Final thoughts from Browns-Raiders

Posted by Vic Carucci on December 3, 2012 – 1:59 am

By Vic Carucci, Senior Editor

OAKLAND – Here are some final thoughts on the Browns’ 20-17 victory against the Raiders at O.co Coliseum:

>>This was a game of major accomplishments. The biggest was winning back-to-back games. That instills confidence in the entire team that it can have sustained success. It was a huge goal, and now it has been achieved. The other big accomplishment was snapping a 12-game road losing streak. The many rookies on the team weren’t part of that dubious distinction, but they understand how important it was to put it to rest. And doing so here is no easy task, regardless of the Raiders’ 3-9 record. Also, the Raiders did not allow their four-game losing streak entering the game to prevent them from giving a strong effort.

>>The Browns have a chance to build some momentum down the stretch. They face the Kansas City Chiefs and Washington Redskins in back-to-back games at home, where they have won three games this season. Confidence is a huge factor the rest of the way, especially with the final two games on the road (Denver and Pittsburgh), and the Browns have plenty of it now. Probably more than they’ve had at any point this season.

>>Brandon Weeden made a huge step in his development by leading the 94-yard drive for the game-winning touchdown, which came on a three-yard run by Trent Richardson. Weeden showed his ability to overcome adversity, which came in the form of two interceptions and three passes being batted down at the line of scrimmage. He kept his cool and methodically led the Browns downfield. Having been cleared to play after suffering a concussion in last week’s win against Pittsburgh, Weeden showed no hesitation on back-to-back keepers during the march. After being stuffed for no gain on third-and-one, he made a huge push (with the help of his linemen) on fourth down.

>>Sheldon Brown made one of the biggest plays of the game with his interception that set up the Browns’ game-winning drive. The Raiders’ passing game frequently targeted the veteran cornerback, and he responded by repeatedly knocking down passes and ultimately forcing the decisive turnover. Time after time, Brown has shown that, despite being 33 and an 11-year veteran, he is more than capable of difference-making plays.

>>Pat Shurmur was aggressive with his play-calling, twice going for it on fourth down with success. He took the approach that the team was on the road and had been demonstrating the ability to move the ball on the ground and through the air. Overall, the Browns put together an excellent game plan that took advantage of holes in the Raiders’ coverage. Browns receivers were consistently wide open.

>>Weeden threw the ball well most of the game, breaking his previous Browns rookie record with 364 passing yards. His 44-yard touchdown pass to Josh Gordon, who shared the Browns’ lead with six receptions for 116 yards, was perfectly placed as the rookie receiver got behind the defender and made the catch in stride. Weeden also had a nice connection with Mohamed Massaquoi for 54 yards. Weeden is steadily reading coverages better and making good decisions with the ball. Big plays are back in the Browns’ passing attack, which had been producing them more consistently earlier in the season.

>>Benjamin Watson continues to be a dynamic force in the Browns’ offense. He had a share of the team lead with six catches for 80 yards, and consistently found seams in the Raiders’ secondary. Watson isn’t just making the easy grabs, either. He is showing superb athleticism and his usual toughness on many plays.

>>The Browns’ offensive line had yet another strong performance. It gave up only one sack and generally kept Weeden from getting hit the whole game. Its greatest effort came on the game-winning touchdown drive when it provided Weeden room to operate and also opened holes for Trent Richardson, culminating with the big push for his three-yard touchdown run with 3:27 left in the game.

>>Richardson had one of his better rushing games, generating 72 yards on 20 carries for an average of 3.6 yards per rush. He ran with his usual toughness, and clearly enjoyed churning through the mud on a field soaked by a few days of steady rain.

>>Apparently, Phil Dawson is human after all. He had a 28-yard field-goal attempt partially blocked just enough to send it wide left. But Dawson was money on tries of 41 and 35 yards. He still rose to the occasion while sharing the field with another of the NFL’s outstanding kickers, Sebastian Janikowski, who hit from 51 yards.

>>Be sure to tune in Monday through Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET, for Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford on ESPN 850 WKNR or catch the live stream right here on ClevelandBrowns.com.

>>Have a question for “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford”? Ask me at Twitter.com/viccarucci or by e-mail at daily@clevelandbrowns.com or by calling 855-363-2459.


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Game Recap: Browns 20, Raiders 17

Posted by Matt Florjancic on December 3, 2012 – 12:31 am

OAKLAND — Brandon Weeden threw for one touchdown and a Cleveland Browns rookie record 364 yards and running back Trent Richardson added 72 yards and one score on 20 carries in the team’s 20-17 win over the Oakland Raiders at the O.co Coliseum Sunday.

The win, Cleveland’s first on the road this year, improved the Browns’ record to 4-8 overall, while the Raiders dropped to 3-9 and have lost five straight games.

Oakland quarterback Carson Palmer threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to tight end Brandon Myers and cut the Browns’ lead to three points, at 20-17, with one second remaining in Sunday’s game. Myers led all receivers with a game-high 14 receptions for 130 yards.

Richardson’s three-yard touchdown run put the Browns back in front of the Raiders by two scores, at 20-10, with 3:27 remaining in regulation. Richardson’s seventh rushing touchdown of the season finished off a 14-play, 94-yard drive that took 6:04 off the fourth-quarter clock.

The Browns held a 13-10 lead over the Raiders after three quarters of play.

Palmer’s 64-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Rod Streater cut the Browns’ lead over the Raiders to 13-10 with 17 seconds left in the third quarter.

On first-and-10 from the Raiders’ 36-yard line, Palmer pump-faked to his left before looking right and finding Streater behind the coverage of cornerback Buster Skrine for the catch. Streater then outraced the Browns’ defense for the final yards before the score.

The Raiders’ drive took four plays, covered 80 yards and came on the ensuing possession after Phil Dawson had a 28-yard field goal attempt partially deflected before it sailed wide left.

Dawson converted a 35-yard field goal on the Browns’ first possession of the second half. He extended the team’s lead over the Raiders to 13-3 with 9:51 remaining in the third quarter.

Dawson’s field goal, the 299th of his 14-year career, capped off a 10-play, 48-yard drive that took 5:07 off the third quarter clock.

The Browns took a 10-3 lead over the Raiders into the locker room at halftime of Sunday’s AFC game.

Oakland kicker Sebastian Janikowski converted a 51-yard field goal attempt and cut the Cleveland lead to 10-3 with 4:28 remaining in the first half.

Janikowski kicked 40th career field goal from at least 50 yards, which is tied for third on the NFL’s all-time list. He is now 16 for his last 19 from at least 40 yards, with his only misses being from 59, 64 and 65 yards, respectively.

Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon caught a 44-yard touchdown pass from Weeden and extended the team’s lead over the Raiders to 10-0 with 10:25 remaining in the second quarter.

One play after Weeden completed an 18-yard pass to second-year wide receiver Greg Little, the rookie quarterback found Gordon open on the left side of the field. Gordon got past the coverage of cornerback Ron Bartell and caught the ball in stride for the score.

The score was Gordon’s fifth touchdown of the season and his 10th reception of 20 or more yards. All of his touchdown receptions have been longer than 20 yards.

Earlier in the first half, Dawson converted a 41-yard field goal attempt and gave the team a 3-0 lead over the Raiders with 12:59 left to play in the second quarter.

The Browns and Raiders played a scoreless first quarter.

The Browns registered two defensive stops in the first quarter and forced a pair of Shane Lechler punts. Oakland stopped the Browns’ first drive when Matt Giordano intercepted Weeden on a second-and-10 pass attempt from the Raiders’ 33-yard line.

Weeden’s pass was intended for tight end Benjamin Watson on a seam route down the middle of the field.

Game Recap is presented by Giant Eagle, the Official Supermarket of the Cleveland Browns.


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Palmer tosses late TD

Posted by Matt Florjancic on December 3, 2012 – 12:28 am

OAKLAND — Oakland quarterback Carson Palmer threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to tight end Brandon Myers and cut the Cleveland Browns’ lead to three points, at 20-17, with one second remaining in Sunday’s game at the O.co Coliseum.

Myers led all receivers with a game-high 14 receptions for 130 yards.


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Richardson rushes for touchdown

Posted by Matt Florjancic on December 3, 2012 – 12:14 am

OAKLAND — Cleveland running back Trent Richardson’s three-yard touchdown run put the Browns back in front of the Oakland Raiders by two scores, at 20-10, with 3:27 remaining in regulation from the O.co Coliseum.

Richardson’s seventh rushing touchdown of the season finished off a 14-play, 94-yard drive that took 6:04 off the fourth-quarter clock.


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