It's Opening Day for the Bengals, out of town, and at a place where they have never won.
THE CHALLENGE: The Oakland Raiders, who finished last in the AFC West in 2014 with a 3-13 record.The feeling here is that this is a much better club in 2015.
THE BENGALS DONUT: Cincinnati has played in Oakland ten times in the history of the franchise and has never won.
JUST ONCE: The only time the Bengals beat the Raiders on the road was in 1988 when the Raiders were playing at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Jim Breech had a couple of field goals that day, Ickey Woods and Stanley Wilson scored on touchdown runs, and Boomer Esiason had a big day passing.
THE LAST VISIT: The last time the Bengals visited Oakland was painful. That was 2009 when the Bengals jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the second quarter. After that they got outplayed and Oakland won 20-17 with future Bengal Bruce Gradkowski at quarterback.
SPENDING TIME IN THE NORTH: The Raiders start with the Bengals. The Ravens come to Oakland next Sunday and Oakland goes to Cleveland in week 3.
AHEAD FOR THE BENGALS: Cincinnati has its home opener next Sunday against San Diego. Then the Bengals go to Baltimore in week 3.
WATCH THE RUSH: Andy Dalton and his offensive line will be challenged today. Khalil Mack is a rising star at linebacker/DE. And now he apparently has Aldon Smith rushing the passer as well. The Raiders signed the former 49er's pass rusher on Friday. So far it looks like the NFL is letting him play.
AS THE DAY DEVELOPS: I'll be providing previews later this morning and update during the game on Facebook and Twitter.
FEARLESS PREDICTION: Bengals 27-24