The Las Vegas Raiders ( still weird to say) came into First Energy Stadium looking to get a win and go above .500 after losing last week. Head coach Jon Gruden looked to come home and get a win against his home-state team.
The Raiders and Gruden both got what they wanted.
Ok, I’ll be the first to admit that I called this game completely wrong and did not take this unpredictable Cleveland weather into account, but let’s call it what it is…
This was an ugly weather game.
The Browns and Raiders struggled to get any real offense going and both teams had trouble doing the very thing they were both good at – throwing the ball.
Both teams traded field goals in the second quarter going into half time with the Raiders leading, 6-3. In the third quarter, the Browns would tie the game on a Cody Parkey field goal to make it a 6-6 game going into the fourth.
The Raiders would dominate the fourth when QB Derek Carr would find WR Hunter Renfrow for a four-yard TD pass. The Raiders would tack on another 24-yard field goal to put the game on ice at 16-6.
While the Browns finally lost in the orange pants; let’s not forget that the Raiders are not a bad team. They are on a three-game win streak against the Browns who haven’t beaten the Raiders since 2014 and actually lead the all-time series, 15-10. The Raiders are also the team to knock off the defending Super Bowl champ Kansas City Chiefs, so this game could have gone either way. The good news is that the Browns are going into the bye week at 5-3, two games above .500, And the schedule gets relatively easier the second half of the season. Let’s not forget that they are also 3-1 at home and start off with two home games after the bye week hosting a terrible Houston Texans (1-6) team and a sketchy Philadelphia Eagles (2-4 as of this writing) team. Both games are very winnable.
There’s more good news. This bye week gives the team more practice time. and time to heal (remember our favorite RB Nick Chubb returns). Even with an ugly game as such, the Browns have held their own against a very tough first half of the schedule. If they can stay the pace and keep up their winning ways, they have a great chance of making the expanded playoffs and dare I say possibly stealing the division with Baltimore finally losing a division game against the Steelers.
After the bye week, the Browns host the lowly Houston Texans. The Texans were favored to possibly repeat as division champs and make the playoffs, but as we have seen 2020 has been a year of weird things happening. Browns running back Nick Chubb returns and will look to return to form and run over opposing defenses. When Chubb returns, he will be reunited with fellow back Kareem Hunt and QB Baker Mayfield, so the stress will be taken off of Baker to make plays. The Texans defense is nothing to speak of with a horrible offense to compliment. This game can be won if the offense has gelled over the bye week and Nick Chubb is worked in slowly with Hunt.
Final prediction: Browns go on a three-game win streak including the bye. 30-10 Browns.