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Raiders narrowly escape dipleated Browns

The Las Vegas Raiders defeated the Cleveland Browns 16-14 on a last-second field goal Monday night.

A lot of controversy surrounded the matchup — the game, which was originally scheduled to be played on Saturday, was moved to Monday afternoon, Las Vegas time.

The Browns were hit by COVID-19 late last week in the final days leading up to the game — 20 players, including six offensive starters, were on the reserve/COVID-19 list by Thursday night.

Friday morning, just before the Raiders were set to leave for Cleveland, the National Football League decided to push back the game by two days.

Many people within the Raiders organization expressed their displeasure with the league’s decision to move the game.

First year player K.J. Wright vented his frustrations with the league on Twitter.

“I pay my player dues just to get lied to and the rules bent,” he said.

He would go on to say that he thinks the league would’ve made Las Vegas play at the originally scheduled time if it were the Raiders who were down 20 players due to COVID-19.

During the 2020 season, the Raiders did have a game moved because they were hit by the COVID bug, but it was moved in the opposite direction.

Instead of their Sunday night game being pushed to a different day, it was moved to an earlier time on Sunday and a game that wasn’t missing players due to the virus was shifted into the primetime slot.

Fast-forward back to Monday, the Raiders at nearly full capacity were playing against a Browns team that was missing their top two quarterbacks, their starting tight end and one of their main wide receivers.

With Baker Mayfield and Case Keenum on the COVID list, Nick Mullens got the start at quarterback for the Browns. He finished the game completing 20 of his 30 pass attempts for 147 yards and one touchdown.

Second-year wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones was Keenum’s top target of the night. Peoples-Jones caught four of his eight targets for a team-high 48 yards.

On the flipside of the ball was Derek Carr. He finished the game with 236 passing yards with one touchdown and one interception. The interception that he threw looked to have been a game-ender when it was thrown with just 2:47 left in the game and the Raiders trailing 13-14.

However, Las Vegas was able to step up in a very huge way and force the Browns to punt the ball away at the two-minute warning.

Carr was able to lead the Raiders down the field to set up Daniel Carlson for his third game-winning field goal of the season. Carlson finished the game making all three of his kick attempts.

With the win, the Raiders are still alive in the playoff hunt. It’s going to take a lot of work and a lot of help to get them into the playoffs, but it’s still a possibility. They have a 7-7 record for the season and sit one game back of the wild card spots with three games remaining.

The Raiders will host the Denver Broncos on Sunday, Dec. 26 in Las Vegas. Earlier this season, the Raiders traveled to Denver and came away with a 34-24 win. The Broncos will possibly be going into the game without their starting quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, who left Sunday’s game with a concussion and was taken to the hospital.

Kickoff for Sunday’s game is scheduled for 1:25 p.m.

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