Browns-Raiders: Report Card and Wrap

Here are Scout's grades for each unit and some notes to wrap-up our coverage of the Browns first win...

The Browns were looking at a lost season had they lost in Oakland. An 0-4 start followed by a trip to Carolina and a bye week made the early season pretty grim.

But the Browns rebounded from a 21-3 deficit to beat Oakland 24-21 and provide some hope for the rest of the season.

Charlie Frye continues to play fairly well. Reuben Droughns got his first 100-yard game. Receivers Kellen Winslow, Braylon Edwards and Joe Jurevicius all contributed.

"I think this win is huge for us," Frye said. "I think it's a game that can spark us."

Perhaps, but the fact that the Browns played the winless Raiders helped. Oakland did nothing offensively in the second half, gaining just 59 yards on four possessions.

No matter, Cleveland badly needed a win.

And a team that started poorly against New Orleans now has played fairly well in the last two games. The Browns took the Ravens to a last-play field goal, then came back from a poor start to beat Oakland.

Said Winslow: "We'll be OK."


PASSING OFFENSE: C -- This would have been a B but for Charlie Frye's poor decision late that led to an interception. Until that point, Frye looked very good against a struggling Oakland team. He seems comfortable in the pocket, makes good reads and is finding his playmakers. Frye occasionally holds the ball too long, but he is improving every game. The magnitude of the poor late decision, though, knocks his grade down.

RUSHING OFFENSE: B -- Reuben Droughns bounced back from a shoulder injury for his first 100-yard game of the season. The Browns finally gave Droughns the ball, running him 25 times. The Browns ball control helped them keep possession for 20 minutes in the second half, a key factor in their comeback win.

RUSH DEFENSE: D -- Two huge runs gashed the team in the first half, as Justin Fargas broke a 48-yarder to set up a touchdown and Lamont Jordan scored on a 58-yarder. The defense bounced back to play very well in the second half, but a good team does not give up two big runs like that -- nor does it give up 194 yards rushing, which Oakland totaled.

PASS DEFENSE: A -- The Browns' success here could have been more attributable to the Raiders Andrew Walter, who really struggled on offense. But without their three top corners, the Browns gave up 46 net yards passing. Walter threw for just 68 yards, and he was sacked four times. No matter the reason, the result was good -- especially considering the Browns were using their fourth and fifth corners on every down.

SPECIAL TEAMS: A -- These units may be the reason the Browns won the game, as the return games were outstanding. Dennis Northcutt's 58-yard punt return set up the game-winning touchdown and Joshua Cribbs' 53-yard kickoff return set up the Browns' first score. The Browns offense did a good job, but the entire team was sparked by the return game.

COACHING: C -- The Browns won, which is good, but they fell behind 21-3 to a not-so-good Oakland team and still made some questionable offensive calls. Those included a handoff up the middle in the first period on third-and-15 when a 10-yard completion would have meant a field goal, and the decision to have Frye throw late when the Browns were up there and at the Raiders six-yard line. Oakland had done nothing offensively the second half, so a field goal would have virtually sealed the win.

SPECIAL DELIVERY: The Browns got 217 yards in returns in their win over Oakland, and 201 of those yards came from two players -- Dennis Northcutt and Joshua Cribbs.

The only blemish? Kickers prevented touchdowns.

Cribbs was tackled at the end of a 53-yard return by place-kicker Sebastian Janikowski. "He did a little karate thing there that kickers do," Cribbs said.

Northcutt was caught at the end of a 58-yard return by punter Shane Lechler.

"Who else can I blame but myself?" Northcutt said.

"I should be fined," Cribbs said. "Me and Dennis might fine ourselves."

CHARLIE'S BIG MISTAKE: Charlie Frye did a lot right, throwing three touchdown passes and passing for 192 yards.

But he made one silly mistake that gave the Raiders one final chance to win the game. Frye threw across his body and across the field, on the run from his six-yard line, floating a pass into the end zone that Oakland easily intercepted.

"I have to know better than that," Frye said.

LEIGH LOST: The Browns are down to starting their fourth and fifth cornerbacks now that Leigh Bodden sprained his ankle against Oakland.

Bodden's absence meant the Browns were without Bodden, Gary Baxter (pectoral muscle injury) and Daylon McCutcheon (on IR with a knee injury) against Oakland.

Andrew Walter could not take advantage, but if Daven Holly and Ralph Brown start against Carolina, look for Jake Delhomme to find Steve Smith and Keyshawn Johnson plenty.

"Say what you want," safety Brian Russell said of the play of Brown and Holly against the Raiders. "They took shots to Randy Moss and they didn't hit one."

RUN PRODUCTION: RB Reuben Droughns finally was given the ball, and he produced the way he did last year. Droughns' 100-yard game was hard-earned, but it was also his first of the season.

JJ IS DYNOMITE: Joe Jurevicius was huge in his first game since he injured ribs in the opener. Jurevicius had three catches. Two converted third downs, and the third was the game-winning touchdown.

GLUE HANDS: WR Braylon Edwards had six catches and no drops. Edwards has not dropped a pass since promising he would concentrate more on catching the ball.

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