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Browns snap road skid with 20-17 win over Raiders

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Browns snap road skid with 20-17 win over Raiders

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Just when it seemed as if the Oakland Raiders had seized the momentum, Sheldon Brown took it right back and then watched Brandon Weeden and the Cleveland offense put away a second straight win.

Weeden threw for a career-high 364 yards and a touchdown and made key plays on the clinching 94-yard drive after Brown's interception and the Browns snapped a 12-game road losing streak by beating the Oakland Raiders 20-17 on Sunday.

The Raiders (3-9) were in position to tie or take the lead when Brown intercepted Carson Palmer's pass to Juron Criner. But it was the drive by Weeden that truly put the game away.

``Probably a defining drive of the season,'' Brown said. ``We had an opportunity to see the character of that offense.''

Trent Richardson capped the drive with a 3-yard run, Weeden hit fellow rookie Josh Gordon on a 44-yard score in the second quarter and Phil Dawson kicked two field goals as the Browns (4-8) won consecutive games for the first since September 2011.

That ministreak started with a 27-19 win at Indianapolis on Sept. 18, which had been the team's last road win until Sunday.

``It's big. Kind of get the monkey off your back,'' Weeden said. ``It'll give us confidence moving forward. We still have a young team, and to beat a good team on the road like this can only help us moving forward.''

The Raiders have lost five straight for the first time since a six-game losing streak in Lane Kiffin's first year as coach in 2006 and have been eliminated from playoff contention for a 10th straight year.

There was more bad news after the game as Oakland coach Dennis Allen had to fly to the Dallas area to be with his father, former NFL linebacker Grady Allen, who has a serious health issue. Dennis Allen is expected to rejoin the team Wednesday night, a day before the Raiders host Denver.

The biggest blunder for the Raiders came when Criner got behind Brown but Palmer underthrew the deep ball with Oakland already in position for a game-tying field goal.

``I was trying to take a shot there, go for the touchdown quickly and just didn't put the ball in the right spot, didn't give Juron a chance to make a play on the ball,'' Palmer said.

The Browns took over at the 6 with 9:31 to play and then ran more than 6 minutes off the clock on the 14-play drive.

Weeden completed an 11-yard pass on third-and-3 to Gordon to get the Browns started and also had a big 22-yard pass to tight end Benjamin Watson.

Weeden then converted a fourth-and-1 sneak from the Oakland 45 and Desmond Bryant jumped offside on a third-and-1 from the Raiders 10.

Richardson scored two plays later to give the Browns a 20-10 lead with 3:27 to go as the Browns won for the fourth time in seven games since an 0-5 start to match last season's win total.

``That was kind of a statement,'' Weeden said. ``We strung together a lot of really good plays. That shows the potential we have as an offense, and that's encouraging. We had a lot of guys make different plays.''

The Browns have been improved defensively of late and Weeden had one of his best games as a pro. He completed 25 of 36 passes and overcame two first-half interceptions to lead the impressive late drive against a banged-up secondary that lost safeties Matt Giordano and Mike Mitchell and cornerback Phillip Adams to concussions.

Richardson ran for 72 yards and Gordon had six catches for 116 yards as Cleveland took advantage of Oakland's struggling defense.

``We can't stop the run, we can't stop the pass,'' Raiders cornerback Michael Huff said. ``Things just aren't going well on defense. Right now I guess we're just a bad defense. We can't really hide it. At this point, the numbers don't really allow it. We're just bad right now.''

Palmer was 34 for 54 for 351 yards, including a 64-yard touchdown to rookie Rod Streater. He added a 17-yard TD pass to Brandon Myers with 1 second left but it was too late. Myers caught 14 passes for 130 yards, tying Tim Brown's franchise record for catches in a game.

Oakland showed signs of life late in the third quarter when Desmond Bryant blocked a 28-yard field goal attempt by Phil Dawson.

Four plays later, Streater made a good adjustment on a deep pass from Palmer that cut Cleveland's lead to 13-10. But that's as close as the Raiders got.

NOTES: Dawson had made a career-high 29 straight FGs before the block. ... Cleveland's 475 yards was their most since registering 554 against Cincinnati on Sept. 16, 2007. ... The attendance of 43,641 is lowest at Oakland since the Raiders drew 32,218 on Oct. 3, 2010.

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2018 Open Championship Preview: Schedule, How to watch

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USAT

2018 Open Championship Preview: Schedule, How to watch

It's wide Open.

This week's 147th Open Championship in eastern Scotland at treacherous Carnoustie Golf Links boasts as deep a field of stars as we've seen in this championship since 2015 at St. Andrews.

Of course, it certainly helps to have three-time champ Tiger Woods back for his first start in The Open since he missed the cut at St. Andrews, a course he had won at in 2005 and 2010.

But this appears to be a different Tiger. He's healthier and he's coming in hot off a top 4 at Quicken Loans National a couple weeks back.

Make no mistake, Tiger Woods in a major championship is always must-watch material.

Even his former swing coach Hank Haney said on his SiriusXM Radio show this week that he's expecting Woods to win.

If he does so it would be his first major in 10 years. No small task with the strength of this year's field.

Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, and Jordan Spieth figure to be some of the major challengers. U.S. Open runner-up Tommy Fleetwood also happens to own the course record at Carnoustie (63), which shouldn't surprise anyone considering his experience on links golf courses. There are a couple guys who aren't quite household names to watch out for just because of how in-form they are. Kevin Na, who just won in West Virginia and Francesco Molinari. Molinari won at Quicken Loans National in Bethesda convincingly and brings plenty of links golf experience to this week.

Remember the last time Carnoustie held The Open?

Sergio Garcia missed a 10-foot par putt on the 72nd hole and Padraig Harrington made a closing double bogey after finding the famous burn (water hazard) and both went to a 4-hole playoff.

People are quick to tell you Sergio whined after losing in that playoff, calling out the golfing gods as being against him, but let's remember that he hit the flagstick from 260 yards on the par 3 in that playoff.

How many players can say they did that in the history of Open playoffs?

Both are back this year along with the man who threw this championship away in 1999, Jean Van De Velde.

Should be another classic this year.

2018 Open Championship Information:

What: The 147th Open Championship

When: Thursday, July 19- Sunday, July 22, 2018

Where: Carnoustie Golf Links, Angus, Scotland

TV Channel: Golf Channel, NBC

Livestream: TBA

2018 Open Championship Odds, Betting Information:

DraftKings and FanDuel have tournaments open for The Open Championship, as does GolfChannel.com's Fantasy Golf game.

World number 1 Dustin Johnson just barely clipped 2014 champ Rory McIlory as the betting favorite, with 11-1 odds.

Johnson comfortably led the U.S. Open by four through 36 last month before a 77 brought him back to reality.

Rory McIlroy, who is in the midst of a relatively strong season though still looking for his first major since the 2014 PGA, has 12-1 odds of winning.

Then you have defending champ Jordan Spieth at 16-1 who is a great pick because he plays well in this championship. Remember when he finished one stroke out of a playoff here in 2015? Justin Rose is a good pick at 16-1 as well, coming off yet another close call at the U.S. Open. He's got a second major in him. Lastly, Rickie Fowler played in the final group at The Open in 2014. Bad news, it was with Rory McIlroy who was on fire, but with the pressure on Fowler didn't miss a putt inside ten feet all day. Look for his steely nerves to help again this year.

2018 Open Championship Betting Favorites

Dustin Johnson: 11-1
Rory McIlroy: 12-1
Jordan Spieth: 16-1
Rickie Fowler: 16-1
Justin Rose: 16-1
Tommy Fleetwood: 16-1
Tiger Woods: 20-1
Brooks Koepka: 20-1
Justin Thomas: 20-1
Jon Rahm: 20-1

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: John Wall goes 1-on-1 to talk Bryce Harper's future, celebrity softball and the Summer League

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USA TODAY Sports

Wizards Tipoff podcast: John Wall goes 1-on-1 to talk Bryce Harper's future, celebrity softball and the Summer League

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, John Wall went 1-on-1 to talk Bryce Harper's future, the celebrity softball game and the Summer League.

Chase Hughes and Chris Miller broke down the parallels between Wall and Harper and why Wall has chosen to stay loyal to Washington in his own contract decisions. Plus, can the Wizards really tone down the talking this season?

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!