Entering Sunday, the Browns had not won games in consecutive weeks since the second and third weeks of the 2011 season.
That changed when they beat the Raiders 20-17 in Oakland. The win was Cleveland’s second in a row after they knocked off the Steelers in Week 12 and gives them four wins on the year, the same as they had all of last season. They got the win thanks in large part to three players they think can be the foundation of better days in Cleveland.
Brandon Weeden was 25-of-36 for 364 yards in the game. He threw two interceptions that helped keep things closer than they probably should have been given how much better the Browns were performing, but his overall play was strong enough to overcome those mistakes. Weeden hooked up with Josh Gordon for 114 yards and a touchdown, keeping the strong chemistry of their rookie seasons alive, and Trent Richardson helped run out the game with a fourth quarter touchdown to put things out of reach.
The three rookies are the biggest reason to hope that better days are around the corner in Cleveland. Oakland’s short on such bright prospects and today’s result isn’t likely to make owner Mark Davis feel any better about things. They put themselves back into the game when Carson Palmer hit Rod Streater for a 64-yard touchdown late in the third quarter, but Palmer would be intercepted on the next possession and the final score is much closer than it should be thanks to a stat-padding final drive by Palmer that ended with a touchdown pass.
New management is evaluating everything in Cleveland and this result should help some people stick around a little bit longer. If they can keep this winning streak alive, the turnover might be smaller than originally anticipated.