CLEVELAND (AP) — Daniel Carlson’s 48-yard field goal as time expired sent the Las Vegas Raiders to a 16-14 win on Monday night over the COVID-19-depleted Cleveland Browns in a game pushed back two days by the NFL amid an uptick of virus cases across the league.
Down by a point, quarterback Derek Carr patiently drove the Raiders (7-7) into Cleveland territory in the final two minutes. Then Carlson shrugged off being iced by the Browns to boot his winner, keeping Las Vegas in the playoff mix. The Raiders, who weren’t happy when the league delayed their visit, danced off their sideline when the kick went through.
The loss was devastating for the Browns (7-7), who would have vaulted into first place in the AFC North with a win. Instead, they fell into last place in the tightly packed division with three games remaining.
Due to a virus outbreak, the Browns were without quarterback Baker Mayfield, coach Kevin Stefanski and several other prominent players. Cleveland’s third-string quarterback Nick Mullens had given the Browns a 14-13 lead by throwing a 6-yard touchdown pass on fourth down to Harrison Bryant with 3:45 left.
And after Greedy Williams intercepted Carr, the Browns couldn’t come up with a first down and gave the ball back to the Raiders with 1:50 left. Carr took care of the rest, setting up Carlson’s kick that kicked new life into a team that has dealt with adversity and drama all season, including the resignation of coach Jon Gruden in October.
VIKINGS 17, BEARS 9
CHICAGO (AP) — Kirk Cousins threw two touchdown passes, and the Minnesota Vikings beat the struggling and short-handed Chicago Bears.
The Vikings (7-7), part of a tight pack of teams vying for one of the NFC’s seven playoff spots, were in line for their most lopsided win before Justin Fields threw a touchdown pass to Jesper Horsted on the game’s final play.
The final play aside, Minnesota withstood several scoring threats by Chicago down the stretch coming off a tight win over Pittsburgh in which they nearly blew a 29-0 lead.
Given the state of the Bears (4-10), the result was hardly a surprise. Chicago lost for the eighth time in nine games, and with 14 players on the reserve/COVID-19 list, that seemed inevitable. Receiver Allen Robinson was on it, as was the starting secondary.
The health issues also hit the coaching staff, with all three coordinators testing positive for the coronavirus during the week. Defensive coordinator Sean Desai was cleared to return hours before kickoff.
Cousinswas 12 of 24 for 87 yards with an interception and got sacked four times. The two-time Pro Bowler also connected with Justin Jefferson for a 12-yard touchdown in the first quarter and threw a 7-yarder to Ihmir Smith-Marsette in the third. Dalvin Cook ran for 89 yards.