RB Darren McFadden (20) gave the Raiders a 7-0 lead with a short TD run. AP Photo.
Eight days after the passing of Al Davis, The Oakland Raiders hosted the Cleveland Browns at O.co Coliseum. A video tribute was followed by a moment of silence. Raiders Legend Henry Lawrence led the sold-out crowd in the singing of the National Anthem. The Raiders won the opening coin toss and deferred their choice to the second half.
After holding the Browns to a three-and-out, RB Darren McFadden capped an 88-yard drive on 15 plays with a 4-yard touchdown run. Janikowski's extra point was was good and the Raiders led 7-0 with 5:43 left n the 1st quarter.
The Raiders yielded one first down before forcing a second Browns punt. The punt was downed at the Raiders 14. The Silver and Black's next possession started promisingly enough but QB Jason Campbell fumbled during a scramble and the Browns recovered at their own 43.
The Browns took advantage when QB Colt McCoy capped a 57-yard, 7-play drive with a 1-yard TD pass to TE Alex Smith. K Phil Dawson's extra point was good and the game was tied at 7-7 with 12:07 left in the second quarter.
WR/KR Jacoby Ford returned the ensuing kickoff 101 yards for a touchdown. The run back tied his career-high and ties the mark for third-longest kickoff return in Raiders history. The extra point was good and the Raiders led 14-7 with 11:53 left in the second quarter.
The Browns took over at their own 13 after LB Quentin Groves dropped WR/KR Josh Cribbs on a 13-yard kickoff return. The Browns picked up a couple of first downs before the Raiders defense stiffened and forced a Brad Maynard punt. The kick went out of bounds at the Raiders 19.
During the Raiders next possession, Campbell was shaken up and Kyle Boller took over at quarterback. Boller picked up one first down on a 4th and 1 sneak but the Browns forced a P Shane Lechler punt. Cribbs lost a yard on the return and the Browns took over at their own 9. The Raiders held the Browns to a three and out and took over at their own 39 after a WR Denarius Moore punt return.
The Raiders were unable to move the ball and punted it back to Cleveland who ran the ball once to run out the clock in the second quarter. The Raiders took a 14-7 lead into the locker room at halftime.
After a stirring, emotional tribute to Al Davis, the teams returned to the field for the second half of play. (More on the tribute to Mr. Davis to come in a separate article, photos and video).
Rookie RB Taiwan Jones returned the opening kickoff of the second half to the Raiders 19. The Raiders drive stalled and Cribbs called for an made a fair catch of a Lechler punt at the Browns 10.
After forcing the Browns to punt, Janikowski capped a 7-play, 35-yard drive with a 48-yard field goal to give the Raiders a 17-7 lead with 3:06 left in the 3rd quarter.
The Raiders got the ball back when Cleveland fumbled and DT Tommy Kelly pounced on it at the Browns 25. The Raiders drive fizzled and Janikowski came on for a 53-yard field goal attempt. Lechler took the snap and stood up and fired a strike to TE Kevin Boss who rumbled 35 yards for the score. The extra point was good and the Raiders led 24-7 with 1:23 left in the 3rd quarter.
Cribbs returned the ensuing kickoff 21 yards to the Cleveland 23. After allowing one first down, the Raiders forced a punt. Moore called for and made a fair catch at the Raiders 14. The Raiders went three and out and Cribbs returned Lechler's punt to the Raiders 42.
The Raiders defense didn't allow much and Dawson came on and drilled a 47-yard field goal to cut the Raiders lead to 24-10 with 12:24 left to play.
Ford returned the ensuing kickoff 36 yard to the Raiders 35-yard line. The Raiders drove to the Browns 5 but failed to convert on 4th and 1 and the Browns took over with 4:44 to play.
Cleveland drove into Raiders territory. SS Tyvon Branch intercepted a pass tipped by teammate Mike Mitchell but after replay review, the referee ruled that the ball hit the ground and the Browns maintained possession. McCoy would eventually hit Mohamed Massaquoi for a touchdown. The extra point was good and the Browns trailed 24-17 with 1:06 left to play.
The Browns recovered the onside kick at the Raiders 44. The Raiders held on 4th and 3 and took over on downs at their own 42 with 29 seconds left and Boller took a knee to run out the clock and secure the victory.
The Raiders improve to 4-2 on the season and host the Kansas City Chiefs next Sunday at O.co Coliseum.