Strategy And Personnel

The Sports Xchange

December 13, 2018 at 12:54 am.


–WR A.J. Green underwent surgery to repair a torn ligament on his toe on Tuesday.

–LB Vontaze Burfict did not practice Wednesday due to a concussion and may sit out this week. He was concussed two weeks ago against Denver and sat out last week.

–CB Dre Kirkpatrick did not practice Wednesday due to an ankle injury.

–T Clint Boling was limited in practice on Wednesday due to a knee injury.

–T Cordy Glenn was limited in practice on Wednesday due to a back injury. Glenn missed the last two games with the same injury.

–CB Tony McRae was limited in practice due to a concussion. He was concussed on a special teams play in the loss to Cleveland in Week 12 and missed the last two games.

–QB Jeff Driskel was listed on the injury report with a right shoulder injury but participated in practice Wednesday and is expected to play Sunday.

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: QB Jeff Driskel. Driskel has been adequate in his first two starts for Andy Dalton against Denver and the Los Angeles Chargers. This week he is going up against the league’s worst pass rush and when not handing off, could be provided with ample time to throw the ball downfield and on shorter yardage situations. “It comes with reps, and I have a decent amount of reps now under my belt,” Driskel said. “It will continue to slow down, and I’m going to keep preparing and making sure I’m ready come Sunday. I feel confident and excited to get out there this week again and finish the season strong at home.”

GAME PLAN: The run game will continue to get emphasized as it is incrementally getting results in the last three games despite the Bengals winning none of those games. After getting 20 and 23 carries, the Bengals had running back Joe Mixon carry the ball 26 times and the absence of A.J. Green plus improved offensive line play when not getting called for false starts enabled them to chew up yardage on the ground. Plus, the Raiders are the league’s second-worst run defense, only ahead of the Bengals.

–Bengals OL vs. Raiders DL. When not committing false-start penalties, the Bengals are getting improvement and this week they go up against the league’s worst pass rush. The Bengals are going up against a team whose pass rush grades the lowest at 53.2 by Pro Football Focus and does not have a pass rusher with at least 25 pressures.

–Bengals pass rush vs. Raiders OL. Cincinnati was modestly successful in getting two sacks in each of the last two games after getting none against Cleveland. This week they are facing an offensive line ranked 26th in pass blocking efficiency and 24th in pressures allowed.