LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Week 18, Sunday night at Allegiant Stadium is without question the greatest Raiders victory in Vegas to date, and there is an argument it's one of the greatest games played in franchise history. The 35-32 overtime win against the Chargers was their fourth straight and punched their ticket to the postseason for just the second time since 2002.

But to steal a line from Raiders quarterback, Derek Carr; 'Nobody cares.'

The Raiders leave Friday for Cincinnati, looking for their first playoff win since the 2002 season. The silver and black will also have a chance to earn redemption for the second straight weekend. Outside of their two losses to Kansas City this season, the Bengals handed Vegas their worst loss of the season to the Bengals at Allegiant Stadium in Week 11.

Yeah, I think a lot of similarities between when we played the Chargers the first time too, is the intensity that we need to bring," explained Carr. "They came out and they have some really, really great players, all of their defense and especially on offense, as everyone knows. They're super talented, well coached. I felt that we didn't put our best foot forward. But at the same time, I don't want to take anything away from them because they beat us. And they did a good job of stopping us and getting the ball from us and all those things. So, for myself always is you want to take care of the football while still staying aggressive and all those good things. They beat us last time and we know what kind of team they are because we played them and they're super good, super talented, really well coached, like I said, and it'll be exciting challenge for us.”

In the biggest games, you need your best players to be your best players and for the Raiders on offense that starts with superstar tight end, Darren Waller. Waller returned to action last weekend after missing the previous five games with various injuries, as well as testing positive for COVID-19. He was held to a season-low two catches and 22 yards against the Chargers.

"I think he has had a better week than he has previously," explained Raiders interim head coach, Rich Bisaccia. "Today we gave him a couple more reps in the red zone periods and a couple more reps in the field periods today. We'll see what his soreness is tomorrow, but he looked better this week than he did a week ago, so hopefully it will show up in the game."

Again, with Darren and I, there was some rust there and some miscommunications and little things here and there that's easily fixable and easily correctable," saic Carr. "I mean we're correcting it on the field kind of thing and all that. But with the run game kicking up and Zay stepping up and Bryan[Edwards] making some clutch plays for us and all these kinds of things, I feel like we're a better team today than we were at the beginning of the year. I remember sitting here and saying, do we have to throw for 300 yards to win a football game? Because that's what the stats said. And now we can do that, or we can run the ball, we can play-action, we can do a lot of different things. And the more multiple you are as an offense, the better it is for your team.”

The Raiders listed 12 players on their final injury report of the week, with half of them designated as limited; including Waller and Josh Jacobs, though both are expected to play on Saturday. Defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins, who missed two practices earlier in the week, was on the field Thursday morning and is questionable against the Bengals.

"We're not practicing in pads; it was not what we call a competitive type of situation. we compete with our feet on a Friday, said Bisaccia. Try and practice with a little speed to us, we can run a little bit, run with our helmets a little bit, out our eyes in the right place, but it's not a competitive, physical type practice. Good energy today, good mindset. I think they're excited about the opportunity."
The Raiders have leaned on their special teams all season and intend to do the same on Wild Card Weekend in Cincinnati, where the weather report for Saturday afternoon shows wind and temperatures in the low 30's.
"It's going to be the same for both teams," said Biasscia. "I feel like they're prepared physically to do their jobs, they'll get a feel in pregame. I think we've played in Cleveland the last couple years and the weather has been great. I think they'll do a good job in pregame, get a feel for the weather, the wind, the field conditions, whatever they are, they'll be expected to go out there and play well."
Chargers Raiders Football

Las Vegas Raiders stand of the field during the second half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Ellen Schmidt)

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.