CLEVELAND (AP) – The locker room attendants busily stuffed shoulder pads, helmets and cleats inside large silver-and-black trunks and travel bags for the flight back to Oakland.
They also tucked away a special souvenir: A road win for the Raiders.
Derek Carr threw two touchdown passes and safety Charles Woodson made a game-clinching interception with 38 seconds left as Oakland snapped an 11-game road losing streak, beating the Cleveland Browns 27-20 on Sunday.
Carr connected with Andre Holmes and Seth Roberts in the first half, Latavius Murray rushed for 139 yards and the Raiders (2-1) held off a late Cleveland comeback to win their first road game since Nov. 17, 2013. Oakland also ended a 16-game losing streak in the Eastern time zone, a drought stretching to 2009.
“It was hanging over the whole organization’s head,” Woodson said of the 11-game road slide. “You gotta win these type of games to make the change you want to make.”
After going 0-8 as a rookie on the road, Carr liked the feeling of winning in another city. On his way to the podium for a postgame news conference, the second-year QB turned to several teammates who were getting dressed and said, “Hey, y’all enjoy this. Nice win.”
Raiders rookie wide receiver Amari Cooper had 134 yards receiving and Sebastian Janikowski kicked two field goals for Oakland, which moved over .500 for the first time since the 2011 season.
“This is a new group of guys,” Carr said. “It’s a new coach here, it’s a new way that we do things and for this team to get its first road win, it feels awesome. To go into someone else’s place and win is probably the hardest thing in the NFL to do, so I’m just happy for our team.”
The Browns (1-2) were driving for a tying TD in the final minute, but the crafty Woodson intercepted Josh McCown, who was trying to hit Travis Benjamin down the right sideline. Woodson has at least one pick in each of his 18 NFL seasons, and Carr said this one will only help his teammate’s certain Hall of Fame enshrinement.
“I joke with him all the time, ‘They had to have given you your jacket already, at least they have your size,'” Carr said. “We expect him to make plays like that. That’s Wood.”
Carr finished 20 of 32 for 134 yards and Oakland had 469 total yards.
The Browns couldn’t keep their momentum going a week after quarterback Johnny Manziel led them to a win in their home opener. With some fans chanting “John-ny, John-ny,” McCown, who returned to the lineup after sustaining a concussion in the opener, passed for 341 yards and was sacked five times.
Coach Mike Pettine said he never considered switching to Manziel.
“We want our quarterback to play well, we gotta play better around him,” Pettine said.
Coming off an impressive last-second win at home against Baltimore last week, Carr and his teammates set their sights on ending their road misery and appeared in control when Murray scored on a 6-yard run with 14:30 left.
But McCown rallied the Browns, pulling them within 27-20 on a 4-yard TD pass to Benjamin with 6:28 left. Cleveland’s defense got the stop it needed, but Oakland got the ball back when Benjamin, the AFC’s top special teams player last week, fumbled a punt with 4:01 remaining.
The Browns got the ball back at their own 2 with 2:26 to go, and McCown drove them to Oakland’s 35 before Woodson came out of nowhere and snatched a pass intended for Benjamin.
“I was trying to hold Charles (Woodson) with my eyes and I got him where I wanted to,” McCown said. “I just didn’t put enough on the ball.”
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