Week 13: Cleveland Browns At Oakland Raiders

Cleveland Browns v Green Bay Packers
Oakland Raiders v San Diego Chargers
Brandon Weeden suffered a concussion at the end of the Week 12 game against Pittsburgh. He will have to be cleared by medical personnel if he is going to be able to travel and play against the Raiders. Weeden has been very competitive even though he has not had a strong supporting cast. If he can’t play, backup Colt McCoy will take his place.
Winner Carson Palmer was primed for a big game against his former team, but the Raiders were never a factor against the Bengals. Palmer should feel much more comfortable playing at home this week. He has a strong arm, a quick release and he can be quite accurate. Palmer needs to get off to a quick start so he can shake off his team’s losing ways.
Winner Running back Trent Richardson is going to be a star in the NFL. Opponents of the Browns have to try to stop him first because of his explosiveness, agility and surprising power. Josh Gordon is a lanky yet powerful receiver who can break big plays. He is averaging 18.9 yards per catch. Tight end Benjamin Watson can make key catches on third-down plays.
Winner The Raiders could get a lift this week with the return of running back Darren McFadden, who has been out with a high ankle sprain. Early reports had him scheduled to return to practice. The Raiders want to unleash wide receivers Darius Heyward-Bey and Denarius Moore on the Cleveland secondary. He has caught 36 passes and is averaging 16.6 yards per reception.
Winner The Browns make a lot of mistakes on defense, but it’s not from lack of effort. They are fairly solid against the run and they are a very hard-hitting unit. Middle linebacker D’Qwell Jackson is one of the team’s best tacklers and he can go sideline-to-sideline to make plays. He leads the team with 84 stops. Cornerback Buster Skrine makes some mistakes in coverage, but he has 70 tackles and nine passes defensed.
The Raiders’ defense has been awful in recent weeks but they should get a lift from the return of defensive lineman Richard Seymour who has missed the last three games with a hamstring injury and a sore knee. The defense has been lost without him. They need to pressure the quarterback better. Outside linebacker Philip Wheeler has a team-high 84 tackles.
Special Teams
Phil Dawson is one of the game’s best kickers. He has not missed a field goal attempt in over a year. Dawson is 21-of-21 this year and has made all 5 of his attempts of 50 yards or more. Reggie Hodges is an ordinary punter, averaging 42.2 yards per kick this season.
Winner The Raiders know that Sebastian Janikowski is going to make his clutch field goal attempts. He still has the strongest leg in the league and he is likely to hit a game-winner if the Raiders give him that opportunity. Shane Lechler not only gets distance on his punts, he knows how to angle them away from the return man.

The Winner Is

Oakland Raiders v San Diego Chargers
Winner Raiders
3 out of 4

The Raiders have gotten hammered in losing their last four games. They have given up 173 points over that span. Coming home to play Cleveland should be a much easier assignment. If Palmer can get off to a hot start, look for the Raiders to put the Browns away early.


  1. Mike Vick #2 of the Pittsburgh Steelers.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) Philip Rivers  of the San Diego Chargers (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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    The high-powered Pittsburgh offense was a bit out of sync against the Ravens in Week Four without Ben Roethlisberger, but it seemed like Mike Vick was pretty close to finding success.

  2. Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) Giants quarterback Eli Manning. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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    Colin Kaepernick is under extreme pressure to produce at a high level. That has not been happening, and the 49ers are in danger of seeing their season fall apart.

  3. Peyton Manning (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) ST. LOUIS, MO - NOVEMBER 30: Derek Carr #4 of the Oakland Raiders passes against the St. Louis Rams in the second quarter at the Edward Jones Dome on November 30, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Rams beat the Raiders 52-0.
    Week 5 Tale Of The Tape: Denver Broncos At Oakland Raiders

    Peyton Manning appears to have come to terms with the deficiencies in his game at this point. He can no longer whistle the ball downfield at the last minute, and some medium-range passes are difficult as well.

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