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Raiders fend off late Browns comeback in 27-20 win

In a matchup between two teams that have not made the playoffs since 2002, it was the Oakland Raiders who moved to 2-1 with a 27-20 win.

Here are some things we learned...

  1. It had been 2,121 days since the Oakland Raiders have won a game in the Eastern time zone. Then again, it had been more than 2,000 days since Oakland has looked this good while simultaneously playing a team this out of sorts. To wit: Mike Pettine showed tremendous faith in his offense before the end of the first half down 10 points and opted to go for it on fourth-and-goal. However, half the offensive line jumped offsides and they were forced to kick a field goal. They were booed heading into the tunnel at halftime and, in the fourth quarter, fumbled away a chance to tie the game.
  1. Derek Carr was solid against a manic defense on Sunday thanks in large part to the way Amari Cooper bested Joe Haden in one-on-one coverage. Cooper may already be one of the five best receivers in football; he just needs to hold on to the ball.
  1. Browns offensive coordinator John DeFilippo made it a point to stop by and congratulate his former pupil, Carr, after the game. Is there any doubt as to which passer he'd rather be coaching? Josh McCown did a fine job on Sunday because, at his best, he is a fine NFL quarterback. That being said, there is little benefit to having him in these games, especially when Johnny Manziel was just as likely to be baited into a deep interception to close it out.
  1. Latavius Murray and Taiwan Jones could turn into one of the more interesting thunder-and-lighting combinations in the NFL (if Jones can resist the temptation not to drift backwards so much). For Murray, Sunday was the best game of his career and not only in total yardage. It seems like Murray is finally understanding the proper way to use his height and size and against a stout Browns defensive line that is much better than statistics say, he was simply dominant.
  1. Oakland may not have a commanding lead on many teams this season, but when they do, that gauntlet of pass rushers will be brutal. Justin Tuck, Khalil Mack or Aldon Smith will be one-on-one on almost every play, assuming Ken Norton, Jr. and Jack Del Rio bring the heat. The Browns got a taste of this Monday and the Bears had better be taking notes.
  1. Random side note: The Raiders have a very good chance of being 3-1 after next week.
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