The Oakland Raiders defeated the Cleveland Browns 24-17 on Sunday afternoon, putting them two games over .500 for the first time in nine years. However, the victory was costly as they possibly lost their quarterback, Jason Campbell, to a collarbone injury for the rest of the season.
Campbell was injured in the second quarter when he scrambled for a 7-yard gain, and was sandwiched by Chris Gocong and Scott Fujita of the Browns.
The Raiders specials teams were able to make up for the loss of Campbell, scoring 17 of their 24 points.
Wide receiver Jacoby Ford ran back a kickoff for 101-yards putting them ahead early in the second quarter 14-7. Kicker Sebastian Janikowski added a 48-yard field goal in the 3rd quarter, but the play of the day happened as the 3rd quarter came to an end.
Lining up for a 35-yard field goal, punter Shane Lechler took the snap, but stood up and found tight end, Kevin Boss, wide open up the right side, as the trick play resulted in a 35-yard touchdown pass.
These points were vital in holding off the Browns, who made a late rally in the ball game when Browns’ quarterback Colt McCoy found Mohamed Massaquoi for a 12-yard touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter. This game was too close for comfort for Oakland when the Browns successfully executed an onside kick, but the defense rose to the challenge and stopped them on 4th down of their last possession.
League leading rusher Darren McFadden, had another solid day rushing for 91 yards on 20 carries, and a touchdown score. Wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey had another good game, snagging six catches for 82 yards as well.
The defense was stout throughout most of Sunday’s contest, holding Browns’ running back Peyton Hillis to 14 yards on 6 carries, and holding them as a team to only 65 rushing yards. McCoy threw for 215 yards and two touchdowns, but he didn’t accumulate most of those yards until the 4th quarter.
Raiders head coach, Hue Jackson, seems almost like the perfect hire for this ball club when you look at what they have endured six games into the season. He knows they have to do to keep moving forward with the loss of Campbell, and seems to instill a level of optimism in this team that makes you believe that some how, some way, they will take care of business week in and week out regardless of their circumstances.
Raiders’ quarterback Kyle Boller threw for 100 yards on Sunday against the Browns in place of Campbell, and looks to be the starter in next week’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Quarterback Terrelle Pryor has been added on to the active roster of the Raiders after serving his five-game suspension, but more than likely won’t be seeing the field anytime soon.
The top free agent quarterback that’s out there on the market to replace Campbell would be quarterback David Garrard (who was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars before the season started). He’s a veteran and knows how to manage ball games well enough to keep Oakland going in the right direction. The Raiders are also in talks with the Cincinnati Bengals, in acquiring retired quarterback Carson Palmer in a trade, but that won’t likely happen, due to the Bengals stance on Palmer to either play for us, or don’t play at all.
Life after Al Davis has started off with some very interesting scenarios for the Silver & Black. Let’s see if the Raiders can handle these issues, and move forward amicably.
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Written by Arthur Kai