cut by the Niners five weeks ago after yet another off-field incident that resulted in three misdemeanors and he hadn't been with a team since, but he's still a force.
"He's got something like 44 sacks in 50 games, but I've played him twice and he doesn't have one," Whitworth said. "They're good pass rushers. They're going to be a good team, but the Cincinnati Bengals have good tackles." . . .
Whitworth agreed everyone wanted to win one for offensive coordinator Hue Jackson on his return to Oakland. But, like he said, "It means a lot to a lot of us. It's a big year for a lot of us . . .I always like to leave things better than I found them and I didn't like hearing we had never won out here." . . .
Cornerback Adam Jones was immense. He knocked quarterback Derek Carr out of the game late in the second quarter when he made a saving stop on third down to set up a fourth-and-one stop that set up a touchdown. He set up another TD with an 18-yard punt return. And he led everybody with 10 tackles.
He also got called for unnecessary roughness on Raiders rookie wide receiver Amari Cooper when he tussled with him rather roughly. There is some speculation by ProFootballTalk.com with the NFL's crackdown on fighting that Jones could be suspended. After Cooper appeared to jab at Jones in the helmet, Jones ripped off Cooper's helmet and threw his head down on it.
"I'm here to play football," Jones said. "I don't back down from anybody and I'm not going to start anything. I'm not out there to hurt my team by any form or fashion. But I've got to make sure I protect myself period point blank."
Jones said he hoped Carr would come back after he hurt his hand.
"I never want to hurt anybody," Jones said. "That was not my intent." . . . .
Tyler Eifert's 104-yard effort was the first 100-yard game by a Bengals tight end since Tony McGee had one in the 1995 win in Indianapolis. . . .
The 33 points were the most in 13 Marvin Lewis openers, the most since the 36-35 loss in Tennessee in 1999, and tied for the third most in franchise history . . .