Raiders

Raiders takeaways: What we learned in 17-10 win over lowly Bengals

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USATSI

Raiders takeaways: What we learned in 17-10 win over lowly Bengals

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND -- The Raiders played a rare role in Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The favorite. An overwhelming one at that.

Point spreads don’t often play out, and the 13-point favorites didn’t dominate nearly as much as that number would suggest.

This game was close all day, never separated by more than a score. They started with a deficit and ended up with a 17-10 victory, completing a perfect three-game homestand at Oakland Coliseum.

Some sloppy, lackadaisical play kept Cincinnati in the hunt, but the win was never truly in doubt down the stretch. The Bengals had opportunities to take control but were incapable of doing so due either to ineffectiveness or bursts of solid Raiders play.

The Raiders are now 6-4 on the season, still in the mix for a playoff spot. Here are three takeaways from the Silver and Black’s third straight win.

End result all that matters

The Raiders didn’t bring their best Sunday afternoon. A better opponent probably would’ve capitalized on that and made life rough on the home team. They probably would’ve finished the day leading on the scoreboard.

The winless Bengals weren’t capable of that. They offered some resistance, especially in their run game and with their pass rush but didn’t have enough to eclipse the Silver and Black.

In the end, that’s all that matters. The Raiders won. Doesn’t matter if it was close most of the time. The NFL doesn’t offer style points.

The Raiders held serve and sit a half-game behind the Kansas City Chiefs -- who play the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday night -- in the division. They sit in the AFC’s No. 7 slot, just outside the playoff picture as they don't hold the tiebreaker over the Chiefs.

This was a game the Raiders were supposed to win. They did that. They’ll have to do so again next week against the New York Jets to set up a Dec. 1 showdown with the Chiefs for the AFC West lead.

Derek Carr fuel-efficient

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was as efficient as ever through the air, adding another game to his run of solid performances Sunday afternoon.

Carr completed 25 of 29 passes for 292 yards, a touchdown and his first interception since Oct. 20. He also ran for a touchdown, slipping through the Bengals front to score from three yards out.

Carr was awesome at the start. He completed his first 14 passes -- the 15th should’ve been caught -- and had a 130.8 passer rating in the first half.

An interception trying to sneak a third-quarter pass to Hunter Renfrow – Jessie Bates undercut the route – was Carr’s major blemish.

Carr was under more pressure than usual in this one, which impacted some drives and kept things close. He failed to connect on a few key throws in the second half that stalled drives, but he played well overall and did what was required to secure a victory.

Maxx Crosby shows up big (again)

The first of two Raiders fourth-round draft picks entered Sunday’s game with 2.5 sacks. He exceeded that total against the Bengals with four takedowns in this game.

The first was a strip sack in the first quarter that Maurice Hurst recovered. The second came on third down in the third quarter and forced a punt. The third one wasn’t as consequential, but showed an efficiency impacting the quarterback displayed in recent games. The fourth made life hard on the Bengals' failed attempt to tie it late, which ended a play later on Trayvon Mullen's interception.

Crosby is a rare Raiders three-down defensive lineman, a role earned by making impact plays since getting an opportunity to play regularly in Week 4.

The Eastern Michigan product has 6.5 sacks total this season and is proving to be a steal from this draft’s middle rounds. Growth potential remains for a talented player still raw in several areas, with the work ethic required to develop under the Raiders coaching staff.

NFL rumors: Patriots won't re-sign Antonio Brown after Instagram apology

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USATSI

NFL rumors: Patriots won't re-sign Antonio Brown after Instagram apology

Antonio Brown's lengthy Instagram apology Saturday reportedly didn't sway the New England Patriots. 

The Patriots won't re-sign the one-time Raiders receiver, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Sunday citing league sources. 

Brown currently is under investigation by the NFL following multiple allegations of sexual assault in a federal lawsuit from former trainer Britney Taylor and subsequent accusations of sexual misconduct by an artist who worked in his Pittsburgh-area home in 2017. The Patriots cut Brown a day after it was reported Brown sent threatening text messages to the artist.

Although Schefter wrote that Brown "is expected to find work once the NFL wraps up its investigation," he reported that it is still possible Brown faces league discipline and ends up on the commissioner's exempt list -- even if the investigation ends before the regular season. 

[RELATED: Raiders' Jacobs reportedly 'a true game-time decision' vs. Titans]

The Raiders traded multiple draft picks to acquire Brown from the Pittsburgh Steelers this offseason, but cut the receiver before he played a game in Silver and Black. Brown asked for his release once the Raiders voided his contract guarantees following a fine for conduct detrimental to the team.

The 31-year-old was fined after confronting general manager Mike Mayock over missing a practice and a walkthrough during his prolonged helmet grievance with the NFL. The Raiders released Brown two days before the regular season. 

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NFL rumors: Raiders rookie Josh Jacobs a game-time decision vs. Titans

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AP

NFL rumors: Raiders rookie Josh Jacobs a game-time decision vs. Titans

Josh Jacobs' pain reportedly might be too much to play through Sunday. 

The Raiders running back posted on Snapchat last week that he fractured his shoulder, and NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Sunday, citing a source, that the rookie out of Alabama is "a true game-time decision" as a result of the injury. 

Jacobs, 21, has run for 1,061 yards on 218 attempts in his record-setting rookie season, surpassing Marcus Allen's first-year rushing mark in Week 9 and crossing the 1,000-yard plateau in last week's blowout loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. 

[RELATED: Why Waller must shine for Raiders in Week 14 vs. Titans]

The Raiders face a must-win situation Sunday at home against the Tennessee Titans, with Oakland's playoff hopes on life support after back-to-back losses to the New York Jets and the rival Chiefs. Jacobs has been a focal point of the Raiders' offense in his first NFL season, ranking ninth in the league with 236 total touches. 

If Jacobs doesn't play Sunday, he won't be the only big absence in the running game. Starting right tackle Trent Brown will not play at the Coliseum, either.