If any game seemed winnable for the Raiders, it was Sunday’s against the Cleveland Browns.
The Browns, who started the day 3-3, had just come off a loss to previously winless Jacksonville last week, and appeared vulnerable. Their defense was lousy against the run and quarterback Brian Hoyer had been shaky in recent games.
But on Sunday, Hoyer was 19-of-28 for 275 yards and a touchdown and the Browns took advantage of three turnovers to keep the Raiders at bay.
After the Browns took a 9-0 lead in the second quarter, Oakland came back with two Sebastian Janikowski field goals before halftime to get within 9-6.
But late in the third quarter came the Raiders’ crucial mistake.
The Raiders put together a beautiful drive from their own 9 to the Browns’ 33 on 11 plays. On the 12th play, however, Darren McFadden picked up 4 yards but fumbled the ball away after a hit by Donte Whitner. The Browns immediately made them pay, driving for a touchdown on Hoyer’s 4-yard pass to Andrew Hawkins for a 16-6 lead.
Then, after two Raiders possessions did little, Derek Carr was sacked and fumbled at his own 14-yard line, with the Browns capitalizing two plays later on a Ben Tate 5-yard TD run for a 23-6.
A late TD pass from Carr to Andre Holmes only made the final score a bit more respectable.
Yet another loss left Raiders fans venting on Twitter.
Said one: “I don’t think the Raiders are going to win a game all year. Man, are they terrible.” Another: “This was the worst performance of the year!!!! I would not retain any of the staff, gm and not sure how many players. #Angry.” And: “Do the Raiders even practice, or do they just show up to games?”
For the Raiders, there were a couple of (small) bright spots. Carr, again, showed he could be a solid quarterback – if he had a good supporting cast. He was 34-of-54 for 328 yards. And young linebackers Sio Moore and Khalil Mack did a terrific job against the run, holding Cleveland’s running game to 40 yards.
But the silver linings don’t mean much when the franchise has 13 straight defeats over two seasons.
And next week’s opponent? The defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks, in Seattle.