CLEVELAND (AP) – The Raiders have not appreciated the postponement of their trip by the NFL. They made sure their playoff chances weren’t canceled as well.
Daniel Carlson’s 48-yard field goal when the time limit expired sent Las Vegas to a 16-14 Monday night win over the COVID-19 exhausted Cleveland Browns in a game pushed back two days by the NFL in the middle of an increase in virus cases across the league.
One point back, quarterback Derek Carr patiently led the Raiders (7-7) into Cleveland territory in the final two minutes.
Then Carlson shrugged of being chilled by the Browns to start his winner, keeping Las Vegas in the playoff mix. The Raiders had been upset by the league’s decision to delay the game from Saturday to Monday, with owner Mark Davis saying the delay was a “competitive disadvantage” for his team.
This all seemed to have been forgotten as the Raiders danced off their sideline when Carlson’s kick came to the Dawg Pound end of FirstEnergy Stadium.
“It was a long time before I won a game like this at the end,” said Raiders interim coach Rich Bisaccia, who has led the team through a hectic season. “We understand the situation we find ourselves in and what the playoff race looks like. “
The loss was devastating for the Browns (7-7), who would have risen to first place in the AFC North with a victory. Instead, they fell to last place in the very tight division with three games to go.
Due to a virus outbreak, the Browns were without quarterback Baker Mayfield, coach Kevin Stefanski and several other top players, including top receiver Jarvis Landry and edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney.
Cleveland third-string quarterback Nick Mullens brought the Browns back from a 10-0 deficit in the third quarter and gave them a 14-13 lead with a 6-yard touchdown pass in the fourth. . up to Harrison Bryant 3:45 hours left.
And after Greedy Williams intercepted Carr, it appeared the Browns were poised to take their roller coaster season to new heights. But Cleveland couldn’t get a first try and returned the ball to Carr with 1:50 to go.
“After that interception I said to the guys, ‘Please I promise we’ll win, just get the ball back,’” Carr said.
He then led a 51-yard run, completing two long passes to Zay Jones to set up Carlson’s kick that breathed new life into a team that has faced adversity and drama all season. , including the resignation of coach Jon Gruden in October.
Carr understood why his teammates were so upset with the league’s decision to move the game.
“I wanted to play because I have a routine,” Carr said. “But life is going to throw the curve balls at us. Whether I agree or not, it doesn’t matter.
The Browns were ravaged by positive cases of COVID-19 last week. Although the league postponed the two-day game, an asymptomatic Mayfield was unable to produce a negative test in time to play. Cleveland was without a dozen regulars.
The Browns were also without Stefanski, forced to miss his second big game in less than a year after testing positive.
“This locker room hurts right now,” said Browns interim coach Mike Priefer. “It’s the most that I’ve seen in this kind of pain. You are upset when you lose. Obviously, you are happy when you win. But when you lose that type of game, it was difficult.
“They are pretty depressed right now.”
Nick Chubb’s 4-yard touchdown came shortly after the Browns got some much-needed turnover. They snatched the ball away from Carr, who groped near the midfield and appeared to hurt his leg as he was shot down by Sheldon Day and others.
Carr was checked by the coaches before limping on the sidelines. He came back for the Raiders’ next possession and finished 25 of 38 for 236 yards and a hit at Bryan Edwards.
STAY ON THE LINE
Cleveland’s troubles up front led to a major change, with Pro Bowl left guard Joel Bitonio slipping to play the left tackle as Jedrick Wills Jr. was one of the Browns’ COVID-19 cases.
Bitonio had a brief stint in tackling training camp a few years ago after the retirement of eternal All-Pro Joe Thomas.
For the second year in a row, Browns chief of staff Callie Brownson has been called upon to replace an assistant coach. With interim running backs coach Ryan Cordell with COVID-19, Brownson stepped in. Last year, she became the first woman in league history to work as a positional coach during a game.
Brownson is in his second season with Cleveland. She was recently hired as the coach of the United States Women’s National Team for this summer’s world championships.
Raiders: LB Will Compton was a late scratch. He left the team to join his family following the unexpected death of his mother. … LB Divine Deablo injured his shoulder in the third quarter. … S Jonathan Abram immediately went to the locker room with a shoulder injury midway through the fourth period and did not return.
Browns: DE star Myles Garett suffered a groin injury in the second half but stayed. … DE Takk McKinley was eliminated in the third quarter with a potentially serious ankle injury. McKinley covered his face and struggled to contain his emotions as he was taken to the locker room.
Raiders: Host the Denver Broncos on December 26.
Browns: Christmas Day visit to Lambeau Field to play Green Bay Packers.
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