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Joe Mixon ran for two touchdowns, Cincinnati converted two fourth-down conversions that led to two first-half touchdowns, and the Bengals defeated the Oakland Raiders 30-16 on Sunday in the Bengals’ final home game of the season, and perhaps Marvin Lewis’ final home game as head coach.
Rumors have circulated for weeks that Lewis’ 16th season as head coach of the Bengals will be his last. Cincinnati been hurt by injuries, with 14 players — including Andy Dalton and A.J. Green — on injured reserve.
That mattered little on Sunday.
After trailing by 17 in the first half, the Raiders got within one score in the fourth quarter, but Cincinnati answered the challenge.
Daniel Carlson’s 40-yard field goal with 5:09 left made the score 23-16 and gave the Raiders momentum.
Cincinnati’s Alex Erickson returned the ensuing kickoff 77 yards. Two plays later, Mixon scampered off right end for a 15-yard score to clinch the win for the Bengals.
The Bengals (6-8) played inspired ball as they snapped a five-game skid. In addition to the normally conservative Lewis gambling on fourth down, Cincinnati harassed Oakland quarterback Derek Carr, sacking him five times, and recovered two fumbles.
The Raiders (3-11) couldn’t get their offense on track. In their first five possessions, they punted three times and fumbled twice. Not having starting guards Kelechi Osemele and Gabe Jackson didn’t help Carr, as Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins had three sacks.
Carr finally got the offense revved up on the Raiders’ sixth possession. He completed 4 of 4 passes for 73 yards and got the Raiders on the board with a 1-yard lob to tight end Lee Smith.
On the touchdown to Smith, Carr set a new Raiders record for consecutive pass attempts without throwing an interception at 278.
The Bengals started their next drive inside Oakland territory for the third time in the half after a 41-yard kickoff return and a penalty. The drive stalled and Randy Bullock, on his birthday, connected on a 38-yard field goal.
Cincinnati quarterback Jeff Driskel was making just his third NFL start in place of Andy Dalton, who tore a thumb ligament against Cleveland in Week 11. Driskel completed only 14 of 33 attempts for 130 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Mixon rushed 27 times for 129 yards. and two scores.
Carr completed 21 of 38 pass attempts for 263 yards.
—Field Level Media