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What to Watch For, Presented by Arby's

Posted Nov 28, 2012

After one week at home, Ahtyba Rubin and the Cleveland Browns head to the West Coast for a Sunday afternoon game against Carson Palmer and the Oakland Raiders at the O.co Coliseum.

The Cleveland Browns return to the road with a trip to the West Coast for a Sunday afternoon game against the Oakland Raiders at the O.co Coliseum this weekend.

With Sunday’s game, the Browns and Raiders will have played in three of the last four seasons and in Oakland in five of the last six meetings.

The Browns are 8-11-0 all-time against the Raiders dating back to the first meeting between the teams, a 23-20 Oakland road win on Nov. 8, 1970. The Browns are 6-7-0 all-time in road games against the Raiders.

The Browns are 2-3-0 against the Raiders since the team’s move back to Oakland from Los Angeles.

When the Browns traveled to Oakland last fall, the Raiders earned a 24-17 victory after building a 17-point lead with tight end Kevin Boss’ 35-yard touchdown reception from punter Shane Lechler on a fake field goal attempt.

Then-Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell suffered a season-ending injury in the first half after completing six of nine attempts for 52 yards. In his place, Kyle Boller completed eight of 14 passes for 100 yards. Following Campbell’s injury, the Raiders traded draft picks to the Cincinnati Bengals for quarterback Carson Palmer.

Running back Darren McFadden gained 91 yards and scored one touchdown on 20 carries.

Browns quarterback Colt McCoy completed 21 of 45 attempts for 215 yards and matched a career high with two touchdown passes, one to tight end Alex Smith and a second to wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi with 1:06 remaining in the game, a score which allowed the Browns to attempt and recover an onside kick. However, the Browns failed to convert a first down on the ensuing possession and the Raiders ran out the remaining time on the clock.

As the game unfolds, here are several things to keep an eye on:

Defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin. Rubin returned to the lineup at Dallas two weeks ago after missing three of the previous four games due to an injured calf muscle. However, since his return, he has registered a sack for a nine-yard loss at Dallas and forced a fumble in the win over Pittsburgh.

Rubin has registered 194 total tackles since the start of the 2010 regular season, the most among all NFL defensive linemen.

With Rubin in the lineup, the Browns are looking to hold their third straight opponent to 65 or fewer rushing yards for the first time since 1954 when they did so against four straight teams.

The Browns also need five sacks to eclipse the total of 32 they had during the 2011 season.

Running back Trent Richardson. Through 11 games this season, Richardson has rushed for 755 yards and six touchdowns on 209 carries. He also leads the team with 41 receptions for 316 yards. He has scored the second-most points (42) by a rookie in the NFL.

Richardson’s 1,071 yards of total offense rank second behind Tampa Bay’s Doug Martin (1,382), while his 755 yards rushing are third in the league among first-year players. He is second in the NFL in receptions by a rookie and third with 39 first downs.

With 100 yards rushing against the Raiders, Richardson would be the first Browns rookie ever to rush for 100 or more yards in four games during a single season. With 188 yards rushing, Richardson would pass Pro Football Hall of Famer, Jim Brown (942), for the most rushing yards by a Browns rookie. Browns Legend Kevin Mack rushed for 1,104 yards as a first-year player in 1985.

Wide receiver Josh Gordon. Gordon leads the Browns with 530 yards and four touchdown catches on his 28 receptions this season.

Gordon is tied for second among all NFL rookies with the four touchdown catches and ranks second with 530 yards receiving. Gordon is first with the most receptions of at least 20 yards (nine) among all first-year NFL players. His 18.9 yards per reception average is fourth among all NFL players with at least 20 catches.

With a touchdown Sunday, Gordon would be the first Browns rookie to have five or more receiving touchdowns in a season since Andre’ Davis caught six in 2002.

Kicker Phil Dawson. The 14-year veteran is 21 of 21 on field goal attempts this season after making both of his kicks against Pittsburgh last Sunday. He is 10 of 10 from 40 or more yards, including a league-best five for five mark from 50-plus. Since the start of the 2011 season, Dawson has converted a league-leading 12 of 13 field goals from 50 or more yards. His 27 straight field goals made is the longest active streak in the NFL and tied for the longest of Dawson’s career.

Dawson has converted 297 of 353 career field goal attempts with the Browns and ranks second in team history with 1,238 points. His 84.1 field goal percentage is first all-time in team history and the sixth-best total among NFL kickers with at least 100 career field goals made.

Dawson needs three field goals to be the 25th kicker in NFL history to make 300 or more field goals in a career. Three field goals of 50 or more yards would tie Dawson with Morten Anderson (1995) and Jason Hanson (2008) for the most 50-yarders (eight) in a single season.

Dawson is 12 of 15 on field goal attempts and 12 of 12 on extra-point tries in seven games against the Raiders. He converted a 37-yard game-winning field goal as time expired in the team’s 9-7 victory at Oakland on Dec. 18, 2005.

Wide receiver Joshua Cribbs. The two-time Pro Bowler has 9,689 kickoff return yards, which stands sixth on the NFL’s all-time list. He is 100 yards away from passing Glyn Milburn (9,788) for fifth on the all-time list and 257 yards shy of being the sixth player in NFL history to gain 12,000 kickoff return yards.

Cribbs’ 11,743 combined kickoff and punt return yards rank sixth on the NFL’s career list. His eight kickoff returns for touchdowns are tied for an NFL record and he has added three more scores on punt returns. The combined 11 touchdowns are fifth all-time and with one more, Cribbs would equal Dante Hall and Eric Metcalf for third place. Cribbs is also 96 yards away from passing Dennis Northcutt’s mark for the most punt return yards (2,149) in franchise history.

Cribbs currently ranks seventh in the NFL in kickoff return average and fifth in punt return average. He has averaged 12.8 yards over 28 punt returns and 28.4 yards on 30 kickoffs. Since the start of the 2011 season, Cribbs has nine returns of at least 40 yards. Each of those returns led to Browns scores -- five touchdowns and four field goals.

In seven games against Oakland, Cribbs has three receptions for 37 yards, 28 yards on five carries and 11 kickoffs for 420 yards, including a 99-yard touchdown at Oakland on Sept. 23, 2007. He has registered 73 yards on seven punt returns against the Raiders in his career.

Quarterback Brandon Weeden. Weeden completed 17 of 26 attempts for 158 yards and one touchdown in a win over the Steelers last Sunday. In the win, Weeden passed Tim Couch for the most single-season passing yards by a Browns rookie. Couch threw for 2,447 yards during the 1999 season.

On the year, Weeden has completed 222 of 397 attempts for 2,456 yards with 12 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Weeden has thrown for 300 or more yards twice in 11 games and has three of the top four single-game passing yardage totals ever by a Browns rookie.

Weeden also has thrown the second and fifth-longest touchdowns by a Browns rookie quarterback. He has completed 71-yard and 62-yard touchdown passes to wide receiver Josh Gordon. Weeden ranks third among NFL rookies in passing yards, second in passing first downs (128), and third in completions of 20 or more yards (33).

With a 300-yard game against the Raiders, Weeden would join Derek Anderson, Bernie Kosar, Brian Sipe and Pro Football Hall of Famer, the late Otto Graham, as the only quarterbacks in team history to throw for 300 or more yards at least three times in a single season. Anderson (three in 2007) and Graham (three in 1950) each accomplished the feat once, while Kosar (three each in 1986 and 1987) reached the mark twice. Sipe tossed four 300-yard games in 1979, and again in 1983, and six in 1980.

Browns offensive linemen Joe Thomas and Alex Mack. Thomas has started each of the 91 games he has played since the Browns selected him in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft and currently ranks tied for sixth for most consecutive starts among active offensive linemen in the NFL. Mack has started 59 straight games for the Browns.

Defensive back Sheldon Brown. The 11-year NFL veteran has played in 171 consecutive regular-season games, a mark that ranks fifth among all active defensive players. He has caught at least one interception in each of his 11 NFL seasons.

Brown has 25 career interceptions and is tied for the fourth-longest active streak of consecutive seasons with an interception. Green Bay’s Charles Woodson has had an interception in 15 straight seasons, while Denver’s Champ Bailey (14) and Cincinnati’s Nate Clements (12) rank ahead of Brown and Baltimore’s Ed Reed (11).

Brown’s 141 pass breakups since 2002 are tied for third with Tampa Bay’s Ronde Barber, behind Atlanta’s Asante Samuel (156) and Denver’s Champ Bailey (150).

Carson Palmer. Palmer has completed 271 of 449 pass attempts (60.4 percent) for 3,181 yards and 18 touchdowns against 12 interceptions this season. He has been sacked 24 times for 182 yards, but still carries an 84.1 quarterback rating.

The former Cincinnati quarterback has a 9-3 record against the Browns. He has completed 249 of 396 attempts for 2,835 yards and 25 touchdowns against 14 interceptions and been sacked 20 times in those starts.

Raiders wide receiver Denarius Moore. Moore’s 36 catches rank third on the Raiders and he has turned those receptions into 604 yards and six touchdowns, both team bests. In his two-year career with the Raiders, Moore has caught 69 passes for 1,222 yards with 11 touchdowns and scored one rushing touchdown on six carries.

Defensive end Matt Shaughnessy and linebacker Philip Wheeler. Wheeler leads the team with 84 total and 61 solo tackles this season. He has also registered two sacks and forced a pair of fumbles. Shaughnessy has collected 28 total tackles and a team-leading 3.5 sacks.

The Browns come into Sunday’s game at 3-8 overall after a 20-14 victory over the Steelers last Sunday afternoon. The Raiders (3-8) continue on their tour of the AFC North Division after a 34-10 loss at the Cincinnati Bengals.

CONNECTIONS

Browns coach Pat Shurmur coached the offensive linemen at Stanford University in 1998, while defensive assistant Chuck Bullough served as both the linebackers coach (2006-08) and defensive coordinator (2009-10) at the University of California-Los Angeles.

Wide receivers coach Mike Wilson was the Raiders’ wide receivers coach from 1995-96, while defensive line coach Dwaine Board spent the 2009 season in the same capacity with Oakland.

Wilson was Stanford’s wide receivers/tight ends coach from 1992-94 and defensive backs coach Tim Hauck mentored UCLA’s safeties in 2008. Browns tight ends coach Steve Hagen spent two seasons as the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach/recruiting coordinator (1997-98) at San Jose State and one year as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Fresno State University (2006).

Dawson was signed by the Raiders as an undrafted free agent in April 1998, and was later claimed off waivers by the New England Patriots that year.

The Browns have several California natives on their roster, including: tight end Jordan Cameron (Newbury Park), offensive linemen Oniel Cousins (Fullerton), Mack (Santa Barbara) and Mitchell Schwartz (Pacific Palisades), defensive back T.J. Ward (San Francisco), linebacker James-Michael Johnson (Fairchild), defensive lineman Frostee Rucker (Tustin), and long snapper Christian Yount (Coto de Caza).

Browns fullback Owen Marecic, fullback/tight end Alex Smith and cornerback Johnson Bademosi went to Stanford. Mack and Schwartz went to the University of California-Berkeley.

Raiders quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo is a Youngstown native. Defensive line coach Terrell Williams coached at both Youngstown State University (2002-03) and The University of Akron (2004-05) in the same capacity.

Raiders defensive back Coye Francies was selected by the Browns in the sixth round (No. 191 overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft.

Oakland quarterback Terrelle Pryor (The Ohio State University), defensive back Mike Mitchell (Ohio University) and cornerback Brandian Ross (Youngstown State) went to college in Ohio.

MEDIA

Fans can watch Sunday’s game at 4:25 p.m. ET on local CBS affiliate WOIO-TV 19. Bill Macatee will provide the play-by-play, while former Buffalo Bills’ special teams standout Steve Tasker (color analysis) will join him on the call.

The game is also available along the PNC Bank Browns Radio Network with Jim Donovan (play-by-play), Doug Dieken (color) and Jamir Howerton (sideline reporter) on the call.

What to Watch For is brought to you by Arby’s -- Arby’s Value Menu starting at one dollar will have you coming back for more without emptying your wallet.

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