On Monday, the COVID depleted Browns faced the Las Vegas Raiders and nearly came away with a win.
However, trailing 14-13 with less than two minutes in the game, the Raiders drove downfield and kicked the game-winner at the end of regulation.
The loss took the air out of the Browns, who now sit at 7-7 and in last place in the AFC North.
For a moment, the play of the game would come courtesy of Cleveland’s Greedy Williams.
His interception of a Derek Carr throw with nearly three minutes remaining looked like the end for Vegas.
However, Carr and the Raiders would not go quietly into the night.
“Derek Carr is the life preserver of the Raiders franchise” pic.twitter.com/RxBiP8iRV0
— Raider Nation Boston (@RaiderNationBOS) December 21, 2021
Carr Makes a Vow
As he watched Williams return his errant pass, Carr was furious with himself.
The Raiders had squandered a 10-0 halftime lead and gave up two unanswered touchdowns to the Browns.
His gamble to receiver Zay Jones would have paid off and put Vegas into position to get the go-ahead score.
Instead, Carr’s pass went a little further than intended and fell into the waiting arms of Williams.
Derek Carr hits Greedy Williams in stride 🙌pic.twitter.com/FePK3EfCHv
— PFF (@PFF) December 21, 2021
As he returned to the sideline, Carr pleaded with the Raiders defense.
“After that interception, I told the guys ‘Please, I promise we’ll win it, just get the ball back,’” Carr said.
Of course, that was going to be a difficult task.
All Cleveland had to do was get a first down or two and the game would be over.
Nick Chubb had sliced through the Vegas defense in the second half.
Surely he could pick up the yardage needed to end the Raiders’ postseason hopes?
Shockingly, three straight Chubb runs totaled just seven yards and Cleveland punted the ball.
Carr Makes Good on His Promise
Given a second chance, Carr got to work with 1:50 remaining.
The Browns defense looked overmatched, giving up short and long passes from Carr until Vegas was perched on the Cleveland 30 yard line.
Kicker Daniel Carlson trotted out with three seconds remaining and kicked it through the uprights.
The play was ruled dead, however, when the Browns called a time out just before the kick.
Carlson was not fazed and drilled his second attempt as the clock hit zeros.
Carr made good on his promise and the Raiders escaped Ohio with a 16-14 win.
Derek Carr came through in the end, while Nick Mullens gave the Browns a chance. Here's what we learned from Las Vegas' win on Monday over Cleveland, via @TheNickShook https://t.co/UwkgD1WB9E pic.twitter.com/yRoPpAX5hC
— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) December 21, 2021
Meanwhile, in the span of two minutes, Cleveland went from playoff contenders to pretenders.
“That locker room right now is hurting,” said acting Browns coach Mike Priefer. “That’s the most I’ve seen it in that kind of pain. You’re upset when you lose. Obviously you’re joyous when you win. But when you lose that type of game, that was tough. They’re pretty down right now.”
The Browns next travel to Green Bay for a Christmas Day showdown against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.