Monday, October 27, 2014
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Browns keep Raiders winless

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[October 27, 2014]  CLEVELAND -- And in the seventh game, the Oakland Raiders remained winless.

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 Oct. 19.

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 season.

"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 interceptions.

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.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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