In an ugly game on both sides, Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr ultimately captained a comeback in the final minutes to set kicker Daniel Carlson up for a 48-yard game-winning field goal as time expired.
The Cleveland Browns led 14-13 following a Carr interception with less than three minutes to play, but the Raiders defense gave the ball back to the offense with just enough time to hit the kick and secure the 16-14 win.
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Las Vegas and Cleveland enter Week 16 with 7-7 records, vying for a wild card spot in the AFC playoff race.
Las Vegas Raiders
Carr did enough late for Las Vegas to win, but he was also a key reason why the Raiders trailed in the fourth quarter against a COVID-ridden Browns team. He lost his 35th career fumble (most of any quarterback since 2014) and threw an ugly interception to Browns cornerback Greedy Williams. His longest completion of the day went for 17 yards, and he didn’t complete a single pass more than 20 yards downfield.
Starter Josh Jacobs totaled 18 combined touches for 94 scoreless yards while veteran backup Peyton Barber logged six touches for 46 yards. Neither back broke more than four tackles in the game, and a high percentage of their rushing yards came after contact because of Las Vegas’ lackluster offensive line play.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Wide receiver Zay Jones and tight end Foster Moreau led the team in receiving with 67 and 65 yards, respectively.
Slot superstar Hunter Renfrow was held to just 32 yards on five targets, as he was often double-teamed in high-leverage situations.
Second-year South Carolina wide receiver Bryan Edwards was the only Raiders player who found the end zone, and he did so hauling in a contested catch on a well-placed goal-line fade throw from Carr.
Bryan Edwards with the SNAG over Denzel Ward for 6⃣pic.twitter.com/c6CWUgca9K
— PFF (@PFF) December 20, 2021
Las Vegas’ offensive line continues to be a concern week in and week out. On PFF’s first review of the broadcast film, none of the team’s starting five offensive linemen earned PFF run-blocking grades above 65.0.
In pass protection, however, only Brandon Parker allowed more than two pressures, and rookie Alex Leatherwood kept a clean sheet, allowing zero pressures on 41 pass-blocking snaps.
Cleveland’s offensive line held up well in pass protection but had no answers for star Raiders edge defender Maxx Crosby in the run game. He had multiple defensive stops and should finish PFF’s review process with an 80.0-plus PFF run-defense grade.
Rookie Divine Deablo was also a standout performer in run defense, as he logged multiple defensive stops and zero missed tackles on 34 defensive snaps. Veteran KJ Wright led the group in snaps played (56) and totaled three defensive stops along with two missed tackles.
Backup Brandon Facyson, who was filling in for the injured Trayvon Mullen, was targeted early and often but held up well. On PFF’s first review of the broadcast film, Facyson allowed receptions on just 5-of-11 targets for 53 yards while recording three forced incompletions in the process.
Nick Mullens didn’t lose the game for the Browns, but he did little to help them win it. On PFF’s first review, he recorded zero big-time throws and zero turnover-worthy plays against Las Vegas. He only attempted nine passes more than 10 yards downfield and completed two of them for 36 yards.
Nick Chubb totaled two 10-plus-yard runs and found the end zone once, but he needed to have a much better game for Cleveland to overcome the slew of injuries/COVID cases on offense. He averaged just 4.0 yards per carry on his 23 attempts and gained more than 80% of his yards after contact.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Donovan Peoples-Jones was Mullens’ favorite target on the night, but he still only hauled in 4-of-8 targets for 48 yards and two first downs. No other wide receiver/tight end finished with more than 30 receiving yards. As a unit, the group hauled in 3-of-6 contested targets and dropped just one pass.
Cleveland’s front five was excellent in pass protection nearly across the board, but injuries to tackles Jedrick Wills Jr. and Jack Conklin really affected the team’s run-blocking. Backups Blake Hance and Michael Dunn struggled quite a bit in the run game, but the front five as a whole allowed just four total pressures on 30 pass-blocking snaps.
Sheldon Day and Porter Gustin showed up in run defense, but star defensive end Myles Garrett had a relatively quiet night. Battling an apparent lower-body injury all game long, Garrett finished PFF’s first review of the broadcast film with a sub-75.0 PFF grade and just five total pressures.
It was not a banner day for the Browns’ off-ball linebackers in coverage. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and Malcolm Smith allowed nine receptions combined for 106 yards and five first downs on the night.