NFL Playoffs

Raiders-Bengals Preview: What to Know About Saturday's AFC Wild-Card Matchup

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The Las Vegas Raiders overcame a season of turmoil and clinched a wild card berth on the last day of the season. They travel to Cincinnati to face the Bengals on Saturday.

Kickoff is 1:35 p.m. Pacific time, and the game will be televised on NBC.

Here's what to know about the Raiders-Bengals AFC wild-card game:

RAIDERS PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Derek Carr gets his first shot at the postseason after missing the Raiders' appearance in 2016 with a broken leg. Carr's 127 career starts are the third most for a QB in the Super Bowl era without appearing in a playoff game. Carr set the Raiders' single-season record with 4,804 yards passing, but hasn't been at his best the second half of the season. Carr ranks 18th in the NFL in passer rating over the last 10 weeks with 14 turnovers and only 11 TDs. But he has led four of his 30 career winning drives in that span.

BENGALS PLAYER TO WATCH: WR Ja'Marr Chase had one of the best rookie seasons in NFL history and is a leading candidate for Offensive Rookie of the Year. His 1,455 yards are the most for an NFL rookie in the Super Bowl era. His 81 receptions and 13 touchdowns are the most for a Bengals rookie. He finished 18 yards short of the NFL rookie record for a single season held by Houston's Bill Groman (1,473 in 1960 in the AFL).

KEY MATCHUP: Las Vegas pass rush vs. Cincinnati offensive line. Las Vegas has some monster defensive linemen. Maxx Crosby, voted a Pro Bowl starter, had 11 pressures and two sacks of Chargers QB Justin Herbert. That gave him 101 pressures for the season, third most tracked by Pro Football Focus. Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue combined for 18 sacks in 2021. Injuries have Cincinnati relying on rookies for O-line depth.

KEY INJURIES: Raiders: Lost DT Darius Philon to a significant knee injury last week in a blow to their run defense. … TE Darren Waller returned last week from a knee injury but had only two catches in his first game since Thanksgiving. Bengals: QB Joe Burrow has a sore right knee but is expected to play. … Starting guards Quinton Spain and Hakeem Adeniji are slowed by ankle injuries but practiced this week. … K Evan McPherson (right groin) is practicing again after missing last Sunday's game. … CB Ricardo Allen is out with a concussion.

SERIES NOTES: The Bengals routed the Raiders 32-13 in Week 11. … The Bengals have won four of the past five meetings, and five of the last seven. … The Raiders are 2-0 against Cincinnati in the playoffs, winning 31-28 in a divisional game at Oakland in 1975, and 20-10 in a divisional game at Los Angeles in 1990.

STATS AND STUFF: The Raiders are in the postseason for the first time since 2016 and are seeking their first playoff victory since winning the 2002 AFC championship. … The Raiders set an NFL record with six wins with the winning score coming on the final play, and tied the 2011 Cardinals for most OT wins in a season with four. … Las Vegas' minus-65 point differential is fourth worst ever for a playoff team. … Las Vegas has allowed opponents to convert 21 of 29 fourth-down tries (72.4%), worst in the NFL. … The Raiders have allowed opponents to score TDs on a league-worst 81.4% of red-zone drives and have scored TDs on 51.7% of their own red-zone drives, sixth worst. … The Bengals have lost eight consecutive playoff games since their last victory, 41-14 over the Houston Oilers on Jan. 6, 1991. … Cincinnati has the second-fewest penalties in the NFL (72) and fewest penalty yards (620).

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