Browns missing starters, coach for important game vs Raiders

LAS VEGAS (6-7) at CLEVELAND (7-6)

Saturday, 4:30 p.m. EST, NFL Network

BETTING LINE: Raiders by 1 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

AGAINST THE SPREAD: Las Vegas 5-8; Cleveland 5-8.

SERIES RECORD: Raiders lead 16-10.

LAST MEETING: Raiders beat the Browns 16-6 on Nov. 1, 2020 at Cleveland.

LAST WEEK: Raiders lost to Chiefs 48-9; Browns beat Ravens 24-22.

RAIDERS OFFENSE: OVERALL (9), RUSH (29), PASS (3), SCORING (18).

RAIDERS DEFENSE: OVERALL (20), RUSH (26), PASS (13), SCORING (31).

BROWNS OFFENSE: OVERALL (16), RUSH (4), PASS (29), SCORING (15).

BROWNS DEFENSE: OVERALL (5), RUSH (11), PASS (7), SCORING (T-13).

TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Raiders minus-4; Browns plus-2.

RAIDERS PLAYER TO WATCH: WR Hunter Renfrow. The third-year receiver had 13 catches for 117 yards and a TD last week, becoming the first Raiders player since the merger with three straight games with at least eight catches and 100 yards. Renfrow is second in the NFL with 353 yards receiving over those three weeks and is the fourth wide receiver in Raiders history with at least 85 catches in a season.

BROWNS PLAYER TO WATCH: DE Jadeveon Clowney. The three-time Pro Bowler seems to have found a home in Cleveland — and up front with fellow No. 1 overall pick Myles Garrett. Clowney’s healthy and wreaking havoc up front on the opposite side of Garrett, who scored his first TD last week. Clowney had a huge play in the final minutes with a sack on Baltimore’s final drive.

KEY MATCHUPS: Browns LT Blake Hance and RG Michael Dunn vs. Raiders’ front four. With OLs Wyatt Teller and Jedrick Wills Jr. likely out, the backup linemen will start and be responsible for protecting QB Case Keenum, expected to start for Baker Mayfield. Also, Browns RT James Hudson will be making only his second start.

KEY INJURIES: Raiders TE Darren Waller (knee, back), LB Denzel Perryman (ankle) and CB Trayvon Mullen (toe) all are questionable. … Las Vegas RB Jalen Richard returned from the COVID-19 list. … The Browns aren’t sure who they’ll have available after a widespread COVID-19 outbreak this week. Mayfield, WR Jarvis Landry, RG Teller, LT Wills and TE Austin Hooper are among the players placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Also, coach Kevin Stefanski’s status is unclear after he tested positive. … The Browns will be without RB Kareem Hunt, who didn’t have enough time to rest a sprained ankle suffered last week. He missed five games earlier this season with a calf injury. … Browns nickel back Troy Hill is also out with a knee injury.

SERIES NOTES: The Raiders have won the past three meetings, including a wild 45-42 victory in 2018. … The Raiders, previously in Oakland and Los Angeles, won 11 of the first 12 games between the teams. … These teams played a memorable playoff game in 1981 with the Raiders beating the Browns on the way to winning the Super Bowl.

STATS AND STUFF: Las Vegas has lost five of six games since starting the season 5-2. … The Raiders are coming off their second-most lopsided regular season loss in the Super Bowl era, 48-9 to Kansas City. … Las Vegas has been held to 16 points or fewer in all seven losses. … The Raiders failed to have a play from scrimmage gain at least 20 yards last week for the sixth time since 2010. The previous game was last year in a 16-6 win at Cleveland during a storm. … Las Vegas has converted an NFL-worst 27.5% of third downs since Jon Gruden resigned as coach following Week 5. … Raiders QB Derek Carr needs 74 yards passing this week to become the eighth QB with at least four straight 4,000-yard passing seasons. … Las Vegas is third in the NFL, averaging 6.18 yards per play on first downs. … Raiders rookie Malcolm Koonce has sacks in his first two career games and can become the seventh player in the past 30 years to do it in his first three games. … The Browns improved their playoff chances and hopes of winning the AFC North with last week’s win over Baltimore but they’re dealing with a virus outbreak for the second year in a row. … Stefanski missed last year’s playoff win at Pittsburgh after a positive COVID-19 test. If he isn’t available Saturday, special teams coordinator Mike Priefer will fill in as he did in January against the Steelers. Offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt will handle play calling. … Cleveland held on to beat Baltimore despite not scoring in the second half and after building a 24-3 lead. … The Browns’ offense continues to sputter, especially late. Cleveland has only scored seven total points in the last eight fourth quarters. … Garrett’s TD last week came on the same play in which he set the team’s single-season sacks record. Garrett has 15 sacks, one behind league leader T.J. Watt. … Clowney’s five sacks are his most since 2018. … The Browns held the Ravens to 1 of 12 on third-down conversions. … K Chase McLaughlin has missed five field-goal attempts and an extra point in the past seven games.

FANTASY TIP: Browns RB Nick Chubb could be in for a monster game. With the weather forecast calling for wind and rain, Cleveland will likely turn to its ground game. Chubb has been held to 75 yards in the past two games, both against Baltimore, which stacked the line to stop him. He missed last year’s game against the Raiders.

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