CLEVELAND -- Darren McFadden averaged 4.9 yards per carry against a Cleveland Browns run defense ranked dead last in the NFL. That stat doesn’t properly describe the Raiders running efforts in a 23-13 loss on Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium.
McFadden’s carry total does. He ran just 12 times for 59 yards. The Raiders ran 22 times against the Browns, the lowest total of any opponent in seven games. Prior to Sunday’s game, teams ran an average of 31 times for 155.5 yards per game on the Browns.
That was a weakness the Raiders failed to take full advantage. They averaged just 3.2 yards per carry and 71 yards, less than half of previous totals against the Browns. Maurice Jones-Drew was ineffective in limited action, with eight yards on six rushes.
McFadden was going strong early and again in the third quarter when he lost a key fumble. He gashed the Browns on a few occasions, but the Raiders mixed a heavy does of Derek Carr into the game plan.
The Raiders were playing catch-up in the fourth quarter, but Carr threw 54 times. The rookie was effective, completing 34-of-54 passes for 328 yards, a too-late touchdown and no interceptions.
It didn’t seem to follow a winning formula put forth by others despite the Raiders’ stated desire to run well and run often.
“In the flow of the game, things change based on the coverages they play, defensive fronts and pressures, all of those things,” Carr said. “When a play comes into the headset, I just do as I’m told and try to do it to the best of my ability.”