KICKOFF: Sunday, 4:15 ET
TV: CBS, Ian Eagle, Solomon Wilcots
SERIES: 16th meeting. The Raiders lead, 9-6. After losing eight straight to the Raiders from 1974 to 1986 the Browns have won five of the last six, including 2005 when they beat the Raiders 9-7 in Oakland.
2006 RANKINGS: Browns: offense 30th (31st rush, 17th pass); defense 28th (25th rush, 25th pass). Raiders: offense 32nd (29th rush, 32nd pass); defense 10th (31st rush, 2nd pass)
PREDICTION: Browns 16-10
KEYS TO THE GAME: Raiders QB Andrew Walter makes his first career start, and to have a fighting chance he needs the woeful offensive line to show improvement following two weeks of work during the team's bye. The Raiders also need a receiver to step up opposite Randy Moss, whose long reception for the season is only 20 yards while facing constant double teams. Oakland will also pound RB LaMont Jordan between the tackles in hopes of setting up the play-action pass. Cleveland has had its own issues protecting QB Charlie Frye, who needs to do his part by getting rid of the ball quicker. RB Reuben Droughns expects to play, and forcing the Raiders to respect the run is critical. WR Braylon Edwards and TE Kellen Winslow have shown big-play ability in recent games, but they can be neutralized if Oakland is able to abuse Cleveland's offensive line and get to Frye.
FAST FACTS: Browns: Edwards has two consecutive 100-yard receiving games. ... Frye is on pace to be sacked 64 times. Raiders: Of Jordan's 29 carries, 12 have been for two yards or less. ... Moss needs two touchdowns for 100 in his career.
- TE Kellen Winslow has to fight through soreness in his knee that
prompted the team to hold him out of practice on Wednesday. Winslow said his
knee will never be 100 percent, and coach Romeo Crennel said the team
monitors Winslow carefully so he can play on Sunday. "You have to manage the
situation," Crennel said.
- WR Braylon Edwards has had consecutive 100-yard games, mainly because he
has caught deep passes in each of the last two games. If Edwards has proven
anything, he can go after a deep ball. Had a deep completion not been called
back by penalty, Edwards would have 100-yard games in each of the Browns
- WR Joe Jurevicius may see his first playing time of the year in Oakland,
but expect him only to see spot duty. Jurevicius has been sidelined since
hurting his ribs in the season opener. He will help Charlie Frye, but he's
probably not ready to play a full game yet.
- QB Charlie Frye knows he's been hit a lot, but he shrugs it off. "I can
survive," Frye said. He'll survive better with a running game. Frye right
now is the Browns only source of offense.
- OG Cosey Coleman will play with a broken finger against Oakland, which
would limit his ability to grab on pass protection. Coleman is a tough guy,
so he'll play, but he may struggle - especially against Warren Sapp.
- DE Orpheus Roye promised to return from the shoulder strain that sidelined him for the Cincinnati game. Roye's presence should be a boost to the run defense. Roye is a smart player who plays the system the right way.
- WR Randy Moss, who does not have a touchdown through the first two
games, went the first three games of 2001 without scoring, the only such
streak of his career to open the season.
- TE Courtney Anderson, who was a primary target during training camp and
the pre-season, has just three receptions in two games, and has also dropped
at least three passes.
- SS Michael Huff, advertised as an all-purpose player in the secondary,
has almost exclusively guarded tight ends Antonio Gates and Todd Heap in
Weeks 1 and 2.
- QB Andrew Walter has been sacked once out of every five pass plays.
- LB Grant Irons did not practice, is listed as questionable and probably will not face Cleveland.
INSIDE THE CAMPS:
Browns: No team wants its quarterback to be its leading rusher, so the Browns know if they are to win a game this season they need to get Reuben Droughns untracked.
Droughns struggled in two games and missed a third with an injury. He has just 59 yards on 25 carries, a terrible start for a back coming off consecutive 1,200-yard seasons.
The Browns rewarded Droughns in the offseason with a new contract, and
Droughns has said he needs to prove he deserves it.
The Saints bottled him up with aggressive play up front. Cincinnati's David Pollack almost knocked Droughns out of the game with a shot to his shoulder.
"That one shocked my whole body," Droughns said.
He missed the Ravens game.
If the Browns are looking for an opponent to get the running game going, Oakland is a good one. The Raiders have given up 332 yards in two games, 4.5 yards per carry.
Oakland bottled Droughns up pretty well last season - including stopping him four times when the Browns had first-and-goal at the four-yard-line. Droughns has not forgotten, which is why even though he's listed as questionable on the injury report he promised to count him in for the game.
"I'm definitely motivated to go back out there and prove myself to them again," Droughns said.
Raiders: LaMont Jordan has called on his offensive teammates to carry their share of the load.
The Oakland Raiders have had a bye week to think about being outscored 55-6 in losses to San Diego and Baltimore, games in which the defense played well after a poor first half in the opener.
"I've walked off the field just completely embarrassed," Jordan said. "Feeling bad for the defense. Those two games are over with. We had our bye week. And I think this week is really going to tell what we have in this locker room on the offensive side of the ball.
"Do we have men that want to play in the NFL and go out there and do their jobs? Or do we have guys that want to keep getting hit in the mouth?"
The Raiders have gained just 291 yards in two games, a low point for a team that once gained 291 yards in a single half against the Buffalo Bills in 2002, the year they won the AFC championship.
Jordan has gained 55 yards on 29 carries as the lead runner in what coach Art Shell envisions as a downhill, power running attack.
Jordan rejected the notion that an ongoing feud between Shell and wide receiver Jerry Porter has played any role in the offensive struggles, citing the Raiders need to be physical.
"We have to play solid up front," Jordan said. "Whether J.P. is in the game or not, we can't get him the ball because the quarterback doesn't have time to throw it. Don't go and say that I'm bashing the offensive line, because I can see that coming already.
"That's not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is that offensively, as a whole, we have to play better. And it starts up front."
Shell said he doesn't mind Jordan calling for accountability on offense.
"I don't think it hurts," Shell said. "I think everybody is aware of what has to be done and needs to be done. He's not just telling you guys that. He's telling the (players) that. That's OK. That's all good."