Not Very Special

The Browns have been known to excel on special teams, but Sunday in Oakland it was the Raiders who were special in beating Browns 24-17.

The Browns really miss Brad Seely.

After having one of the better special teams in the NFL the past two years under Seely, the Browns were really exposed against the Raiders.

Seely was the Browns assistant head coach/special teams coach with the Browns under Eric Mangini. He left during the off-season to join the 49ers and Jim Harbaugh. It is of little surprise the 49ers have one of the best special teams in the NFL on their way to a 5-1 record.

Two huge plays in the 24-17 loss to the Raiders were on special teams, which dropped the Browns to 2-3. Other than that, the Browns defense really played pretty well. The Raiders opening drive went for 88 yards and a touchdown, but other than that, the defense held the Raiders in check. They turned the Raiders away inside the five as they went for a touchdown on fourth-and-one in the fourth quarter.

However, the turning point of the game was when Jacoby Ford answered the Browns only touchdown with a 101-yard kickoff return to give the lead right back to the Raiders at 14-7. Several players missed Ford as he tight-roped down the side line on his way to the score.

Then later in the game, still having a chance, the Browns lined up to try and block a 53-yard field goal attempt by Sebastian Janikowski. With the hard rush, punter and holder Shane Lechler threw the first pass of his career and it went for a 35-yard touchdown to backup tight end Kevin Boss.

The Browns had turned the ball over on a fumble by Colt McCoy, which the Raiders recovered inside the Browns' 25. However, after Jabaal Sheard strip-sacked Kyle Boller at the 35 on third down, Janikowski lined up to attempt the long field goal and caught the Browns napping.

The Browns did have a big play on special teams as their last ditch onside kick attempt that James Dockery recovered almost gave the Browns a chance to tie the game. However, three-straight incomplete passes ended their attempt.


Haden Missed: CB Joe Haden made the trip to Oakland but was inactive after suffering a sprained knee against the Titans. Haden missed the week of practice, but was listed as questionable prior to the game. DB Dimitri Patterson started in place of Haden and rookie DB Buster Skrine played as the third cornerback. Patterson broke up a pass, but was picked on throughout the game. Patterson had a pass interference penalty. Patterson had four tackles to lead the defense in the first half and finished with seven tackles.

WR Darius Heyward-Bey took Patterson to school all day allowing Heyward-Bey to catch six passes for 82 yards.

Hillis Starts/Then Sits: RB Peyton Hillis started and played the first two series before being spelled by RB Montario Hardesty. Hillis carried six times for 14 yards in the first half and finished with the same. Meanwhile, Hardesty had seven carries for 21 yards in the first half and finished with 11 carries for 35 yards. He also caught two passes for 18 yards. In the second half, Hardesty played the entire third quarter and most of the fourth quarter. On the television broadcast they said that Hillis ‘tweaked' his hamstring, but then he went into the game in the fourth quarter to provide pass protection on two passing plays.

Time Management: The Browns could've avoided the onside kick with 1:06 to play if the offense wouldn't have called a timeout on their last possession because they were not able to get set for a play. They had only two timeouts and thus couldn't stop the Raiders from running the clock out. However, the Browns were successful in the onside kick, but were unable to tie the game.

Bad Start: After having a quick three-and-out on offense, the Browns punted and the Raiders had an 88- yard, 11 play drive, resulting in a four-yard touchdown by RB Darren McFadden. The Raiders had the ball for 7:48. McFadden picked up 50 yards on the drive.

Colt Time: QB Colt McCoy was 7-of-16 for 79 yards a 79.9 rating with one touchdown in the first half. Trailing 17-7, McCoy fumbled the ball to the Raiders at the Browns' 25. After the defense held the Raiders', the special teams allowed the Raiders to fake a 53-yard field goal and holder Shane Lechler caught the Browns napping and hit Kevin Boss for a 35-yard touchdown to make it 24-7 with 1:28 to play in the third quarter.

McCoy led the Browns to a late score to make the final, 24-17 with 1:06 to play as he hit WR Mohamed Massaquoi for a 12-yard touchdown. McCoy finished 21-of-45 for 215 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. He was sacked twice and had a rating of 75.7.

Dumb Penalty: OL Shawn Lauvao committed a personal foul after WR Mohamed Massaquoi picked up a first down. Lauvao went into the pile and made a late hit.

Drive Killers: The Browns were driving after falling behind 14-7, but had two penalties that stopped the drive. Hillis caught a short pass and picked up 15 yards, but WR Mohamed Massaquoi and TE Alex Smith were in motion, negating the play. After overcoming that, the Browns moved into Raiders' territory, but OL Shawn Lauvao was called for holding and the Browns were back at their 41 and facing second-and-14.

Little Start: Rookie WR Greg Little made his first NFL start and caught a 15-yard pass from McCoy and fell down inside the one, just shy of scoring his first NFL touchdown. Little put the ball in the end zone, but his foot was out of bounds. On the next play, McCoy hit TE Alex Smith for the score from one-yard out. Little caught a slant for a first down for 12 yards in the second quarter. He was the leading receiver with six receptions for 72 yards.

Spreading Around: Besides Little's six catches, McCoy threw the ball to eight different receivers. TE Evan Moore caught the first pass of the game for the Browns on an 11-yard pass from QB Colt McCoy. Moore picked up his second reception for his second first down in the second quarter and finished with two receptions for 15 yards.

WR Josh Cribbs caught a 23-yard pass from McCoy on third-and-six to set up the Browns first touchdown and finished with two receptions for 30 yards. TE Ben Watson had three receptions for 35 yards and WR Mohamed Massaquoi had three catches for 30 yards, including a touchdown. TE Alex Smith had two catches for 14 yards and a touchdown.

>Mack Truck: C Alex Mack was active and started after having an appendectomy just 13 days earlier. Mack didn't practice all week but was able to step in and play.

Mo Drops: RB Montario Hardesty dropped a pass in the second quarter after having four drops against the Titans. He dropped a pass in the third quarter to give him six in the past two games. He caught two passes for 18 yards.

Trouble Counting: With under a minute to play in the second quarter, the Browns had 12 players lined up on defense to give the Raiders better field position and to stop the clock.

Fujita Down: LB Scott Fujita suffered a head injury and did not play the rest of the game.

Campbell Down: QB Jason Campbell injured his shoulder as he tried to run for a first down. Backup QB Kyle Boller came in and was immediately sacked by DL Phil Taylor.

Adams Family: DB Mike Adams took the first kickoff and returned it 30 yards to the Browns' 39 when the Raiders elected to kick short from KR Josh Cribbs. Adams picked up a fumbled ball by QB Jason Campbell to end the first quarter and it set up the Browns first touchdown.

Sack Attack: The Browns had just one sack in the first half as DL Phil Taylor got to QB Kyle Boller after he replaced the injured QB Jason Campbell. DL Ahtyba Rubin should've had a sack on Boller, but when Boller ducked, Rubin went right over him and Boller scrambled for the first down on third-and-6. DL Jabaal Sheard sacked Boller in the third quarter.The Raiders had a lot of pressure on QB Colt McCoy, who was sacked on the first series. On the second play, McCoy was hurried, but RB Peyton Hillis picked up the blitzing S Michael Huff.

D'Qwell Leads: LB D'Qwell Jackson led the Browns again with nine tackles, followed by DB T.J. Ward with seven and Patterson with seven.

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