Paul G's Instant Replay: Bengals 34, Raiders 10


Paul G's Instant Replay: Bengals 34, Raiders 10

CINCINNATI -- The Raiders failed to show up in the first half, played outstanding in the third quarter and were involved in another strange progression of plays in the fourth, when the referees lost control. The end result, a 34-10 Cincinnati Bengals victory over Oakland before an announced 56,503 at Paul Brown Stadium.The Raiders' losing streak reached four games and they have been outscored by a combined 169-79 in that stretch.Midway through the fourth quarter, the Raiders appeared to have a fumble recovery on a strip by Joselio Hanson for a touchdown that would have made the score 27-17 on Mohamed Sanu when the referees huddled and announced an "inadvertent whistle" stopped the play, giving the Bengals the choice of accepting the play or playing it over. They played it over. And on a Bengals delay of game, Lamarr Houston took Andy Dalton down, creating a melee that ended with the refs kicking out Houston, Tommy Kelly and Bengals left tackle Andrew Whitworth, despite Bengals defensive players Manny Lawson, Carlos Dunlap and Taylor Mays coming on the field. Former Raiders coach-turned Bengals assistant Hue Jackson also came on the field to play the role of peacemaker, so to speak.East Coast Woes continue: The Raiders' woes in the Eastern Time Zone continued as they lost their ninth straight game in the east, getting outscored by a combined 315-155 in the process. The skid dates back to the Bruce Gradkowski comeback game in Pittsburgh on Dec. 6, 2009. In fact, the Raiders are now just 5-26 in games played in the Eastern Time Zone since Dec. 15, 2002.A less-than-welcoming homecoming: Carson Palmer was booed lustily early and often as the Raiders quarterback made his first appearance in Cincinnati since "retiring" and being traded over a year ago. He was greeted by the Bengals just as rudely, getting sacked four times, including twice in the Raiders' first possession, losing a fumble and getting picked off. Palmer finished with 146 yards on 19 of 34 passing with a touchdown pass. His franchise-record streak of 200-yard passing games ended at 16.Halftime adjustments?: After getting outscored by a cumulative 123-34 in the third quarter this season, the Raiders beat the Bengals 10-0 in the third on Sunday, Sebastian Janikowski drilling a 50-yard field goal and Carson Palmer hit Denarius Moore for a 20-yard touchdown pass.Automatic SeaBassstill: Sebastian Janikowski's 55-yard field goal in the third quarter, kicked into the more open end of the stadium with the Ohio River in the background, easily cleared the crossbar. It was his 23rd made field goal of the season in 24 attempts. His only miss was the 64-yarder he attempted at the end of regulation against Jacksonville.Turning on a dime: After outscoring the Bengals 10-0 in the third quarter, climbing within two touchdowns at 24-10 and sitting at midfield on 2nd and 4, Carson Palmer was strip-sacked by Manny Lawson and Rey Maualuga recovered. Two plays later, BenJarvus Green-Ellis broke off a 39-yard run to the 1-yard line. A 20-yard field goal by Mike Nugent put the Bengals up by 17. Ballgame.Checking in with Tom Flores: The former two-time Super Bowl winning coach of the Raiders spares no one on the radio broadcast when things go sideways. Such was the case early. "The Raiders don't have an answer for the blitzes they've shown."Up next: The Raiders (3-8) begin a three-game homestand, their final three home games of the season, by playing host to the Cleveland Browns (3-8), who upended the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.

Cooper or Crabtree? Raiders dare opponents to pick their poison

Cooper or Crabtree? Raiders dare opponents to pick their poison

SARASOTA, Fla. – The Jacksonville Jaguars tried to take Raiders receiver Amari Cooper out of Sunday’s game. Sticky corner Jalen Ramsey shadowed the second-year pro, and was effective making quarterback Derek Carr look the other way.

It wasn’t that Ramsey dominated every play. Carr simply had more favorable options available.

Michael Crabtree was the best one. He turned the Jaguars game on its ear with a touchdown catch, a third-down conversion and a massive bomb caught over his shoulder for 56 yards.

Carr targeted Crabtree 11 times in Jacksonville, with eight completions for 96 yards and a touchdown.

Teams scheming against Cooper operate at their own peril this season, because that typically leaves Crabtree in a juicy matchup.

That was the case in Week 7, but it doesn’t always work that way.

Opponents also fear Crabtree, and for good reason. He has been clutch in the season’s first half, likely playing the best football of his career.

The Kansas City Chiefs didn’t want Crabtree to have a big day in Week 6, and put top-flight cornerback Marcus Peters – who can’t keep up with Cooper’s speed – on his trail. Crabtree was largely negated in that effort, though Cooper dominated to the tune of 10 receptions for 129 yards on 13 targets. Crabtree, by far Carr’s most frequent receiver, was only thrown to four times.

Carr’s message to future opponents from those two games: pick your poison.

“You have to always be ready for everything, and I think that our staff does an amazing job of giving me a lot of options for those instances,” Carr said at the Ritz-Carlton hotel, before Wednesday's practice. “If they’re going to take away (Cooper) this game, we have to get the other guys going. If they’re going to take ‘Crab’ away, we have to get the other guys going.

“What’s great about that (position group) is they’re all good with it. We just want to win. That’s what it comes down to, how can we push the ball down the field… I think our staff does an amazing job of filling that kind of stuff out if they’re trying to take one or the other away.”

Fluctuating target counts can be frustrating for receivers, who are often considered divas demanding the football at all times. The Raiders don’t have those personalities, a luxury quarterbacks dream about.

“We’re together, man,” Crabtree said. “We’re trying to win by any means. We know what’s at stake and I feel like we’re doing everything it takes to win.”

Sometimes, that means being unselfish. Ignoring stats can be tough for wideouts, but that isn’t an issue with two top receivers under contract an extended stretch.

Cooper and Crabtree have different playing styles and personality types, yet yin and yang in this Raiders offense without issue.

“We complement each other well,” Cooper said. “Having multiple options is really great to have, especially guys that threaten defenses.”

Fan dies after falling while leaving Broncos game

Fan dies after falling while leaving Broncos game

DENVER -- Authorities say a fan has died after falling 60 feet at the Denver Broncos' stadium after a game on Monday night.

Stadium Management Co., which operates Sports Authority Field at Mile High, said the fan fell over a railing.

The medical examiner's office said Tuesday the man was transported to a hospital and pronounced dead. He was identified as 36-year-old Jason Coy.

Denver police say he was sitting on a railing when he fell. Witnesses and emergency responders immediately tried to help.

The incident occurred near the north end of the stadium following the Broncos' game against the Houston Texans.

In a statement, the Broncos said the team is "reviewing this tragic incident and will continue to maintain all necessary safety measures for our fans."