Just win, baby in every sense of the phrase. Let’s look at some keys to the game:
Carr hits milestone:
Raiders’ quarterback Derek Carr surpassed the 4,000-yard plateau for the fourth straight season. He now has 4,162 passing yards, which is his career high. With three more games, Carr, who was very clutch on the final drive, has a real chance to surpass the 5,000-yard mark. Kudos to him. The Raiders’ offense was once again up and down on Monday and it still has problems, but Carr is getting his yards.
Playing with their a practice squad quarterback, Nick Mullens, and without 18 players and their head coach Kevin Stefanski, the Browns didn’t have much room for error. But they were very sloppy and dropped some big passes. A missed field goal at the end of the first half was also a killer for the Browns ... they had to play near perfect and they didn’t.
Raiders won in run games:
The Raiders did enough on the ground offensively and defensively to dictate the game. Las Vegas running backs Josh Jacobs and Peyton Barber each had their moments to help the Raiders’ shaky offense have enough success. For Cleveland, Browns running back Nick Chubb got hot in the second half, but the Raiders stopped on him third down on what would be the Browns’ final offensive play. Had Chubb converted a third down, the game would likely be over. The only way the depleted Browns were going to win this game was if Chubb took over, but the Raiders didn’t allow him to at key points of the game.
The Raiders did a nice job minimizing Cleveland star pass-rusher Myles Garrett, who came into the game with 15 sacks. The Raiders ran a lot of quick routes and kept Garrett’s impact to a minimum for the most part. Garrett has wrecked a lot of games this season, but that didn’t happen against the Raiders.
It was the Raiders’ day:
There was much hand wringing in the Raider Nation when the game was pushed back two day because COVID-19 issues. Of course, it had no impact on the game. The Browns got just three players back in that time span and the weather was much better on Monday in Cleveland than it was in Saturday. So the Raiders enjoyed the extra rest and still had the advantage and played in better conditions. Also, even when the Raiders made mistakes on Monday (they had four fumbles that bounced right in their hands), they survived it. Oh, and a bonus occurred on Monday. Denver coach Vic Fangio said starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is unlikely to play Sunday in Las Vegas, meaning feeble backup Drew Lock will likely play against the 7-7 Raiders, who have another great opportunity to stay alive in Week 16.