As we near the halfway point of the regular season, the Las Vegas Raiders are remaining steady in the playoff race after a big win on the road against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. At a 4-3 record, Vegas will need to win the games they should in order to have a shot at a wild card spot.
Before we get to that though, let’s talk about an ugly Week 8 win.
The Autumn Wind was howling in Cleveland as high gusts and rain kept the Raiders offense on the ground. Derek Carr wasn’t able to do much in the passing game as he only threw for 112 yards on 15 completions.
However, no need to fret as steady running back Josh Jacobs cruised to 128 yards on a hefty 31 carries. It would be the decider as it set up three timely field goals and a Hunter Renfrow touchdown.
The offense had to readjust their scheme as right tackle Trent Brown missed a second-consecutive week after an IV incident. He will be back in Week 9.
Thanks to that glorious Autumn Wind, the Raiders didn’t need much from the offense to win.
The Raiders’ best defensive aspect took away the Browns’ best offensive aspect — the running game.
Kareem Hunt was held to just 66 yards on 14 carries. Thanks to the wild weather, Baker Mayfield wasn’t able to do anything from the air. At the end of the day, Vegas shut down Cleveland’s running game and Cleveland couldn’t do the same defensively.
Linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski made the big play of the day after stripping wide receiver Harrison Bryant and recovering the ball.
It was an easy day for the secondary as the ball was mostly kept on the ground to little success for Cleveland.
Kicker Daniel Carlson recovered from an early missed 41-yard field goal to kick three successful ones later on. He’s now 16-of-18 on the year and is tied for third in field goals made.
It’s hard to get a grasp of where the Raiders are at right now as weather ruined each team’s offensive schemes; remember that the Raiders gave up 45 points just a week earlier in contained conditions at home to the Buccaneers.
The next three weeks are huge for Vegas as they are all divisional matchups. First up, they will head to Los Angeles to take on a reeling Chargers squad Sunday afternoon.