NGSC Sports

Oakland Raiders at Cleveland Browns Preview

After the Jacksonville Jaguars 24-6 victory over the Cleveland Browns last week, the Oakland Raiders are the only winless team in the NFL. After playing well against the San Diego Chargers in Week 6, the Raiders were outgained 365-220 in their 24-13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. 

There are a number of reasons why the Raiders are 0-6 this season. The team is last in several categories including yards per game (282.7), points (92), first downs (94), red zone drives (10), and time of possession (25:01). If you added in the fact that they are allowing an average of 26.3 points per game, then it is easy to see why they have a zero in the win column. 

This week, the Raiders will face the Browns who were outscored 17-0 in the second half in their loss against the Jaguars. Quarterback Brian Hoyer, who was having a solid season prior to last week, finished the game 16 of 41 for 215 yards with an interception and a lost fumble. 

Hoyer struggling was far from the only reason why the Browns lost to Jaguars. Cleveland ran for a season-low 69 yards on 30 carries. The Browns also converted 4 for 17 on third downs last week. 

One thing that hurt the Browns last weekend was the fact that the Jaguars defensive line bullied their offensive line. Jacksonville was able to get ample pressure on Hoyer as he was sacked three times and pressured all day long. 

Both the Raiders (29th) and Browns (32th) have two of the worst rushing defenses in league, so the game could be decided on which team is able to run the football effectively.

The Raiders averaged 69.3 yards per game, which ranks dead last in the league. Running back Darren McFadden ran for 80 yards two weeks ago against the Chargers, but only gained 48 yards on 14 carries last week against the Cardinals. Oakland needs to be successful in the running game in order to take pressure off of rookie Derek Carr. 

Carr wasn’t as successful against the Cardinals as he was the previous week against the Chargers. After throwing for 282 yards and four touchdowns in Week 6, Carr only threw for 173 yards against the Cardinals. 

The Browns rank 17th in pass defense, so there will be opportunities for the Raiders to take shots down the field much like in their game against the Chargers. 

This is the best opportunity for the Raiders to get a win during the next three weeks. After playing the Browns, the Raiders will play at the Seattle Seahawks, get the Denver Broncos at home, and are at San Diego.

The Raiders certainly have a chance to win this game, but they will have to play their best defensive game of the season. Oakland ranks next to last in the league in sacks (six), so they rookie Khalil Mack and the rest of the defensive line will need to get into Hoyer’s face to force mistakes. 

Oakland ranks ninth in the NFL in red zone defense. They’ve allowed touchdowns on 51.9 percent of their opponents’ trips inside the 20. So the Raiders have done a solid job in force teams into kicking field goals in the red zone. 

If the McFadden is able to provide some sort of running game, that will open things up for their passing game. Raiders’ offensive coordinator Greg Olson has to be aggressive with his play calling. If he is, the Raiders certainly have a chance to win this game.

Prior to last Sunday, Hoyer had a 99.5 passer rating for the season. While many are calling for backup quarterback Johnny Manizel to replace him, Hoyer should be able play well against a suspect Raiders defense.

This game could go either way, but it should end up being one of the closer game of the day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: