Andy Dalton and Bengals Pounce Early, Win Easily over Lifeless Oakland Raiders

Anthony Hardin Sr@AnthonyHardinContributor INovember 26, 2012

CINCINNATI, OH - NOVEMBER 25:  Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals throws a pass during the NFL game against the Oakland Raiders at Paul Brown Stadium on November 25, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The downward spiral for the Oakland Raiders continued as they visited Paul Brown Stadium and the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Raiders entered Sunday’s game on a three-game losing streak.  After the dust settled, that streak was extended to four games with little evidence that it will be snapped any time soon.  

This Raider squad just cannot seem to get out of their own way when it comes to mental mistakes and lackluster play. To say that the team played uninspired would be putting it lightly.

In fact, the only time the Raiders showed any heart was during an on-field brawl late in the fourth quarter that led to the ejection of defensive starters Tommy Kelly and Lamarr Houston.

The Bengals offense imposed their will on an over-matched Raider defense and dictated the flow of the game early and often. The Cincinnati offense, led by Andy Dalton, should be given all the credit for sticking to their game plan on offense, which consisted of a perfect combination of running the ball to set up the pass.

Andy Dalton made it look easy as he ended the game 16-of-30 with 210 yards and three touchdowns.

The main reason for the success of the passing game was the outstanding performance of running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who ran for 129 yards and one touchdown.

His two longest runs were for 48 and 39 yards, respectively. It was the first time since 2010 that Green-Ellis had a run of over 20 yards, and he did it twice against the Raiders pitiful defense.

If there was any silver lining to this dark cloud, it would be that the Raider secondary did not give up a touchdown reception to phenom wide receiver A.J. Green. He ended the day with a stat line of three receptions for 111 yards.

Once again, the Raiders were forced to abandon their nonexistent running game and play catch up by chucking the football all over the field. This would have been a great scheme had the Oakland receivers decided to actually catch any of the passes that were intended for them.

The “high powered” passing game took a huge hit today, and quarterback Carson Palmer had one of his worst statistical days of the season going 19-of-34 for 146 yards, one touchdown and one interception, while being sacked four times.

The lone highlight was a beautiful 20-yard pass to Denarius Moore for a TD late in the third quarter.

Much was made of the return of Carson Palmer to the franchise where he started his career, but that return quickly turned in to a nightmare for Palmer and the Raiders.

The Raider running game struggled to find any rhythm; Marcel Reece would finish the day with 15 rushes for 74 yards and no touchdowns.

Until the Raiders can find a rushing attack to add balance to the passing game, this offense will continue to fail.

The biggest disappointment of the day, as it has been every weekend, was the play of the Oakland Raiders defense, which is one the worst in the NFL and still shows no signs of getting better.

This unit has given up 169 points over the course of the team's four-game losing streak.

Now, with the suspensions of key starters Tommy Kelly and Lamarr Houston, this dreadful defense could actually get worse.

With the season spiraling out of control and another losing campaign looming, this Oakland Raider squad needs a major gut check.

Someone from either side of the ball needs to step up and say enough is enough. The excuses need to stop and there needs to be accountability from this team and organization as a whole, and it needs to happen quickly.

Until that happens, the Raider Nation can expect more of the same results.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.