The Oakland Raiders come into this game sporting the NFL's worst points against defense yielding 32.2 PPG. Through the air the Raiders have given up 20 TD passes which ties them for second worst in that category. With the quick strike capability of QB Andy Dalton and WR A.J. Green, I would expect for this combination to link up for at least 2 TD passes. A.J. Green comes into this game leading all NFL receivers in touchdown receptions with 10.
The Oakland defense should also have a hard time slowing down the Bengals running game. The Raiders gave up 122.4 YPG. With that they have allowed 14 rushing touchdowns, which is second worse in the league. Benjarvus Green-Ellis, though he comes into this game averaging 3.5 YPC, should be able to have a solid ballgame. This will help the Cincinnati Bengals' play-action passing game. Look for Green-Ellis to be a major factor in this game rushing the ball, and possibly going over the century mark in yards with a score.
Carson Palmer is going to have to get his arm ready for a long day. The Raiders quarterback has been throwing the ball a lot this season averaging 41 APG and 303 YPG. With all that, though, the Raiders have not fared too well on the scoreboard, only scoring 208 points through 10 games this season. The Bengals, in their last 3 games, have given up 16.7 PPG including holding Eli Manning and the New York Giants to 13 points two weeks ago.
However, with all that being said, I think Carson Palmer could have a solid performance; especially since this is his former team and he should be familiar with some of the defensive looks he will see this week. Carson Palmer will have extra motivation to perform against his former team and should come into Paul Brown Stadium with a grudge.
This game has the potential to be a shootout but in the end I expect the Cincinnati Bengals to come out victorious in a very intriguing AFC match-up with lots of subplots. The Raiders will put up a valiant effort, but with the Bengals still hanging on in the playoff race, I feel Cincinnati will pull this game out. This should be a an entertaining game.