The Las Vegas Raiders improve to 4-3 after beating the Cleveland Browns at EnergyFirst Stadium. Looking back, the game was… something.
The Graupel Bowl
I’m officially coining that name. Dibs! It’s mine and I want a cut of any and all Graupel Bowl merch. We learned yesterday that graupel is a mixture of hail and sleet. I did not know that was even a thing, let alone a thing with its own name. On top of that, the intense wind had the graupel moving sideways. That was some of the worst weather for a football game that I have ever seen. Had the Raiders not won, I would probably be complaining about how the game should have been postponed.
Raiders Finally Found a Different Way to Win
Up until this game, the Raiders had just one blueprint for victory: score as much as possible and hope it’s enough. The sideways graupel forced the Raiders to shelve that plan. There was only one thing they could do: Pound. The. Rock. This strategy was perfectly executed. Jacobs broke 100 yards on the ground. Booker had a couple of good runs as well.
Even Carr scampered for 41 yards, while picking up some crucial first downs along the way. The domination on the ground limited the Browns offense to just six possessions. This, coupled with some incompetence from Cleveland, greatly helped the defense. Sure, there were a couple nice plays, but do not be fooled by the stat line. This unit is still pretty bad.
This Was a Huge Win
At the end of the season, we might look back on this game as the one that secured a playoff spot for the Raiders. In all likelihood, the Raiders are going to be vying for one of the last two wildcard spots. Lets just assume that the first wildcard spot goes to either the Steelers or Ravens. Also, lets assume that the Dolphins are pretenders and that the Patriots are drifting into tanking territory.
This would mean that the last two playoff spots would come down to Vegas, Cleveland, and Indy. The three teams all play each other this year and those games could become tiebreakers at the end of the regular season. Picking up victories over the Browns and the Colts, could put the Silver and Black in pole position.
You May Also Like: Raiders Leave Cleveland With Fourth Win Of The Year
Top photo: Jamie Sabau, Getty Images