4 Baker Mayfield turnovers, controversial calls headline 45-42 OT loss

Browns blow 14- and 8-point second half leads, fall to 1-2-1

Daryl Ruiter
September 30, 2018 - 8:32 pm

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Cleveland, OH (92.3 The Fan) – For as entertaining as Sunday’s game in Oakland was, it was just your typical Browns loss.

Baker Mayfield committed 4 turnovers – 2 fumbles and 2 interceptions – that resurrected the Raiders from a 28-14 third quarter deficit throwing Oakland the lifeline needed to rally and force overtime. Meanwhile the Browns add another game to the woulda, coulda, shoulda pile this season.

The Browns blew a 14-point lead, fell behind by 6 and rallied for an 8-point lead in the second half only to get tied with less than a minute left in regulation and then lose in overtime.

Officiating also played a big role Sunday.

Carlos Hyde’s third down run with less than 2 minutes to play that was originally ruled a first down was overturned by replay despite no clear camera angle showing Hyde did not get the line to gain. The Browns should've been able to take a knee and run out the clock. Instead they were forced to punt and the Raiders marched down the field, tied the game and forced overtime.

The officials also blew a would-be strip sack and Larry Ogunjobi scoop and score by blowing the play dead prematurely, missed an illegal block in the back on the punt return that set up the tying drive in regulation and missed a holding penalty in overtime. Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch also saw a should-have been touchdown run blown dead prematurely.

Regardless, the Browns should’ve won Sunday to finish above .500 for the first time since 2001, just like the 21-21 Week 1 tie with Pittsburgh or the 21-18 loss at New Orleans in Week 2.

But they didn’t.

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr threw for 437 yards, Lynch ran for 130 yards while recevier Amari Cooper and tight end Jared Cook had 128 and 110 receiving yards respectively.  

Browns rookie running back Nick Chubb only carried 3 times, but he racked up 105 yards thanks to touchdown runs of 63 and 49 yards. Carlos Hyde also scored on the ground finishing with 82 yards on 22 carries.

Mayfield, who completed just 21 of 41 passes for 295 yards with 2 touchdowns, 2 interceptions and 2 fumbles, got a dose of what so many other Browns quarterbacks through the years dealt with – dropped passes Sunday afternoon. At least 5 more of his throws should’ve been caught, probably more.

Jarvis Landry and Rashard Higgins had drops on the opening possession and then Antonio Callaway had a ball go off his hands and fall into the lap of Raiders cornerback Gareon Conley, a Massillon High School and Ohio State product, who returned it 36 yards for a pick-6 and a 7-0 Raiders lead with 10:11 to play in the opening quarter on the second possession.

Landry was unable to connect with Mayfield on a quick slant in the end zone and then offensive coordinator Todd Haley got too cute on third-and-goal from the half yard line when Callaway lost 8 on a reverse forcing the Browns to settle for a 25-yard field goal, that almost was blocked by Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, to trail 7-3 after 1 quarter.

Chubb, who has averaged 5 offensive snaps per game through the first 3 games, made his presence felt in a big way when he burst around the right side, regained his footing and rolled 63-yards for a touchdown. Callaway dropped the 2-point conversion that should’ve made it an 11-7 game but instead it stayed a 9-7 Browns advantage early in the second quarter.

Mayfield found tight end Darren Fells wide open deep over the middle and Fells did the rest scoring on the 49-yard touchdown for a 15-7 lead. Duke Johnson Jr. ran right to convert the 2-point conversion to go up by 10, 17-7.

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr warmed up in the second quarter and he found Amari Cooper for an 8-yard score to pull Oakland within 17-14 with 4:30 left in the first half. On his next series, Carr moved the Raiders quickly into Browns territory but linebacker Joe Schobert deflected a pass over the middle and E.J. Gaines came away with the pick to halt an end of half Raiders march.

In the third quarter safety Damarious Randall jumped a Carr deep ball for his second interception of the season and turnover No. 13 this year and he added a 50-yard return up the far sideline to the Oakland 31. 2 plays later Landry caught a 2-yard touchdown from Mayfield getting both feet in the corner of the end zone down. Johnson converted on the 2-point try, after a review reversed the original call, with a run up the gut that saw him dive over the goal line to make it 28-14 Browns halfway through the third quarter.

Then the roof caved in.

After forcing a Raiders punt, Mayfield turned it over for a second time when rookie defensive tackle Maurice Hurst stripped the ball as his arm went back to throw and defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins fell on it at the 7 to give Oakland hope. Carr hit Cook on third-and-goal for a 7-yard TD to make it a 28-21 game with 5:34 left in the third.

Randall made a big stop on third-and-3 on an end around to Dwayne Harris forcing Oakland to settle for a 29-yard field goal and a 28-24 deficit. The score was set up by a 52-yard Lynch run up the far sideline deep into Browns territory at the 17.

Mayfield fumbled what appeared to be a premature snap from center J.C. Tretter and Hankins recovered it at the 20. 2 plays later Carr threw a 19-yard TD to receiver Jordy Nelson for a 31-28 lead.

The Browns special teams continue to be miserable to watch and they gave up a 51-yard punt return, but the defense held the Raiders to a 44-yard field goal to push the Oakland run to 20-0 and a 34-28 lead with 10:46 to play in the fourth quarter.

Jabrill Peppers got benched as the kick returner and Callaway replaced him. He caught a break as it appeared Callaway fumbled at the end of the return but replay overturned the call giving the Browns hope. Callaway then caught a pass from Mayfield and raced 59 yards to the 1 to set up Hyde’s 1-yard TD run to regain the lead at 35-34 with 8:07 remaining.

Defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi had a would-be fumble recovery and return for a touchdown nullified because the officials prematurely blew the whistle and ruled Carr was “in the grass.”

Then came the Hyde first down reversal.

Following the punt, Carr marched the Raiders down the field and tied that game on a 7-yard touchdown to Cook. Carr tied the game by converting the 2-point conversion with a throw to Nelson evening the game at 42 with 30 seconds remaining.

Rookie Mike McCrane, who missed 2 field goals, hit the 29-yard winner with 1:50 left in OT.