The Cleveland Browns found their offense and a finishing kick in
the fourth quarter Sunday to earn a 23-13 victory over the Raiders.
Oakland (0-7) fell to 0-3 under interim head coach Tony Sparano
while losing its 13th game in a row dating to 2013.
Quarterback Brian Hoyer tossed a 4-yard touchdown pass to wide
receiver Andrew Hawkins early in the fourth quarter to propel the
Browns (4-3). Hoyer faced questions about his job security this week
after a loss against the previously winless Jacksonville Jaguars on
The Browns began to pull away late in the third quarter.
A jarring tackle by strong safety Donte Whiter on Raiders running
back Darren McFadden knocked the ball free and into the hands of Joe
Haden. The cornerback returned it 34 yards.
On the next play, Hoyer connected with Hawkins for 32 yards to the
Oakland 21. Hoyer hit Hawkins for the score three plays later with
14:17 left for a 16-6 lead.
"The defense did a great job keeping us in it all day," Hoyer said.
"No one cares who gets the credit for a win. We just want to win
games. We finally got a touchdown off of one of their turnovers."
Hoyer completed 19 of 28 passes for 275 yards with one touchdown and
no interceptions. It is his fifth game without throwing a pick this
"We knew against a team like this, we were going to have to be
patient," Browns coach Mike Pettine said. "He made the plays when we
needed to make them."
The Raiders played hard for the third consecutive game under Sparano
but once again fell short. They outgained the Browns 387 yards to
306 and dominated time of possession, 34:52 to 25:08.
"It's definitely frustrating, but all we can do is look forward,"
said tight end Mychal Rivera, who made seven catches for 83 yards.
"We have to look at the film and figure it out. Obviously, we
haven't figured it out yet."
The Browns' running game sputtered for the second game in a row
without injured center Alex Mack, producing just 39 yards on 25
carries. Cleveland's lone highlight on the ground was a 5-yard
scoring run by running back Ben Tate after linebacker Barkevious
Mingo recovered a fumble by Raiders quarterback Derek Carr inside
the Oakland 10. The fourth-quarter touchdown put Cleveland ahead
23-6 with 2:26 remaining.
"We just made it a point to stop the run," Raiders defensive end
Antonio Smith said. "With that zone running, it's side-to-side
cutback type of style. You've got to penetrate one side and on the
other side don't get cut."
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Carr threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Andre Holmes
with seven seconds left to account for Oakland's only touchdown.
The first 30 minutes belonged to the defenses and placekickers.
The Browns moved the ball in the first half but stalled three times.
Each time Bill Cundiff kicked a field goal, giving Cleveland a 9-0
lead before Sebastian Janikowski cut the lead to 9-3 with 1:50 left
in the first half.
After being stuffed in Jacksonville a week earlier, the Browns were
determined to get their run offense going, but the Raiders would not
allow Tate, Cleveland's leading rusher, to get untracked. Drives
expired on the Oakland 34, 15 and 2. The Browns had just 17 rushing
yards in the first half on 12 carries.
The Raiders clawed their way back into the game with another field
goal before halftime to make it a six-point game.
The Browns tried to pad their lead after Oakland cut it to 9-3, but
two false starts and an incomplete pass sabotaged the drive and led
to a punt.
Carr, looking poised in the pocket, moved the Raiders from the
Oakland 37 to the Cleveland 20 to set up Janikowski for a 38-yard
field goal on the last play of the half.
Carr finished 34-for-54 for 328 yards with one touchdown pass and no
NOTES: The Raiders placed DE LaMarr Woodley (biceps) on injured
reserve. C.J. Wilson replaced Woodley as the starter at right end.
... Oakland S Usama Young (knee) was placed on injured reserve. ...
Raiders CB DJ Hayden was activated from the reserve/non-football
injury list. ... The Browns activated C Nick McDonald. ... Cleveland
DL Ahtyba Rubin started at nose tackle after missing the previous
two games with an ankle injury.
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