Week 8 brought us an interesting matchup between the Las Vegas Raiders and Cleveland Browns, as Derek Carr and Co. traveled to FirstEnergy Stadium for Sunday's matchup.
The game turned out to be a rather slow one from the start. Neither team could get a touchdown in the first quarter. With the Raiders leading 6-3 at the half, the only score in the third quarter was a field goal by the Browns. The Raiders had enough of the slow play, as Carr threw a touchdown to Hunter Renfrow, ultimately sealing the 16-6 win for the Raiders.
Here are five takeaways from Sunday's intense game.
5. Boring performance from both sides
Aside from the only touchdown pass by Carr and the running performance by Josh Jacobs, the performance from both teams was simply just average. Nothing was good but at the same time, nothing was bad either.
Browns QB Baker Mayfield threw for just 122 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. Carr threw for 112 yards with the lone touchdown and no picks. He was also sacked twice, while Mayfield's offensive line protected him well against the Raiders' defense. Both sides had a fumble as well.
It was simply a boring day for both sides who could not get the offense going. It technically was a field day for both defenses, which could be a plus for both teams, especially the Las Vegas Raiders who have struggled defensively throughout the season. Another issue was the weather, which certainly wasn't cooperating with the kickers, as seen below.
4. Cleveland Browns' inconsistency continues
It is safe to say that the Browns' performance has become inconsistent every week, and no one can guess whether they will win on any given Sunday or not. A look at the Browns' wins and losses so far can certainly confirm this theory.
As of right now, the Browns stand at 5-3, with wins against the Cincinnati Bengals (x2), Washington Football Team, Dallas Cowboys and Indianapolis Colts. Outside of the Colts win, those wins are certainly against easy teams. Their losses are against the Las Vegas Raiders, Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers, in which they could not score more than seven points.
If the Browns want to be a competitive team, they certainly must start becoming consistent. Mayfield has a great supporting cast around him, even with the loss of receiver Odell Beckham Jr. The time is now if the Browns want to make a push for the playoffs.
3. Are the Las Vegas Raiders a dark horse playoff team?
As of right now, the Las Vegas Raiders stand second in the AFC West with a 4-3 record, with wins against the Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Kansas City Chiefs, and now the Browns. Looking at the standings, the only threat to catch the Las Vegas Raiders for second place is the Denver Broncos, who recently got back QB Drew Lock, who could be the secret to making a push for the playoffs despite the numerous injuries the team has had so far.
If the Las Vegas Raiders perform as the team that dropped 40 points against the Chiefs defense, that team could certainly be a team to watch for with the playoffs slowly creeping upon us.