Friday, September 18, 2015

#Browns Preview 9.18.15: Tennessee #Titans @ Cleveland Browns

Is This A Must Win Game?
By @mrgroce

Yes, I know it is extremely early, but in my humble opinion this week's Browns-Titans game is a must win for the Cleveland Browns. Not because I believe that a loss will hurt their chances of winning the division *inserts loud laughter*, but because if Tennessee leaves FirstEnergy Stadium with a victory, the team and fan base might just give up on the season before we get to October. I don't think any of us felt we would see the team winning 10 or more games this season, but after winning seven games last season we wanted to see improvements in coaching, game planning, preparation, game management, and overall player production. Well, none of that was evident in week one. Poor quarterback play, penalties, and turnovers prevented us from seeing what the team truly looks like.

Josh McCown coming off of a concussion he suffered against the Jets, as of Thursday has yet to practice this week. Johnny Manziel has taken all of the first team practice reps, and has officially been named the starter for Sunday's game. It was rumored that if McCown was able to participate in Friday's practice, he would've started on Sunday. McCown only played in one series last Sunday but he did an excellent job of moving the offense down the field until he went out with an injury. The offensive line didn't protect or open any holes for the running backs. The defense which was at full strength had a terrible day and must now prepare to face rookie Marcus Mariota who is coming off a game in which he threw four touchdowns in his debut. Everyone has said the "right" things this week such as"we gotta play better" and "we have to take care of the ball". Safety Donte Whitner even went as far as apologizing to the fans for the team's performance.

Last week I said that neither team, Browns or Jets, were good enough to overcome turnovers and penalties. Unfortunately the Browns chose to be the team to prove me right. This week I'm predicting a Browns win at home. I believe the defense is mad and coaches have probably been drilling in their heads all week how well Mariota played in his first game. I like Mariota and I love his quick decision making, but now a team has real game film on him and with a week to prepare I think the Browns will keep pressure on him. I don't believe it really matters who starts between Josh or Johnny, if they limit the turnovers to under two, the offense should do just enough to pull out a low scoring win.
Receiver Dwayne Bowe who is on pace to make his Browns debut gives the quarterbacks a bigger target to throw to, but these offenses are pretty even. Terence West returns with revenge on his mind, but Bishop Sankey will get the bulk of the workload in the Titans backfield. Kendall Wright and Joe Haden will be the key CB/WR matchup. Haden "should" have the advantage there, but with him you have to take it game by game. I have the Browns winning a close one: 17-16

What: Cleveland Browns vs Tennessee Titans
When: Sunday 1:00 PM
Where: FirstEnergy Stadium Cleveland, Ohio
TV/Radio: CBS, WKNR Cleveland 850, WKRK Cleveland 92.3 The Fan, WNCX 98.5

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