Daniel Carson’s 48-yard field goal on time snatched what would have been a dramatic equalizer victory for the Browns – who ran to their FirstEnergy stadium with 19 players missing from the Covid list – 19.
Despite the extra time, the Browns were left without coach Kevin Stefanski out due to a positive test, while first-choice center-back Baker Mayfield was replaced by third-tier caller Nick Mullens, who went 20-to-30 for 147 yard.
Opposing center-back Derek Carr had placed the Raiders on the road with a five-yard pass to wide-back Bryan Edwards in the opening quarter, before Carlson predicted the Browns’ fate with a 24-meter goal to put the visitors away 10-0. in the first part.
A clumsy and subsequent move by Carr changed momentum late in the third quarter, the Browns ran back Nick Chubb utilizing capital with a four-meter run to put his team back in the picture.
The Raiders’ frustrations were compounded by a blow suffered by Carr during the tournament, but the 30-year-old came back shortly after to finish with 236 yards from 25 of 38 passes.
Another field goal by Carlson restored the cushion before Harrison Bryant caught a dramatic pass with a shot in the fourth down and five yards away from Mullens with four minutes left – Chase McLaughlin turned the shot over to give the Browns a lead. thin with a dot.
However, the returning Carr rallied the Raiders, pushing them on the field in an eight-game, 41-yard drive to defeat the heroism of Carlson’s last shot.
Exciting scenes ensued between the players and Raiders staff as they celebrated a win that tied their season at 7-7 and keeps their playoff dreams alive.
“They are quite aggravated now”
“It was a pleasure to be able to do my job and win for us,” Carlson told reporters.
Carr, meanwhile, said he understood his team’s complaints about the reprogramming, but insisted it was strictly business as usual for him.
“My teammates said things I agreed with, but at the end of the day … life will throw balls at you, there will be unfavorable times,” Carr told reporters.
“I agree or disagree, I do not think it matters. We have to play in a moment.
“I wanted to play – I have a schedule and a routine, so that’s a bit confusing, but if that’s the hardest thing I’m facing, then thank God,” Carr added.
As the Raiders prepare to face the Denver Broncos (7-7) on Christmas Eve, the Browns – also 7-7 – must lick their wounds before a scary Christmas clash against NFC North Green Bay Packers champions (11 -3).
“The locker room is hurting now,” said Browns incumbent Mike Priefer. “It’s the biggest thing I’ve ever seen in that kind of pain.
“You get upset when you lose. It’s clear you’re happy when you win. But when you lose that kind of game, it was hard.”
The Vikings sink the Bears
Following in the footsteps of the Raiders, the Minnesota Vikings kept alive their hopes in the playoffs to go 7-7 with a 17-9 victory over the Chicago Bears (4-10), who saw their slim chances after the season fade away.
Kirk Cousins threw two touchdown passes, despite going 12-for-24 with a break for just 87 yards – the fewest he has ever had in a career start.
Justin Jefferson and Ihmir Smith-Marsette took Cousins passes to secure victory for the Vikings.