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Cleveland Browns: Best and Worst Performers in Cleveland's Win over Oakland

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Cleveland Browns: Best and Worst Performers in Cleveland's Win over Oakland
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns have won on the road!

Yes, the now 4-8 Browns snapped a 12-game losing streak away from home and matched their win total from last season.

This was also the third consecutive contest where Cleveland held an opponent to under 100 rushing yards. That is quite an accomplishment and a big tip of the cap goes to the entire defense. 

Let us now get down to who earned a "DAWG BONE" for outstanding performance and who finds themselves in the "DAWG HOUSE."

 

 

DAWG BONES

Josh Gordon

The future of Cleveland's wide receivers shined brightly in Oakland.

Rookie Josh "Flash" Gordon got back to his early season deep ball form when he caught a 44-yard touchdown bomb from Brandon Weeden.

That was the razzle dazzle, but what really has stood out for Gordon as of late is his play in the slot.

"Flash" utilized his 6'3", 225 pounds size advantage underneath to outmuscle smaller tacklers and add yards after the catch.

Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE
Josh Gordon on a 44-yard TD catch and run

Kudos to No. 13 for showing consistent improvement on route running, which left him wide open several times against a struggling Raiders secondary.

A total of 116 yards on six receptions should give Gordon a nomination for NFL Rookie of the Week.

 

 

Greg Little

Greg Little's second half of the season has been all about redemption.

The sophomore WR has seemed to have solved his one-and-a-half-year case of the drops. Against Oakland, Little impressed with four catches for 48 yards; however, it was his play off the ball that truly made an impact.

Little has developed into the best blocking wide receiver in the AFC North and demonstrated that skill set once more.  

Sacrificing his body downfield on a Mohamed Massaquoi 54-yard reception took away the only initial tackling threat. It is a talent often not noticed, but one that keeps Little relevant on an offense where every series is so crucial.

 


Sheldon Brown

Crafty old Sheldon Brown proved one more time that he still has some go left in that 33-year-old body.

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Oakland elected to stay clear of Joe Haden all day and instead attacked Cleveland's other outside cornerback.

Brown was up to the challenge.

The 11-year veteran used his wealth of experience to tune up five tackles, deflect four passes and get a timely interception on Carson Palmer in the fourth quarter that essentially ended the game.

Brown turned back the clock under the California sun as he delivered crushing tackles and seemed to never be caught out of position.

 

A fist bump goes to Benjamin Watson.

The seasoned tight end has come on strong the last handful of matchups and today was no different. He was a reliable go-to for Brandon Weeden and contributed 80 yards by hauling in six tosses.

Is it a coincidence that this is a contract year?

 

 

Who's in the DAWG HOUSE?

Quarterback Brandon Weeden once again finds himself being scrutinized for another underwhelming performance.

Cary Emondson-US PRESSWIRE
Brandon Weeden winding up vs. the Raiders

If the Raiders were not, well the Raiders, then Weeden's pair of interceptions and several other near-picks would have made it another road loss for Cleveland.

On paper, the rookie's 364 passing yards, one touchdown and 88.2 QB rating look like good overall numbers.

As usual the trouble came when the Browns got into the red zone. The visitors from Ohio were 1-for-3 inside the twenty with the only score coming via a three-yard Trent Richardson rushing TD.

Weeden simply must get better. His progression seems to have been put in neutral as quick release, accuracy and general good decision making are still far too inconsistent.

Today the Browns won despite their signal-caller. Weeden has four games left to prove that he should be this team's starter come 2013.

 

 

Next up:

The Cleveland Browns host the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, December 9 at 1:00 p.m. ET.

 

Follow Andy McNamara on Twitter @AndyMc81

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