Originally published on SBReport.net on Nov. 25, 2012
The Raiders were unable to halt their losing streak as they fell on the losing end of a heated battle against the Cincinnati Bengals that saw three players ejected.
Things became heated in the fourth quarter when Bengals offensive tackle Andre Smith committed a false start just before the snap and Raiders defensive end Lamarr Houston dropped Andy Dalton for what would have been a sack. The simulated sack prompted offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth to shove Houston, sparking a brawl between all players on the field, and some from the bench.
The scene even included Raiders defensive coordinator Jason Tarver on the field trying to help hold players back including his former 49er’s linebacker Manny Lawson, as well as former Raiders head coach Hue Jackson attempting to break up the brawl.
When all the smoke settled, it resulted in the ejections of Whitworth, Houston and Tommy Kelly, who was ejected for entering the field from the bench.
All this occurred one play after it seemed as if the Raiders had scored a touchdown on a fumble recovery that would have brought the Raiders deficit to just 27-17 with time to formulate a late-game comeback.
Dalton found wide receiver Mohamed Sanu who was stripped by cornerback Joselio Hanson, who managed to dive and tip the ball to safety Tyvon Branch for what seemed to be a defensive touchdown for the Raiders.
Upon a completion of a meeting among the referees, they determined that the Bengals had the option of taking the ball where it went out of bounds or nullifying the play because of an “inadvertent whistle.”
“I thought it was a bad call. And like I said, it’s fourth down, it’s a dead ball,” Hanson said following the game. “You don’t give a team another chance. It’s tough enough to stop them on three downs and then give them a fourth. It’s tough to give them another chance.”
The call changed the whole complexion of the game as the advantageous Bengals capitalized with a touchdown pass to tight end Jermaine Gresham to give the Bengals a 34-10 lead.
“I feel like if we would’ve got that touchdown, we would have been down by ten with ten minutes left so we had a chance. But you know, things happen,” Hanson said.
It was a rough homecoming for Palmer even without the odd sequence of events in the fourth quarter. Palmer finished 19/34 for 146 yards, one touchdown and one interception while continuously being hit hard by the Bengals stout defensive line.
The Bengals set the tone when they applied pressure and recorded two sacks in Palmer on the Raiders first offensive series.
Oakland’s only points came in the third quarter after the defense gave up 24 quick points in the first half. The Raiders porous defense once again caused the Raiders offense to play catch up. In fact, the Raiders were out gained 289 total yards to just 83 in the first half.
“It’s just something we need to work on and watch the tape and focus on and just do our jobs,” Houston said of the first half defensive struggles.
The defense was able to turn it around and forced three consecutive three-and-outs to begin the half while and shutting the Bengals out in the third quarter.
“Our guys executed what they were being asked to execute better in that third quarter and we didn’t tackle well in the first part of the game,” head coach Dennis Allen said following the game.
With the final score, the Raiders have now given up 172 points to their opponent during their current four-game losing streak.
Being down for much of the game forced the Raiders to abandon the run as Marcel Reece finished with just 15 carries for 74 yards.
The Raiders porous rush defense once again showed up as BenJarvus Green-Ellis rushed for 129 yards, one touchdown and 19 carries. The Raiders continuously took poor angles and missed tackles, much of it occurring in the first half.
While the Raiders were able to limit Dalton to just 210 yards, he still found the endzone three times.
“Not a lot went right from start to finish and obviously we this wasn’t the way we came here expecting to play but you’ve got to tip your hats off to Cincinnati, they were the better team. We’ve got to get better,” Palmer said of the game.
Oakland heads back home to take on the Cleveland Browns back in O.Co Coliseum next Sunday.