Browns as much to blame for 45-42 OT loss to Raiders as officials

Cleveland loses turnover battle, yields 565 yards of offense in defeat

Daryl Ruiter
September 30, 2018 - 11:39 pm
leveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) has the ball knocked out of his hands by Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Maurice Hurst (73) in the third quarter at Oakland Coliseum

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports


Cleveland, OH (92.3 The Fan) – Browns fans are angry, and rightfully so.

The officiating in Sunday’s 45-42 overtime loss at Oakland left a lot to be desired and yet it wasn’t the only reason the Browns flew home 1-2-1.

But let’s start with the officials.  

With 1:28 remaining, the re-spot of Carlos Hyde’s should’ve still been a first down after a replay review was embarrassingly awful.

Not one angle shown on television showed conclusive evidence to warrant an overturn. Unless the officials got an angle that FOX broadcast wasn’t privy to, Baker Mayfield should’ve been able to line up in victory formation and run out the clock for a 42-34 win to move to 2-1-1 on the season.

On the ensuing punt, the officials missed a blatant block in the back that should’ve moved Oakland back to their own 37 instead of starting the drive at their own 47.

The strip-sack of Derek Carr that was ruled in the grass was just as terrible. Larry Ogunjobi had the scoop and fumble return for 6 nullified. The Raiders would argue that is cancelled out because Marshawn Lynch was prematurely ruled down and probably would’ve scored a touchdown if not for the play getting blown dead earlier in the game.

Former Brown Frostee Rucker hit Mayfield in the facemask in overtime, that always draws a roughing the passer penalty, but not this time. 

For as bad as those calls were – and they were bad – the Browns were just as complicit in their demise.

They had leads of 10, 14 and 8 points and held none of them.

The Browns had at least 6 dropped passes – maybe more depending on how you score them – Jarvis Landry (1), Rashard Higgins (1), David Njoku (1) and Antonio Callaway (3) by our unofficial count.

Raider quarterback Derek Carr carved the Browns defense like a thanksgiving turkey to the tune of 437 yards and 4 touchdowns. In all Cleveland surrendered 565 yards in total offense to Oakland.

The Browns allowed receiver Amari Cooper to catch 8 of 12 targets for 128 yards and a score. Tight end Jared Cook caught 8 of 13 targets for 110 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Marshawn Lynch ran for 130 yards, including a huge 52-yard run late in the fourth quarter that set up a field goal to cut the Browns lead to 28-24 and fuel the Raiders’ first comeback.

Mayfield had 2 interceptions plus 2 fumbles inside their own 20 and the Browns lost the turnover battle for the first time this season 4-2. The short fields cost the Browns 24 points. 

Why did Nick Chubb only touch the ball 3 times, especially after rolling off touchdown runs of 63 and 41 yards?

Or why when needing just a half a yard for a touchdown on third down do you run a misdirection with Callaway that lost 8 yards and are forced to settle for a 25-yard field goal instead?

The special teams unit continues to struggle. Greg Joseph’s first field goal almost was blocked by Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Jabrill Peppers was mercifully pulled from kick return duty after averaging 16 yards per return on 4 tries and was stopped shy of the 20 twice. Cleveland was flagged for lining up wrong on a kickoff, and how that happens is anyone’s guess.

Even after the horrendous Hyde overturn, and subsequent missed block in the back penalty on the ensuing punt return that allowed the Raiders to start at midfield, Oakland only needed 6 plays and 53 seconds to score. Even up 2 after the Carr to Cook 7-yard TD, the Browns surrendered the tying 2-point conversion.

The only offensive possession in overtime lasted 3 plays, 5 yards and 43 seconds leaving an already gassed defense gasping for air.  

So, yes, the officials influenced the outcome Sunday, but so did the Browns.