By the end of the first half, the Cincinnati Bengals could see their third straight win in sight.
The offense scored three unanswered touchdowns in that thirty minutes, capped by a 55-yard field goal by Mike Nugent as time expired.
The Bengals went up by seven after BenJarvus Green-Ellis punched the football across the goal-line after a career-high 48-yard blast on third and short. He ended the game with 129 yards on 19 carries, following up his first 100-yard game of the season from last week at Kansas City.
The first touchdown pass from Andy Dalton went to the rookie Mohammad Sanu, as he continues his emergence as the Bengals’ No. 2 receiver. On his second touchdown toss, the “Red Rifle” redefined the meaning of the bullet pass, as he threw again to the young Sanu off of his back foot for seven points. The long field goal then came after Chris Crocker intercepted Carson Palmer’s last pass of the first half and returned it into Oakland territory.
The story of Cincinnati’s defense might be summed up by this quote from a Bengals announcer.
“The Raiders have more players ejected than touchdowns today.”
It was said after two Oakland players, along with Andrew Whitworth of the Cincinnati Bengals, were all ejected following a large skirmish during the fourth quarter. It was a play that followed a botched call by the referees when an “inadvertent whistle” cost the Raiders a touchdown via a Cincinnati fumble.
Carson Palmer was pressured time and time again, as the Raiders protection was under fire all afternoon from the Bengals’ front four.
It was only in the third quarter that the Raiders offense started to gain momentum, scoring a touchdown after starting with good field position. However, when it looked like Palmer was leading the Raiders downfield once more, Manny Lawson swatted the football out of the former Bengals quaterback's hands, and Rey Maualuga fell on it for the second Raiders' turnover of the day.
It led to a second field goal from Mike Nugent, and the Bengals never looked back. Andy Dalton threw his third touchdown of the day to Jermaine Gresham, and Cincinnati rolled to a 34-10 victory in front of the home crowd.