ANALYSIS: Grading the Bengals’ 30-16 win over the Raiders

The Cincinnati Bengals finally put together a complete enough game to get a win but it was a few weeks too late.

Tyler Boyd topped 1,000 yards receiving for the season just before scoring the first touchdown, Joe Mixon recorded 100 yards rushing in back-to-back games for the first time in his career and the defense held the opponent to less than 300 yards of offense for a second straight week as the Bengals beat the Oakland Raiders 30-16 on Sunday.

»RELATED: 5 takeaways from Bengals’ win

Cincinnati (6-8) ended a five-game losing streak but officially was eliminated from the playoffs a few hours later when the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the New England Patriots.

Here are our grades in the Week 15 report card:


The Good: Mixon had a career day rushing for 129 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries. Quarterback Jeff Driskel had two big scrambles on third-down plays to extend scoring drives. He rushed for 15 yards on third-and-8 in the second quarter and had a 13-yard carry on third-and-10 on the final play of the third quarter.

»ARCHDEACON: Mixon emerging as one of top young backs in NFL

The Bad: Giovani Bernard finished with seven yards on six carries, and the Bengals had seven carries for loss.

Key Play: Mixon broke free for a 47-yard run early in the second quarter to move the Bengals into the red zone before he capped the drive with his first touchdown for a 14-0 lead. Cincinnati established control there and maintained at least a seven-point cushion the rest of the way.

Grade: A-


The Good: Tyler Boyd caught a 7-yard pass on fourth-and-2 in the first quarter with a defender draping over him, then had two more receptions on that drive, including a 21-yard grab and a 7-yard touchdown as he topped 1,000 yards and the Bengals took a 7-0 lead.

The Bad: Driskel had a rough day, completing just 14 of 33 passes for 130 yards with one interception. He badly underthrew John Ross on the first play from scrimmage after the defense got a turnover in the first quarter, and many of his passes were just off target. It didn’t help him that Boyd was out the entire second half with a knee injury.

Key Play: Boyd’s touchdown came on third-and-goal and it was important for Cincinnati to get seven points out of that drive to set the tone early.

Grade: F


The Good: The Raiders finished with just 68 yards on 16 carries, including 39 yards for Doug Martin.

The Bad: Tight end Darren Waller had a long run of 21 yards in the first quarter but the Raiders ended up punting that drive.

Key Play: Darqueze Dennard knocked the ball loose while making a tackle on Jalen Richard at the end of his 4-yard run that would have been a first down had Dennard not also recovered it. The Bengals drive 34 yards on seven plays to extend their lead to 17-0 in the second quarter.

Grade: A


The Good: Derek Carr completed just 21 of 38 passes for 263 yards and one touchdown and was sacked five times, one on which he fumbled as Sam Hubbard jarred the ball loose.

The Bad: Darren Waller was left wide open down the right side for a 44-yard reception to set up Oakland’s only touchdown of the day in the second quarter. Jalen Richard caught a 32-yard pass on third-and-3 in the third quarter as the Raiders went on to cut down a 20-7 deficit to 10 points. Jordy Nelson finished with 88 yards receiving, including a 44-yard catch.

Key Play: Geno Atkins had sacks on back-to-back plays in the fourth quarter to force a punt after the Bengals had extended their lead to 30-16 with 4:04 left. Cincinnati was able to get to the two-minute warning and kneel out the clock.

Grade: B-


The Good: Randy Bullock was 3-for-3 on field goals. Alex Erickson averaged 42.0 yards per kick return, including a long of 77.

The Bad: There were four special teams penalties, including a hold while Erickson had a 31-yard return.

Key Play: Erickson’s 77-yard return helped the Bengals seal the win, as they went on to score on Mixon’s second touchdown to make it 30-16 with 4:04 left.

Grade: B-


The Good: Bill Lazor stuck with the run and it paid off this time for a win. A lull in the third quarter could have been costly but the defense was able to hold the Raiders to two field goals in that time and they never got within seven points of the Bengals.

The Bad: The embarrassing false starts and special teams penalties continue to cause problems for the Bengals.

Key Play: The crowd liked that Marvin Lewis was going for it on fourth-and-2 from the Raiders’ 37 in the first quarter after the first five drives resulted in no points for either team. It worked out, as Boyd caught a 7-yard pass and went on to score a touchdown.

Grade: B+

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