As COVID-19 rips through the Cleveland roster, the Las Vegas Raiders must prepare to face a Baker Mayfield-less Browns team.
The Las Vegas Raiders have won only one game since the bye week, and that was a shocking victory on Thanksgiving Day against the Dallas Cowboys. Outside of that, they have been embarrassed by the New York Giants, Cincinnati Bengals, Washington Football Team, and Kansas City Chiefs, seeing their 5-2 start turn into a 6-7 record.
Their Week 15 game was flexed to the Saturday slot by the NFL a few weeks ago in hopes that this would be a solid AFC Playoff preview. Instead, both teams come into this game with serious issues, as the Raiders can’t seem to find a winning formula, and the Cleveland Browns have been ravaged by COVID-19.
We already spoke to how many players will be out for the Browns yesterday, but on Wednesday, news broke that Browns starting quarterback Baker Mayfield would miss the game as well. In addition, head coach Kevin Stefanski could miss the contest as well, but that won’t be known until we get closer to kickoff.
For a Silver and Black desperately needing a win, beating a Browns team with so many starters out has to happen.
Raiders must win on Saturday afternoon
With a 6-7 record, the Raiders are falling out of the playoff race, but they are certainly getting the Browns at the right time. With a win on Saturday, they will move to 7-7 on the season, and then sit back and hope some more dominoes fall into place for them.
They are playing the worst football of their season, but a road win against a Cleveland, even with a depleted roster will prove huge for them down the stretch.
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Losing guys like Jarvis Landry, Jedrick Wills Jr., and Austin Hooper is huge for the Browns, but nothing is bigger than losing your starting quarterback. Las Vegas will now face Case Keenum in a road game that will keep their 2021 playoff hopes alive, and you have to think that if they cannot beat this Browns team, they have no business being in the playoffs anyway.