The (0-5) Cleveland Browns travel to Nashville to take on the Tennessee Titans who are (2-3). The Browns got blown out last week against the New England Patriots 33-13. While the Titans won in Miami verse the Dolphins 30-17. The Browns will be starting rookie quarterback Cody Kessler this week, even though he is recovering from a rib/chest injury that took him out of the game last week.
The Browns are going to continue to run the ball this week. Isaiah Crowell was the leading rusher going for 22 yards on 13 carries. Yes, he and the run game overall was terrible but the Browns had to play catch up with Charlie Whitehurst at quarterback. Also Joel Bitonio was hurt during second half and unfortunately he will be out for a few weeks. But back to this week, Crowell and Duke Johnson should be able to have success like the first four weeks. The Titans are ranked 14th in the NFL in rush defense giving up just under 100 yards per game. They are also 20th in yards per rushes with 4.2 yards per carry.
Another reason the passing game might struggle is Kessler's injury. Even though the play calling will likely be the same with "slants, quick outs, and check downs". It remains to be seen if Kessler can make those throws with the injury, and be able to take a hit while reading a defense.
How the Browns can have success is fairly simple and its the same game plan every week. Control the clock. In the games they were in, mainly against the Ravens, Dolphins, and Redskins, the Browns did a great job running the ball and keeping the opposing team's offense off the field. The other key for the Browns to have success is to NOT turn the ball over. Turnovers killed them against the Ravens and Redskins. But if they win the turn over battle the Browns might sneak out of Nashville with a win. Its going to be a tough task but from what we've seen from Hue Jackson so far, the Browns will be prepared this week.
Andrew Hawkins: The Titans will try and take away Terrelle Pryor and Gary Barnidge so Andrew Hawkins has a great opportunity to ball out. Hawkins and Kessler seem to have some chemistry going whether its in the red zone like last week, or with drag and out routes like in previous weeks.
DeMario Davis: Davis is one of the leaders on this team and has played really well. Davis is going to be important not just in the run game, but in the pass game. Not just covering Murray or Walker but spying on Mariota which might be the most important job.
Betting Line: Tennessee -7
Prediction: 28-24 Titans
My heart wants to pick the Browns, but my head says no. It will be a watchable game, but a late turnover by the Browns will shift momentum to the Titans. Kessler will play like he has in his first three games. And I think Crowell will have a bounce back game, but the Browns won't be able to come back from adversity in this game which will result in a loss. 0-6 sucks but we will be one week close to the end of the year and the draft in April. Also the Cavs start in two weeks, Ohio State is arguably the best team in the nation, and the Indians are in the ALCS...so don't feel bad Browns fans, stay positive!!!