By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
OAKLAND — Still in search of win No. 1 on the season, the Silver and Black head to Cleveland to take on the up-and-down Browns Sunday. The game can be seen locally in the Bay Area on CBS/KPIX Channel 5 at 1:25 p.m. PDT.
Quarterback Derek Carr completed 16-of-28 passes for 173 yards, with no touchdowns and no interceptions, in Oakland’s 24-13 loss to the visiting Arizona Cardinals last Sunday at O.co Coliseum.
Scoring-wise, Oakland was led by two Sebastian Janikowski field goals and a one-yard touchdown run by running back, Darren McFadden. McFadden rushed for 48 yards on 14 carries, leading the Raiders’ ground game.
Defensively, free safety Charles Woodson recorded his 58th career interception, and rookie linebacker Khalil Mack led the team with a game-high 10 tackles (1 assisted), but Oakland never seemed to get on track against Arizona.
Outside of strong safety Usama Young’s sack, Palmer threw for 253 yards and two touchdowns on 22-of-31 completions. Not only did Oakland lose their 12th straight game dating back to last season, but loss key pieces to their defenses.
The aforementioned Young tore his ACL and MCL in his left knee and, starting defensive end LaMarr Woodley tore his biceps. Both players are going to be lost for the season, adding to Oakland’s dreadful season that just gets bleaker by the minute.
At 0-6, Oakland is off to its worst start in 52 years.
But could Sunday’s trek to Northeast Ohio be Oakland’s best chance at securing their first win of the season?
At 3-3 in a hotly contested AFC North, the Cleveland Browns are an enigma.
A team that throttled the Pittsburgh Steelers at home 31-10 in Week 6 behind quarterback Brian Hoyer’s 217 passing yards and a touchdown, Cleveland looked horrible in a 24-6 loss in Week 7 at winless Jacksonville. The Browns were 0-of-2 from inside the red zone for the game and
Cleveland is one of those teams that makes you want to believe in them and take them as a serious playoff contender this year, but wets the bed against a team that on paper, they should’ve beaten.
Jacksonville rookie running back Denard Robinson steamrolled Cleveland’s 32nd ranked rushing defense for 127 yards on 22 carries and a touchdown.
Oakland’s 32nd ranked rushing offense should be chomping at the bit ready to run the ball Sunday.
Something has to give right?
Players to Watch
Oakland: RB, Darren McFadden – Toss in McFadden’s backfield mate, Maurice Jones-Drew as well. The playbook should be run heavy against the Browns and both McFadden and Jones-Drew should find running lanes against a porous Cleveland run defense.
Cleveland: WR, Travis Benjamin – With Cleveland’s passing game just ho-hum on the outside without dynamic wide receiver Josh Gordon (suspension), Benjamin and speedy WR Andrew Hawkins have provided the Browns a tourniquet at the position. Hawkins leads Cleveland in catches (29) and receiving yards (382), while Benjamin leads the team with three touchdown catches.