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3 things we learned about the Raiders

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OAKLAND, Calif. — The Cincinnati Bengals started fast and didn’t let up Sunday, racing to a 33-13 season-opening victory against the Oakland Raiders and ruining coach Jack Del Rio’s debut on Sunday at O.co Coliseum.

Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton threw two touchdown passes, running back Jeremy Hill ran for two scores, and tight end Tyler Eifert caught nine passes for 104 yards and two touchdowns, all career highs.

The Bengals built a 33-0 third-quarter lead and went on to beat the Raiders in Oakland for the first time in franchise history after nine losses.

“You want to start fast and play well,” Dalton said. “I’m happy for the team. It kind of sets the tone for the season.”

For Del Rio and the Raiders, Sunday’s opener was a nightmare.

Not only did they lose the game, but they also lost quarterback Derek Carr to a right hand injury with under six minutes remaining in the first half. X-rays were negative, but Del Rio did not update Carr’s status for Oakland’s next game, against Baltimore.

“That’s a very disappointing, embarrassing effort,” Del Rio said. “I take full responsibility. We’ll get it turned around and corrected.”

Matt McGloin replaced Carr and connected on 23 of 31 passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns, both to fullback Marcel Reece in the fourth quarter, and one interception.

What we learned about the Raiders:

1. This Raiders defense looks a lot like last year’s defense, which ranked among the worst in the NFL in multiple categories. The Raiders gave up 396 yards and 33 points in their season-opener against Cincinnati. “I’m truly shocked,” Raiders defensive end Justin Tuck said. “I am shocked. I thought we prepared well this week. I thought we had a good game plan.”

2. Cornerback DJ Hayden is a work in progress. He made two glaring mistakes and plenty of other miscues Sunday against Cincinnati. Late in the first half, the Bengals faced third-and-3 from Raiders’ 4, and quarterback Andy Dalton completed a 1-yard pass to wide receiver A.J. Green. Instead of kicking a field goal, the Bengals got a first down, thanks to a holding call on Hayden, which looked more like a desperate hug of Green. The Bengals scored a touchdown on their next play. Then early in the third quarter, Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert got behind Hayden and caught Dalton’s 8-yard TD pass. Hayden never turned his head or saw the ball coming.

3. New coach Jack Del Rio provided no instant cure for what has ailed the Raiders for the past dozen years. Del Rio seemed shocked by how poorly the Raiders played Sunday in a 33-13 debacle against Cincinnati in his Raiders debut. “That’s a very disappointing, embarrassing effort,” Del Rio said. “I take full responsibility. We’ll get it turned around and corrected.”

Etc.:

–QB Derek Carr injured his right hand with under six minutes left in the first half Sunday in a 33-13 loss to Cincinnati. X-rays were negative, but Carr’s status for the Raiders’ upcoming game against Baltimore is not known. Carr was injured at the end of a scramble while trying to stiff-arm cornerback Adam Jones.

–FB Marcel Reece caught two touchdown passes in Oakland’s season-opening 33-13 loss to Cincinnati. Backup quarterback Matt McGloin threw both TD passes late in the fourth quarter, the first one for 11 yards and the second one for 9 yards.

–WR Amari Cooper made his Raiders debut Sunday with five catches for a team-high 47 yards in a loss to Cincinnati. He tied Jack Larscheid for the most catches in Week 1 by a Raiders rookie. Larscheid caught five passes on Sept. 11, 1960, against Houston.


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