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Browns hold off Raiders
Oakland, CA (Sports Network) - Brandon Weeden threw for 364 yards and a touchdown to help the Cleveland Browns take a 20-17 decision over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.
Weeden overcame two first half interceptions to complete 25-of-36 throws. He led an important touchdown march late in the fourth quarter to help secure the victory, the Browns' (4-8) first on the road this season.
"You evaluate quarterbacks based on winning and in the last seven weeks we're 4-3," said Browns coach Pat Shurmur. "At the end of the day, you want a quarterback that can help lead your team to victory, and that's where I see the improvement."
Trent Richardson capped Cleveland's final score with a touchdown run. He ran for 72 yards on 20 carries to give the Browns their second straight victory.
Josh Gordon finished with a career-high in both receptions and yards, hauling in six passes for 116 yards and a touchdown in the win.
Carson Palmer passed for 351 yards and two touchdowns on 34-of-54 attempts for Oakland (3-9), but his interception in the fourth led to the Browns' touchdown.
Brandon Myers hauled in a career-high 14 catches for 130 yards and a touchdown in the Raiders' fifth straight loss.
The Browns were able to maintain a 10-3 advantage going into the third quarter after Sebastian Janikowski's 61-yard attempt sailed wide right just before halftime. On their first drive of the second half, Cleveland extended its lead to 10 thanks to a Phil Dawson field goal.
Weeden and Richardson helped set up Dawson's 35-yard kick after the two hooked up for a 21-yard gain on 4th-and-2.
On the ensuing drive, Palmer led the Raiders into Browns' territory, but was sacked on third down for a 7-yard loss, pushing Oakland out of field goal range and forcing them to punt.
After hooking up with Gordon for a 20-yard completion, a Weeden pass to Mohamed Massaquoi went for 54 yards to the Oakland 16, but the drive stalled and the Browns were forced to try a field goal. However, Dawson's had his 28-yard attempt blocked and Oakland immediately responded to the change in momentum.
On the fourth play of the series, Palmer hooked up with Rod Streater for a 64- yard touchdown to make it 13-10 in the final seconds of the third quarter.
The Raiders then forced the Browns to punt and Palmer had the Raiders on the move again, helping to reach the Cleveland 33 by throwing for three first downs. However, he then tried going deep for Juron Criner, but his pass was underthrown and intercepted by Sheldon Brown with 9:31 left in the game.
"We can't turn the ball over right there," said Raiders coach Dennis Allen. "We've got all the momentum, we're moving the ball and we can't have that self-inflicted wound right there."
Cleveland made Oakland pay, forcing them to use all three of its timeouts in chewing up just over six minutes of the fourth quarter clock to reach the end zone.
The Raiders had several chances to stop the Browns from driving, but couldn't get a stop. They hurt themselves after Desmond Bryant was called for a neutral zone infraction on third down, resulting in a first down for Cleveland on the Oakland 5.
Two plays later, Richardson walked his way into the end zone on a 3-yard score to cap a 14-play, 94-yard march to put Cleveland on top 20-10 with 3:27 remaining.
Palmer got the Raiders into the end zone on the ensuing drive, but it came a little too late. He connected with Myers for a 17-yard touchdown, but left just one second left on the game clock.
After Janikowski's onside kick attempt went out of bounds, Weeden took a knee to end the game.
Weeden was picked off by Matt Giordano on the Browns' first possession of the game as he tried to get the ball to Benjamin Watson near the goal line, however the Raiders couldn't capitalize following the turnover.
Dawson capped a 13-play drive with a 41-yard field goal early in the second quarter to give the Browns a 3-0 lead.
Weeden needed just two plays to extend their advantage, as he found Gordon for a 44-yard touchdown to make it 10-0.
Oakland finally got moving on its fifth touch of the ball game, getting in range for a Janikowski 51-yard field goal. The kick was set up by two long runs by Jeremy Stewart before Palmer found Denarius Moore for an 11-yard gain.
Weeden tried going deep again to Gordon late in the first half, but this time he underthrew him and Phillip Adams came up with the interception.
The Raiders used the remaining 1:10 left in the half to move 49 yards down the field, but Janikowski's 61-yard attempt sailed wide right, keeping the Browns ahead 10-3 at the halfway point.
Dawson had made 29 consecutive field goals before his kick in the third quarter was blocked ... Giordano, Adams and Mike Mitchell all left the game with concussions ... Cleveland has won five of the past seven meetings with the Raiders ... Oakland had won the previous two home games against the Browns ... Palmer fell to 9-4 all-time against Cleveland ... Watson finished with six catches for 80 yards ... Raiders' Darrius Heyward-Bey hauled in four catches for 40 yards ... The Browns converted on just 3-of-11 third down opportunities.
12/02 21:56:33 ET
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