The Cleveland Browns snapped their 12-game road losing streak on Sunday, defeating the Oakland Raiders 20-17 and, for the most part, looked good while doing it.
Quarterback Brandon Weeden, one week removed from a concussion, completed 25 of 36 passes (just a shade under 70%) for 364 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. His interceptions weren’t pretty, but he was accurate on just about every mid-range pass and he threw a beautiful ball to wide receiver Josh Gordon for a 44-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
Running back Trent Richardson had yet another solid game, carrying the ball 20 times for 72 yards and a touchdown to go along with three catches for 23 yards. Montario Hardesty spelled him nicely, as he had five carries for 39 yards.
Defensively, the Browns continue to shine. Cornerback Sheldon Brown had an especially impressive performance on Sunday, holding Raiders wide receiver Denarius Moore to only two catches for 31 yards (which also led to Moore’s benching). Brown also had an interception off of Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer.
With quarterbacks essentially staying away from Joe Haden these days, the rest of the Browns secondary will continue to see more action. With Brown stepping up in such a big way, it changes the entire look of the defense. It’s just another reason why the Browns must target secondary help early in April’s draft. Two viable cornerbacks makes a world of difference.
Look, the Oakland Raiders are not a good football team. In fact, they are mostly a pretty bad football team. But why complain about how the Browns are getting their victories late in the season? Right now, the Browns have won three of their last five games and have been “right there” in so many others. That’s a true sign of progress.
And finally, here is your sign that the world really is ending this month: Phil Dawson finally missed a field goal attempt (from less than 30 yards, no less).