The Las Vegas Raiders enter their Week 8 matchup after dropping three of their last four games. Our staff at Silver and Black Today provide their predictions for the Browns vs. Raiders matchup.
The Raiders received good news this week when right tackle Trent Brown was activated off the Reserve/COVID-19 list and is expected to play on Sunday, which could be just what the doctored ordered for Las Vegas to get back in the win column. Having Brown available for the Browns vs. Raiders matchup is a key ingredient in getting Josh Jacobs and the ground game rolling.
So far this season, the Raiders rank 11th in scoring offense, but the defense hasn’t held up their end of the bargain as they rank 31st in points allowed per game. While all eyes were on the Raiders’ defense this week, coach Jon Gruden spoke directly toward the defense during his weekly press conferences, stating changes were coming.
Friday’s injury report for the Raiders indicates that receiver Bryan Edwards (foot/ankle) is questionable for Sunday’s game after missing the last three contests. Meanwhile, defensive end Arden Key (foot) is listed as doubtful.
In terms of the Browns health for the game, they’ll be without three key players. Tight end Austin Hooper (abdomen), linebacker Jacob Phillips (knee), and offensive guard Wyatt Teller (calf) will all miss the Week 8 game as they’re listed as out.
Here are our staff predictions ahead of the Browns vs. Raiders Week 8 matchup:
Moe Moton, Sr. Columnist
The Las Vegas Raiders’ defense does one thing well when linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski plays: stop the run between the 20-yard lines. The Silver and Black has allowed just 3.3 yards per carry (tied for third-fewest in the NFL) since his Week 4 return. With Kwiatkoski, the Raiders are equipped to stop the Cleveland Browns’ ground attack. Despite the forecast for rain on Sunday, Derek Carr has enough arm to challenge the Browns’ 30th-ranked pass defense. He can also go to the short passing game to beat the linebackers in coverage. Raiders 30, Browns 24
Nick Cothrel, Staff Writer
The Raiders find themselves in a bit of a rut over their last four games. With the Browns next up on the schedule, Las Vegas is likely to see a strong running attack as Clevland ranks top three in rushing with Kareem Hunt leading the way during Nick Chubb’s absence. However, the Raiders rank ninth in yards per game in comparison to the Browns’ 17th. The Raiders will need their offense to be clicking on all cylinders once again as I expect this game to be another shootout. Las Vegas hasn’t had many answers defensively and I’d assume that won’t change against the Baker Mayfield-led Browns. Raiders 31, Browns 24
Phil Robinson III, Staff Writer
With the return of Trent Brown looming on the horizon for the game against the Cleveland Browns, things are looking up. The Raiders are continuing to get healthy moving deeper into the season which is the opposite of what happened last year. Whereas the Browns are currently in the middle of dealing with mounting injuries. Pass defense remains an area of concern for both teams. It may all come down to the weather conditions and how the Raiders’ offense adapts to it. The forecast calls for temperatures in the ’40-’50s, rain, wind and possibly snow. Raiders 24, Browns 21.
Matt Fallon, Staff Writer
Whelp, it took one whole week for Raiders’ Twitter to completely meltdown. After a gruesome 45-20 loss to Tampa Bay, the positivity has gone away. The good news — the Raiders have the third-easiest schedule in football the rest of the way. Starting with arguably their toughest non-divisional game remaining, the Cleveland Browns. The Browns are sitting at 5-2 after a win over Cincinnati, but are banged up and haven’t played nearly as tough of a schedule as the Raiders have encountered thus far. Getting pressure on Baker Mayfield will be key, as Gruden has expressed throughout the week. If the Raiders make Mayfield beat them, and get the offense back on track, I expect a big victory. Raiders 41, Browns 30
Chaz Osborne, Staff Writer
It would be absurd to say the Browns are a better team without Odell Beckham Jr., but Baker Mayfield has a substantially higher passer rating of 116.6 when Beckham is absent as opposed to a 78.6 when he is in the starting lineup. Mayfield has a 29 to 27 touchdown to interception ratio with Beckham and an 8 to 1 without. That being said, I believe the Raiders’ offensive line will play with a fierce mindset after last week. In order to stay in stride with what the Browns have done in recent games, the Raiders will need to capitalize on more touchdowns than field goals (looking at you coach Gruden). And the defense will need to eventually step up and force a turnover or stop at the end. Raiders 30, Browns 27
Scott Gulbransen, Founder/Publisher
Yes, we’re not yet halfway through the 2020 season but this game in Cleveland feels like a must-win for the Las Vegas Raiders. The Browns vs. Raiders matchup is important for AFC playoff seedings later on down the line. Yes, I expect the Raiders to be in contention for the final Wild Card spot when it’s all said and done. In this game, I think Josh Jacobs gets going as does Derek Carr, limited by the weather, and the Raiders handle Cleveland. Raiders 28, Browns 14
What is your take on tomorrow’s Browns vs. Raiders game?