Another week, another loss. The Raiders are now at 0-7 on the season after losing to the Browns 23-13 in Cleveland and they are on a 13-game losing streaking dating back to last season. There was some hope coming into this game the Raiders could get finally see a victory but it was not to be.
The Raiders turned the ball over four times in this game and after both teams struggled on offense through the first half, the Brown pulled away. They scored 17 points off of Raiders turnovers, including two late touchdowns. The Raiders added a meaningless touchdown late, which they have down three times this season. Before that, they had just a couple field goals.
Through it all, the positives are getting easier to find. There just aren't very many of them.
Every game he just gets better. He is an absolute beast out there. The Browns could. Not. Block him. He was either shedding blocks to make a run stop or shedding blocks to get in the quarterback's face. The Raiders spotted the Browns an early field goal thanks to a bonehead interception off a fake field goal, but Mack went to work after that. The next Browns' possession, they had one big play that went 48 yards on a bubble screen. The other three plays, surrounding it were all Mack stops - a tackle for a loss on a run, a tackle for no gain, and a pressure for an incompletion. The Browns would settle for another field goal.
A couple drives later, the Browns were again picking up big chunks of yardage to on the passing game. Their drive ended at the nine-yard-line when Mack had a tackle for loss and a pressure to force an incompletion. They would settle for yet another field goal.
Late in the second quarter, after the Raiders added a field goal off their own, they needed a stop to have a chance at scoring again before halftime. Mack had a tackle on a five-yard run to help stop the Browns for a three-and-out to give the Raiders one more shot. A shot they didn't squander to add another field goal and pull within three at the half.
The Browns had two consecutive three-and-outs to begin the second half. The second one ended when on third and one, Mack pressured Brian Hoyer and hit him as he threw for the incompletion. He had another tackle for loss on the next series.
A turnover would help put the Browns in the endzone for a touchdown early in the third quarter. A couple possessions later, Mack had a tackle on a short run and sealed off the edge on a run to allow for a tackle for no gain.
Officially Mack finished third on the team with 6 tackles (4 solo), 2 tackles for loss, and one quarterback hurry. But he did a whole lot more than that. Next up; sacks.
Leading the team in tackles was Sio Moore. He was running around the field like his dreads were on fire. On the Browns first drive NOT off a turnover, he had a tackle for a loss of four that put them in third and 15 and they couldn't pick up the first down. They were already in scoring position after their big 48-yard catch and run, so it helped hold them to a field goal. On their first drive of the second quarter, he had another tackle for loss. On their second series of the third quarter, he gave up and 8-yard catch, but made up for it with a run stuff for one yard in second and two. The series ended on the next play.
On a series early in the fourth quarter, with the game still in reach at 16-6, he had a run stuff for a one yard gain, and got a hand on a pass on the next play. It should have been an interception and the tight end was still able to haul it in with a fantastic catch, but it set up third down and the drive ended on the next play. He had one more run stop on the next possession to finish with 9 tackles (8 solo) and two tackles for loss.
In his first start in place of Lamarr Woodley who was lost for the season, Mayowa was a revelation. It was one of those "where has this been" moments. Not from Mayowa, but just from that defensive end spot. On the Browns' second possession, they got a big 48-yard catch and run. But the only reason it wasn't a 72-yard touchdown catch-and-run was because Mayowa stayed with it and ran down the receiver to stop him at the 24-yard line. That was a 4-point tackle as they were held to a field goal. He further helped keep the Browns out of the endzone with a tackle for loss on the same drive a few plays later. He would add three more run stuffs in the game to finish with 4 tackles (2 solo) and a tackle for loss. And interesting stat I found was since taking over for Lamarr Woodley in the third quarter last week against the Cardinals, Benson Mayowa has the exact amount of tackle - 5 tackles (3 solo) - that Woodley had in six games as a starter.
Rivera was not Derek Carr's favorite target in this game - that distinction goes to James Jones - but Rivera had more catches (7) and more yards (83) than Jones (6 for 62). On the Raiders' second drive, he had an 8-yard catch on third and two and a 9-yard catch two plays later. Midway through the second quarter, with the Raiders yet to get on the board, down 9-0, Rivera made a masterful one-handed grab for a 22-yard gain that put the Raiders in field goal range. He added two more catches on the Raiders finals drive including a 22-yard catch on 4th and 11 to set them up at the 10-yard line.
Justin Tuck - He was relegated to situational pass rusher and played just 12 snaps. But he made the most of them. He had two third-down stops - one was s run stop and the other a sack. The run stop happened late in the first half to give the Raiders time to drive for a field goal. The sack stopped a drive early in the fourth quarter when the game was still within reach at 16-6.
Andre Holmes - He had a 31-yard catch to set up the Raiders field goal before half time. He also caught the 10-yard touchdown pass at the end of the game. If only that touchdown wasn't completely meaningless to the outcome. But he gets a pat on the back none the less.
He was among those who were blocked on the bubble screen that went 48 yards to set up the Browns' second field goal. On their next possession, he had a pass defended that was very nearly an interception. Then he ended the series with a three-and-out on a run stuff on third and 3. The next drive he gave up an 18-yard catch. Later in that same drive, he stopped a catch short of the goal line to hold them to another field goal.
He had a run stuff for no gain on the first play of the third quarter. Then the final play of the third quarter, he was late to help out on a 32-yard catch. The Browns would score their first touchdown on that drive.