WHERE: Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
WHEN: Today, 4:25 p.m.
RECORDS: Browns (3-8); Raiders (3-8).
SERIES: Raiders lead, 13-8 (2-0 in playoffs).
BROWNS ON OFFENSE: Quarterback Brandon Weeden will play today despite suffering a mild concussion last week against the Steelers. Weeden hopes to take advantage of a strong running game to work a porous pass defense. Look for running back Trent Richardson to get more work than usual against a weak run front. Receiver Greg Little was quiet last week, catching just one pass. He needs to be a bigger part on offense. The line struggled a bit in pass protection against the Steelers, but that's not a big worry.
RAIDERS ON OFFENSE: It's been a struggle moving the ball on the ground. The Raiders are averaging 82.6 rushing yards a game, which is 29th in the NFL. The ground game will get a boost with the return from injury of Darren McFadden, who had 455 yards on 139 carries before getting hurt. He makes a big difference. Quarterback Carson Palmer has a decent 84.1 passer rating, but the Raiders aren't getting what they expected when they mortgaged the farm to acquire him in a trade with the Bengals. Tight end Brandon Myers leads in receptions with 55. Receivers Denarius Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey can be dangerous.
BROWNS ON DEFENSE: The defense held the Cowboys and Steelers to less than 100 rushing yards in back-to-back games. Having tackles Phil Taylor and Ahtyba Rubin on the field together has been a big boost. The secondary is obviously better and more cohesive when cornerback Joe Haden plays. Middle linebacker D'Qwell Jackson is having another steady season and leads in tackles with 84. Coach Pat Shurmur would probably like to see more from the pass rush.
RAIDERS ON DEFENSE: No defense in the NFL has allowed more points than the Raiders, who have given up 30 or more points in four straight games (more than 40 twice). The defense is ranked 25th overall (28th versus the pass and 24th against the run). Strong safety Tyvon Branch leads in tackles with 118. The Raiders have generated just 13 sacks. The Raiders used to live off of being an intimidating defense. That's no longer the case.
BROWNS ON SPECIAL TEAMS: Kicker Phil Dawson has connected on all 21 of his field-goal attempts and has made a club record 27 straight dating back to last season. Punter Reggie Hodges continues to have a sub-par season with an average of 42.2 yards and a net average of 37 yards. Expect to see a new punter in town next season. Return specialist Joshua Cribbs is nursing a shoulder injury. He's averaging 12.8 yards on punt returns and 28.4 yards on kick returns.
RAIDERS ON SPECIAL TEAMS: Kicker Sebastian Janikowski has great range. He's made 23 of 24 attempts. Shane Lechler might be the NFL's premier punter. He averages 48.3 yards a punt, but the coverage units haven't done their job well based on a 38.3 net average. Mike Goodson averages 23.7 yards on kick returns. Phillip Adams has a 6-yard average returning punts.
BROWNS MUST: Establish Richardson and try to continue pounding it at a soft defense. If the defense can get in Palmer's face, he'll throw interceptions. The defense has thrived on turnovers, including eight against the Steelers.
RAIDERS MUST: Keep Richardson at less than 100 yards. There's no question the Browns see a defense that allows 131.2 rushing yards a game and are salivating.
PREDICTION: Browns, 24-17.