One of the reasons the NFL is so popular is because anything can happen, on any given day. After a thrilling win over the Bengals in the Queen City, the Browns were looking forward to playing at home before the bye week. However, that dream turned into a nightmare around 11 A.M. It is around that time that sleet, hail, and strong winds started to pick up in Downtown Cleveland. By the time the game kicked off, the wind started to increase, as well as precipitation. Wind gusts ranging from 25-40 miles per hour, along with heavy precipitation, was what the Raiders and Browns would have to deal with all day.
The Raiders started with the ball as the Browns deferred to the second half. Derek Carr, the Raiders signal-caller, led the Raiders on a ten play 52-yard drive that ended with a missed field goal from kicker Daniel Carlson. On the ensuing drive Baker Mayfield was taking advantage of good field position, taking the Browns on a drive to the Raiders 38. Rookie tight end Harrison Bryant then caught a six yard stick route from Mayfield, but fumbled fighting for more yardage. The Raiders recovered the ball at their own 38. The next two drives ended in field goals for both teams. The Raiders got the ball with four minutes remaining in the half. Jon Gruden, Raiders head coach, decided to stick to the ground game late in the second quarter. Carlson then hit another field goal, giving the Raiders a 6-3 lead at the half.
After deferring to the second half, the Browns started quarter three with the ball. Browns head coach, Kevin Stefanski, used a mix of running the ball and short routes to take the Browns down the field to the Raiders 43, where Jarvis Landry caught a quick out route and tip-toed the sideline for 19 yards to the Vegas 24. Three plays later, Mayfield found Landry again, this time running a fade, for what looked like a 20 yard touchdown reception. After reviewing the play, the officials over-turned the call on the field, and ruled the pass incomplete. Cody Parkey then came in and hit a 38 yard field goal to tie the game at six.
After the Parkey field goal, Oakland went on a 16-play 75 yard drive. The Raiders relied heavily on second-year running back Josh Jacobs. On the fifteen-lay drive, the Raiders rushed the ball eight times, six of which went to Jacobs. The drive was capped off by a Derek Carr touchdown pass to Hunter Renfrow, to put the Raiders up 13-6.
The Browns got the ball back with 14 minutes in the game. However, the Browns went three and out. Kareem Hunt, Browns running back, started the drive off well with a rush for 13-yards. After two incompletions by Mayfield, and a short run by Hunt, Jamie Gillan was called into the punt the ball back to the Raiders, and their bruising running attack.
Las Vegas got the ball back with around 13-minutes left in the game, and they marched down the field on a 13-play 74-yard drive that ended with a Carlson 24-yard field goal that put the Raiders up 16-6. That Raiders drive took around nine minutes, which was devastating for the Browns. Jacobs and Devonte Booker combined to run the ball ten times on the 13-play drive. The Browns were also hampered by a Larry Ogunjobi face-mask call with eleven minutes to play.
After Daniel Carlson kicked the ball through the end zone for a touchback. The Browns had a long drive of their own. On the 13-play drive, the Browns, who had dug themselves into a 16-6 hole, Stefanski leaned on Baker Mayfield, who dropped back to pass every play on the drive. The Browns offense moved the ball to the Las Vegas 19-yard line, where with two minutes left, Cody Parkey missed a 37-yard field goal to put the dagger into the heart of the Browns.
After such a great team-win for the Browns last week in Cincinnati, losing an ugly game like this really hurt this team. The Raiders completely controlled time of possession, having the ball for almost 38 minutes to the Browns 22 minutes. Head Coach Kevin Stefanski was especially frustrated with the inability to control the ball. “Yeah, very disappointing,” Stefanski said when asked about the discrepancy between the offenses. “Time of possession is a great team stat. Offensively, you have to possess it by sustaining drives, making first downs on the third down or finding ways to just get first downs. Obviously, we did not do that on offense. Defensively, I do not know the exact numbers, but they were much better than us on third down and the sustained drives.” (Browns Wire)
Quarterback and team leader Baker Mayfield was also disappointed in the Browns, telling the media that the Browns are nowhere near what they want to be. “Not anywhere close to where we want to be. We have a 5-3 record. Should be a lot better,” Mayfield stated. “We believe that, and that’s why our locker room is (expletive) off. We believe in this locker room and we’re going to continue to get better. Hopefully get on a streak after this bye week, get healthy and focus on getting better.” (Browns Wire)
The Browns have a bye next weekend, which happens to come at the perfect time. The Browns have multiple players that have nagging injuries including Baker Mayfield (Ribs), Jarvis Landry (Ribs), Kareem Hunt (Groin), Austin Hooper (Appendicitis), and Wyatt Teller (Calf Strain). Super Star defensive end Myles Garrett was also limited in the game because of a knee injury.
While the Browns will have a bitter taste in their mouths until they play the 1-6 Texans in Week 10. However, with that being said, the Browns fans should be happy with where the team is so far. At this time last year the Browns were 2-6 and coming off a terrible loss to Denver, who was starting Brandon Allen at quarterback. The Browns will come off the bye, and face an opponent who can be beat in the Houston Texans. After that the Browns end the season hosting Philadelphia, at Jacksonville, at Tennessee, home against the Ravens, at the Giants, at the Jets, and closing out the season at home versus division rival Pittsburgh. With their record standing at 5-3, the Browns could possibly win 11-12 games. You have to think the Browns will go down versus the two divisional teams: Pittsburgh and Baltimore. However, besides those two, the Texans, Eagles, Jaguars, Titans, and both New York teams can be won. If the Browns can win all those games they would end up with record of 11-5, which would surely put them in the playoffs, or in the thick of race to the playoffs. Fans can dream, right?
Stats That Changed the Game
- 0: The Browns had no takeaways versus the Raiders. They had forced 5 turnovers in their previous seven games. Even though they didn’t force a turnover on Sunday, they still have a +4 turnover ratio on the season.
- 1: The Browns have only forced one punt against the Raiders and Bengals the last two weeks.
- 2: The number of times that Baker Mayfield hit Jarvis Landry in both hands, in the end zone, on Sunday.
- 6: On Sunday the Browns had only six offensive possessions, which is a season-low for Cleveland and the entire NFL.
- 41: The number of rushing yards for Raiders quarterback Derek Carr. It almost doubled his season total.
- 53: The peak wind gust in the first quarter was 43 MPH (Miles Per Hour)
- 208: Before the Browns lost Nick Chubb to injury early in the Cowboys game, Cleveland led the NFL in rushing yards. With the absence of Chubb, the Browns have dropped to sixth in rushing yards. Sixth is still good, but nowhere near where they were with a star like Chubb.
(Cle) Baker Mayfield: 12/25 for 122-yards
(Oak) Derek Carr: 15/24 for 112-yard and One Touchdown
(Cle) Kareem Hunt: 14 Carries for 66-yards (4.7 Yards Per Carry)
(Cle) Baker Mayfield: Six Carries for 29-yards (4.8 YPC)
(Oak) Josh Jacobs: 31 Carries for 128-yards (4.1 YPC)
(Oak) Derek Carr: Six carries for 41-yards (6.9 YPC)
(Cle) Jarvis Landry: Four Catches for 52-yards (13 Yards Per Catch)
(Cle) Harrison Bryant: Three Catches for 25-yards (8.3 YPC)
(Cle) David Njoku: One Catch for 19-yards
(Cle) Rashard Higgins: One Catch for 14-yards
(Oak) Darren Waller: Five Catches for 28-yards (5.6 YPC)
(Oak) Hunter Renfrow: Four Catches for 26-yards (6.5 YPC)
(Oak) Jason Witten: Two Catches for 21-yards (10.5 YPC)
(Cle) Ronnie Harrison Jr.: Ten Total Tackles, One Pass Defended, 0.5 Tackles For Loss
(Cle) Porter Gustin: Seven Total Tackles, 0.5 Sacks
(Cle) Olivier Vernon: Four Total Tackles, Two Sacks
(Oak) Nevin Lawson: Five Total Tackles, One Pass Defended
(Oak) LaMarcus Joyner: Three Total Tackles, One Pass Defended
(Oak) Chris Smith: One QB-Hit
Biggest Winners and Losers from Sunday At First Energy Field
Josh Jacobs, RB, Oakland: Jacobs, as stated above, had 31 carries for 128-yards. The Raiders used Jacobs as a workhorse all afternoon. During the two time-killing drives from the Raiders, Jacobs carried the ball 14-times. Even though Jacobs didn’t find the end zone in this game, his bruising running style changed the game in favor of Jon Gruden and the Raiders.
Browns Red Zone Defense: Derek Carr took the Raiders on four drives that made it inside the Cleveland 20-yard line (Red Zone). However, even though they got in position to score, the Browns defense stood tall on three of the four Raiders drives that ended in the red zone.
Raiders Third Down Defense: On Sunday, with the weather turning from bad to worse, the Browns were 3/10 on third down conversions. Thirteen different players made a tackle in Sunday’s game. While no one really stood out for the Raiders defense, they played excellent team defense, with a every player swarming to the ball-carrier.
Cody Parkey: The kicker for the Browns, Cody Parkey, who is known as the kicker who suffered at the hands of the double-doink while playing for the Bears. With the wind flying around all afternoon, Parkey made 2/3 field goals. Not that 2/3 is great, but because of of the weather, it is indeed a strong showing. It’s also about time that the Browns found a kicker who can be steady and consistent (Talking to you Zane Gonzalez, Austin Seibert, and Greg Joseph).
Raiders Offensive Line: Not only did the offensive line pave the way for 208-yards rushing, but they also kept Derek Carr upright. Part of that is because Myles Garrett was limited, but either way, Greg Olson’s offense was able to control the game.
Oakland Time of Possession: In Sunday’s game the Raiders ran 71 offensive plays, while Alex Van Pelt’s offense only ran 47. With those numbers you can see how the Raiders controlled time of possession, almost doubling the the Browns time of possession, which was a meager 22 minutes.
Derek Carr: Coming into this game, you have to believe Carr was thinking he wouldn’t be throwing much. Carr was correct, as he only passed the ball 24-times for 112-yards and a touchdown. With a bruising back like Jacobs, the Raiders were able to move the ball quite easily on the ground. However, when Carr did throw, they were short and accurate. He did miss what could have been a touchdown by overthrowing Henry Ruggs III. Overall Carr was safe with the ball, and even rushed the ball for 41-yards. Kudos to Derek Carr, and also to head coach Jon Gruden for putting together a simple, yet effective game plan.
Browns Receivers: The Cleveland Browns aren’t good enough to make up for multiple drops in a game. As is stated above, Jarvis Landry dropped two balls that should have been touchdowns. On top of that, the entire receiving corps dropped six passes.
Browns Discipline: The Browns were penalized seven times for 59-yards during Sunday’s game. The Raiders also had five penalties, but they only resulted in 25-yards. The impact penalties have on a game like Sunday’s cannot be understated. A couple of those Browns penalties were drive-killers, allowing Las Vegas to control the game.
Browns Rush Defense: The Browns came into this game with the NFL’s fifth best rushing defense, however, that could not help them stop Josh Jacobs and the Raiders. Before the game on Sunday, the Browns ranked 19th in the NFL in total yards allowed. With that being said, Josh Jacobs absolutely destroyed the Browns Defense on Sunday. His physical running-style is on that is suited perfectly to control the game in Sunday’s weather. The Raiders took notice to that, propelling them to 208 total yards rushing.
Joe Woods, Defensive Coordinator Browns: No matter what Woods called on defense, it seemed like the Raiders had the perfect response. While giving up 208 yards rushing is bad, the Raiders hit the Browns with screens, deep balls, and short routes all afternoon. Not all the blame should go on Woods, but a lot of it does.
Browns Third Down Defense: The Raiders were 8-14 on third downs, which isn’t a stat that pops out to you, but it allowed the Raiders to keep driving, and extending their time of possession.
Browns Injuries: Yes, we know that every team gets hit with injuries every year. However, right now the Browns are without some of their essential players like Odell Beckham Jr., Nick Chubb, Wyatt Teller, Austin Hooper, and a limited Myles Garrett. Kevin Stefanski should let the whole team rest as much as they need to during the bye week.
In the end, the Raiders were just the superior team on Sunday. They dominated time of possession, and were able to wear the Browns down. The Raiders make the trip Los Angeles next weekend to play the Joey Bosa and the Chargers. As stated above, the Browns are on a bye this weekend, and will play their next game in two weeks versus the dangerous, yet under-performing Houston Texans. Hopefully after the extra week to prepare, the Browns and head coach Kevin Stefanski, can come up with a great game-plan for the Texans. The Browns are also hopeful that some of the injured players can return after the bye. Guys like Baker Mayfield, Kareem Hunt, and Myles Garrett need the rest. It’s also a possibility that Nick Chubb, Wyatt Teller, and Austin Hooper can return to action in two weeks.
Follow Me on Twitter: @BrownlojCLE
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