By: Malaika Bobino
Oakland, CA – Only if we could turn back time. With three seconds remaining in the game, the Raiders scored a touchdown. But just like in past games, time was not on their side.
The Cleveland Browns defeated Oakland 20-17. This was their fifth straight loss, still leaving many to wonder can they turn this losing streak around. The Raiders will host the Denver Broncos this Thursday Night. The Broncos lead the division and just secured their playoff bid with a 31-23 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, so this is not a game to take lightly.
“No one is coming in and saving us,” coach Dennis Allen said. “It’s our job and we have to get it done, the guys in the locker room are still working to get it done.”
A crucial mistake by Carson Palmer in the fourth proved costly for the offense and cost the Raiders the game. Palmer drove the offense to the 33-yard line after the defense forced the Browns to punt. Juron Criner was matched man-to-man with Sheldon Brown and Carson went deep on the play which was short and inside. Brown intercepted the ball at the 6-yard line.
“I just didn’t put it far enough outside,” said Palmer. “I was trying to take a shot there, go for the touchdown quickly and just didn’t put the ball in the right spot, didn’t give Juron a chance to make a play on the ball.”
Carson was 34-for-54 passing for 351 yards, including two touchdowns one to Rod Streater for 64-yards and a 17-yard pass to Brandon Myers in the final seconds of the game. Oakland is 1-9 when Palmer throws for more than 300 yards.
“We can’t stop the run, we can’t stop the pass,” Raiders cornerback Michael Huff said. “Things just aren’t going well on defense. Right now I guess we’re just a bad defense. We can’t really hide it. At this point, the numbers don’t really allow it. We’re just bad right now.”
Rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden threw a career-high 364 yards and a touchdown to snap a 12-game road losing streak. Weeden found fellow rookie Josh Gordon for a 44-yard touchdown in the second quarter and Trent Richardson scored on a 3-yard touchdown to secure their victory in the fourth.
“You don’t want streaks like that,” said Browns coach Pat Shurmur. “Let’s face it, over the last few years we haven’t done a a great job of winning games. And so, as we take this journey with this young football team, they’re starting to learn.”
As for Oakland the injuries keep piling up. Three concussions today for three players, Matt Giordano, Mike Mitchell and Phillip Adams. With a short week ahead, this team must find some resiliency. To make matters worse, the Raiders head coach had to fly out to the Dallas area to be with his ailing father, former NFL linebacker Grady Allen.
Dennis Allen is expected to return to the team on Wednesday leaving much of the rebuilding with his assistant coaches to handle. Offensive Coordinator Greg Knapp will run practices and take over with news conferences in his absence. Players were not informed of Allen’s departure and were told by members of the media.
At this point in the season, there’s not much to say what already hasn’t been done. The mistakes have been made and now it’s time to correct the problems moving forward. Denver is not a team that you want to give too many opportunities, especially since they have a quarterback like Peyton Manning leading the team.
“We’re not going to make excuses, we’re going to fight and get our bodies ready for this game,” Carson said. “Try to find a way to beat a really good team coming in here. We know they’re [Broncos] a very physical team that runs the ball down hill.”