This is the second consecutive week that the Browns will face a winless team and they are looking to avoid becoming the first team in the 95-year history of the NFL to lose back-to-back games this late in the season to winless teams.
It is also the second game in a three-game stretch that many saw as the “easy” part of the Browns schedule and the team needs a win to calm everyone’s nerves and stay within sight of the division’s top teams.
Probably no one needs a better showing against the Raiders than quarterback Brian Hoyer, who in one week went from deflecting questions about his contract status to hearing renewed calls from certain quarters for Johnny Manziel to take over at quarterback. Put up a solid game in front of the home fans, and Hoyer should quiet the noise for a few weeks.
The probability of Hoyer having a rebound game this week are pretty high as he has played considerably better at home this year. In guiding the Browns to a 2-1 home record, Hoyer’s completion percentage (62.2 vs. 50.9), average per pass attempt (8.67 vs. 6.74), interceptions (0 vs. 2), sacks (2 vs. 7) and quarterback rating (102.2 vs. 77.2) are all significantly increased at First Energy Stadium.
It’s not all about one player, as Browns head coach Mike Pettine reminded everyone this week, so here are a couple of other keys for the Browns if they are to right the ship this week.