In the Cleveland Browns' win over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, cornerback Sheldon Brown's interception in the fourth quarter may have been the difference.
Leading 13-10 with just over nine minutes remaining in regulation, the Browns allowed Carson Palmer and the Raiders to march within striking distance at Cleveland's 33-yard line. On first down, Palmer went for the score and lofted a pass near the Browns endzone. Brown read the play, jumped the route and intercepted Palmer at the six-yard line. On the subsequent drive, Cleveland drove 94 yards in 14 plays, capped off with a touchdown run from Trent Richardson. Just like that, Oakland went from threatening in the red zone to trailing by two scores.
Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal writes that the veteran Brown was prepared for that play thanks to experience and film study.
"Through film study, I noticed they like to throw fades between the 40 and the 20," said Brown, who had a season-high four passes defensed. "So they had just crossed into our field position. I lined up like I was going to press the wide receiver, and on the snap, I bailed and ran out with eyes on the quarterback. I saw Carson throwing the fade ball. At that point, I just became the receiver, and I caught the ball."
Brown also defended three passes and recorded five tackles in the win.