After a thorough dismantling last week, the Las Vegas Raiders headed to Cleveland to rebound. To the surprise of just about many, the Raiders stymied the Browns, 16-6. With the win, the Raiders raise their record to 4-3. Now, that may not seem like the biggest victory, but staying above .500, and in the hunt remains the ultimate goal. The Raiders won ugly, and those road wins will help them in December.
Ugly Stats, Pretty Result for Raiders
In wintry conditions, especially late, Derek Carr did what he needed to do to win. If you ignore those ugly passing stats (112 yards on 62.5 completion percentage), zero in on what Carr did. Carr rushed for 41 yards, including an eighteen-yard scamper. Everyone knows that Derek Carr possesses above-average physical ability. Today, he showed the speed and aggressiveness that many clamored for.
Now, we’ve mentioned in previous articles that Jon Gruden needs to use Josh Jacobs smarter. Granted, thirty-one carries for a high-volume back can be a tricky proposition. Yet, Gruden wisely deployed Jacobs in the fourth. Thirteen of those thirty-one carries occurred in the final quarter. By that time, the Browns defense looked tired and weary. A steady diet of Josh Jacobs allowed the Raiders to salt the clock away and emerge victoriously.
For the entirety of his tenure as the defensive coordinator, Paul Guenther sits as a point of frustration. Yet, versus the Browns, the defense stifled the Browns. Cleveland managed only 223 yards and fourteen first downs. Now, some will point to no pass rush and no Odell Beckham Jr. However, you play whomever the opponent lines up and go from there. This week, Guenther’s defense accomplished everything the need to and no one needs to find fault with that. The secondary, despite the lack of consistent pass rush, covered well. Jarvis Landry, the Browns’ top target, caught four passes for 52 yards. Otherwise, Cleveland’s passing game sputtered. Credit the coverage and the much-maligned secondary.
Up Next for Raiders
The Raiders head to Los Angeles to battle the Chargers. With Justin Hebert and a group of talented wideouts, they should test Paul Guenther’s defense to see if the Cleveland victory was an anomaly. The Las Vegas Raiders bounced back in Cleveland. Now, they need to maintain the same energy for the duration.