By Jeremy Kahn
OAKLAND — Despite the fact that the Oakland Raiders and the Cleveland Browns entered the game with a combined record of 1-4-1, this was a heavyweight bout that went the distance.
Rookie Matt McCrane kicked a 29-yard field goal with 1:46 remaining in overtime, as the Raiders came back from a 14-point third quarter deficit to defeat the Browns 45-42 before a crowd of 53,387 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
McCrane, who missed a 50-yard field goal on the Raiders initial series in the overtime, but Derek Carr and the Raiders drove down the field after stopping the Browns on their only possession of overtime and the Raiders picked up their first win of the season.
It was a huge day for Carr, who went 35-for-58 for 437 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions.
The win by the Raiders spoiled the starting debut of the Browns number one pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Baker Mayfield, who went 21-for-41 for 295 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Mayfield’s first interception gave the Raiders their first points of the afternoon, as Gareon Conley returned the Mayfield pass 36 yards for a touchdown to give the Raiders an early 7-0 lead with 10:01 remaining in the first quarter
On their ensuing possession, the Browns took over eight minutes off the clock and settled for a Greg Joseph 25-yard field goal to get the Browns within four.
After the Joseph field goal, the Raiders began to drive down the field; however, the drive stalled at the 29-yard line and the Raiders were forced to settle for a 48-yard field goal off the infield dirt and the McCrane field goal went wide left.
On the first play after the missed field goal, rookie Nick Chubb took the handoff and ran 63 yards for the Browns.
Unfortunately, the Raiders could not do anything on their next series and were forced to punt the ball back to the Browns.
Just four plays into the drive, Mayfield found Darren Fells for his first NFL touchdown and after the subsequent two-point conversion, the Browns led 17-7.
Carr drove the Raiders right back down the field and the drive ended, when Carr found Amari Cooper for an eight-yard touchdown pass to get the Raiders within three of the visitors from Cleveland.
Joseph gave the Browns a 20-14 lead on their first possession of the third quarter, as he hit a 28-yard field.
Carr then was picked by Damarious Randall on the third play of the next drive and returned the interception 50 yards to the Raiders’ 31-yard line, and the Browns immediately took advantage of the turnover.
Rashaan Melvin was called for a 24-yard pass interference penalty that gave the Browns a first-and-goal at the Raiders seven-yard line. Two plays later, Mayfield found Jarvis Landry for a two-yard touchdown pass and after it looked like, the Raiders stopped Duke Johnson on the two-point conversion, it was reviewed and the call was overturned to give the Browns a 28-14 lead.
After another punt by the Raiders, the Browns could have put the game away; however, that plan went awry.
Rookie Mo Hurst hit Mayfield, who fumbled the ball and Johnathan Hankins recovered the ball on the Browns seven-yard line.
Two plays later, Carr cut the Browns lead in half, as he found Jared Cook for a seven-yard touchdown pass.
Over the next three possessions, the two teams kept punting the ball back to each other that is until McCrane hit a 29-yard field goal at the beginning of the fourth quarter.
Mayfield was then sacked again, and fumbled the ball and once again, and Hankins was all over it.
Carr then gave the Raiders the lead, when he found Jordy Nelson for a 19-yard touchdown pass to give the Raiders a three-point lead.
After another three and out by the Browns, McCrane kicked a career-long 44 field goal to increase the Raiders lead up to six.
The Raiders almost got the ball back on the kickoff, as McCrane recovered the fumble by Antonio Callaway; however, the call was reversed and the Browns took over.
It was Mayfield, who looked like the veteran and not the rookie, as he found Callaway for a 59-yard completion down to the Raiders’ one-yard line.
Carlos Hyde then scored on a one-yard run to give the Browns a one-point lead with 8:11 remaining in the game.
Once again, the Raiders were forced to punt the ball after a three-and-out, they shot themselves in the foot with penalties.
Dwayne Harris committed fair catch interference on Jabrill Peppers, to give the Browns the ball at their own 37-yard line.
Hyde then went 16 yards, and then six before Chubb took the handoff for Mayfield and scored from 41 yards out to extend the Browns lead to eight points.
“That was exciting. I’m happy for him, definitely. He fed off of me, I feed off of him. We gotta keep it going. I love when he breaks those runs,” said Hyde.
After the Browns successfully stopped the Raiders on fourth-and-one at the Browns nine-yard line, the Browns took over and were primed to run out the clock.
Unfortunately, the Browns were unable to run out the clock, as what looked like a first down on a Hyde run was overturned by the officials.
“I definitely thought that we had the first down. But they changed he call, We got to get it right there. If we’re going to win the game, we gotta get that one,” said Hyde.
The Raiders drove right down the field with no timeouts, and Carr found Cook for a seven-yard touchdown and the two-point was good to tie up the game with 30 seconds remaining in the game.
Mayfield and the Browns got the ball back, but Mayfield threw his second interception and then Carr kneeled on the ball to send the game into overtime.
The Raiders got the ball in overtime, but McCrane missed the 50-yard field goal and the Browns were unable to capitalize, as they went three and out to give the ball back to the Raiders.
Carr drove the Raiders down the field, and McCrane ended the game with the 29-yard field goal and Jon Gruden was a winner on the Raiders sideline for the first time since the 2001 AFC Playoffs.
NOTES: Donald Penn was forced to leave the game with a leg injury in the second half, while the Browns lost Safety Terrance Mitchell to a broken wrist in the first half.
UP NEXT: The Raiders head to Los Angeles, where the Raiders will face the Los Angeles Chargers at the Stubhub Center next Sunday at 1:05 pm PT.