In a season of early disappointment, the Oakland Raiders bucked that trend with a 45-42 win versus the Browns. Entering the game, the Cleveland Browns won just one game in almost two seasons. In this game, the Raiders ensured they would leave Oakland the same way. In a game, that features big plays, excitement and thrills, the Raiders notched their first win of the second Gruden era
Granted, this game featured Carr’s career in a microcosm. With fluttering ducks and bounced throws, Carr displayed why many doubt him as the leader of that franchise. However, when his team needed him to settle down and focus, Carr displayed flashes of his 2016 form. While they remain inconsistent, those highlights remind many of what Carr can play like. Despite his two picks, Carr threw for 437 yards and four scores. In addition, he found Jordy Nelson in the corner for the game-tying two-point conversion.
To his credit, Kolton Miller faced an arduous task in Myles Garrett. Although Garrett technically beat Miller for a half sack, he made the rookie work. Yet, Miller reciprocated with force. On the other side, Donald Penn left the game early, which may mean that the end approaches. Rookie Brandon Parker slid in. Parker struggled, but facing an aggressive defense will do that.
The second-year corner brought the home crowd to their feet with a pick-six. Later, Conley grabbed the pine, in an odd decision. However, the young corner flashed the sticky cover skills and playmaking early. Conley provided enough of a moment to build upon. If the Raiders generate a pass rush, Conley’s job becomes infinitely easier.
Regardless of the referees blowing deal a large chunk gain, Marshawn Lynch continues to drive this offense. As a result, his 130 yards on 20 carries forced Cleveland to play the run aggressively. In return, Carr found several receivers open vertically. In addition, Lynch ran with his customary malice and punishing finish.
In reality, a three-point, overtime win versus the Browns should not mean as much. Yet, a win remains just that: a win. If close games result in wins, those build a franchise. However, this game highlighted the still absent pass rush and occasional odd playcalling. Overall, the Raiders emerged from a shootout victorious. Now, the real work continues with a divisional game. In a world that praises beauty, the Raiders won an ugly shootout.