The Bengals are this year's official Cinderella team, cruising to a 7-2 record on the strength of their surprise MVP candidate Cedric Benson. The Bengals are heavy 9.5-point favorites over the Raiders.
But the Bengals' Cinderella story hits a troublesome twist this week as they face the Raiders. Benson, the Bengals workhorse back who leads the league in carries, thinks he won't be able to face the Raiders because of a nagging hip injury.
Larry Johnson is quite a downgrade for the Bengals, and he's not exactly a Raider-killer. The last time the Raiders faced Johnson, they enjoyed their first win of the season. Johnson scored zero points and stumbled to a modest 3.3 yard-per-carry average.
Since then, Johnson's career dove downhill after he publicly ripped his coach and called his fans out with a gay slur on Twitter. Hope you enjoy feeling all the love from your new running back, Bengals fans!
Meanwhile, Raiders fans just got a better chance to feel the love of an upset win this weekend.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who finds the use of gay slurs unacceptable, except maybe when used toward Kansas City Chiefs fans.