Injuries, blunders, and an efficient Joe Burrow were too much for the Raiders to overcome in Saturday’s first-round AFC playoff game in Cincinnati, as the Cincinnati Bengals defeated the Las Vegas Raiders, 26-19, to end an entertaining Raiders season and the home team’s 31-year postseason drought.
Cincinnati Bengals End Losing Streak
Germaine Pratt’s name will live on in the memory of Cincinnati Bengals fans forever, as the linebacker produced a game-saving interception as the Raiders were on the verge of putting the game into overtime. Both quarterbacks, Derek Carr and Joe Burrow were sacked by the defense, but the Raiders’ QB was significantly more preoccupied throughout the game.
Burrow connected with Ja’Marr Chase three times in the first half to take a 20-13 lead into halftime. However, the Raiders’ defense answered brilliantly with two sacks on Burrow, providing them with the second-half lifeline they were hoping for.
Both kickers had a busy evening, with Daniel Carlson making four field-goal attempts and Evan McPherson making the same amount. It was a two-possession game in Cincinnati Bengals’ advantage in the fourth quarter. However, the Raiders’ defense was able to stop Burrow in the game’s closing two minutes. Derek Carr was a little confused at first, but he connected on a great pass with Darren Waller that gave everyone the feeling that a draw was on the way.
Overtime was approaching, but Germaine Pratt had other ideas. He made the interception that changed the Cincinnati Bengals’ and Paul Brown Stadium’s history.
Paul Brown Stadium had never hosted a successful Playoff game. It’s the first time the Cincinnati Bengals have won a postseason game since the league’s inception. On the opposite side of the field, credit to the Las Vegas Raiders for making it this far despite their numerous off-the-field difficulties. From Jon Gruden’s heinous emails to Henry Ruggs’ accident to Solomon Thomas’ mental health troubles, there has been a lot going on. This squad has had a difficult season, but they have managed to go through it with as much grace as possible.