Things couldn’t have gone much worse for the Browns in their opener last Sunday at Met Life Stadium, as they lost their starting quarterback in the first quarter and by the time it was over lost the game to the New York Jets 31-10.
It was another opening day loss for the Browns, who have won just once on opening day since they came back to the league in 1999.
Things looked good for awhile after starter Josh McCown was knocked out of the game with a concussion, as Johnny Manziel second pass after replacing McCown in the second quarter went for a 54-yard touchdown to Travis Benjamin to at the time give the Browns a 7-0 lead.
But, Manziel had three turnovers thereafter while finishing 13 for 24 for 182 yards. The Browns had five giveaways in all, including a fumble by McCown at the goal line that caused his injury.
Who starts Sunday is still up in the air, as if Josh McCown can clear though the concussion protocol without any setback he will go, but if not the Browns will look to Manziel again as they host rookie QB Marcus Mariota and the Tennssee Titans at First Energy Stadium in the Browns home opener at 1pm.
All Mariota did in his debut against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday was throw four touchdown passes in a half and produced a perfect passer rating in leading a 42-14 road rout of the Bucs. The win also gave the Titans some much needed confidence, as they entered last Sunday on a 10-game losing streak.
The No. 2 overall pick completed 13 of 16 throws for 209 yards and tied Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton’s record for TD passes in a first game. Mariota also became the first player since at least 1933 to record a perfect passer rating in his debut.
The Titans sacked Bucs rookie Jameis Winston four times and forced three turnovers, including Cody Sensabaugh’s first-quarter interception return for a touchdown.
The Browns defense has a lot of work to do to stop Mariota as well as titans running back Bishop Sankey who had a solid opener against the Bucs, who had 74 yards and a touchdown.
Clevealnd’s D gave up 154 rushing yards and allowing the Jets to convert 7 of 13 third downs. Additionally, the Browns were penalized 12 times for 109 yards en route to an 11th straight season-opening loss.
The Titans will also be looking for some revenge after last season when they had a 28-3 lead on the Browns at home early in the season, only to lose 29-28.
This time Tenensse with their rookie QB and solid run game from Bishop will take care of the Browns. Too much negative going for the Browns right now, and with the QB position still very much in doubt between McCown and Manziel and a Tenneseee defense looking strong with new DC Dick LeBeau.
Tennessee 27 Cleveland 13
Tennessee – Marcus Mariota 230 yards 2 TD, Bishop Sankey 80 yards rushing 1 TD, Kendall Wright 85 yards receiving 1 TD
Cleveland – Josh McCown 175 yard 1 TD, Isaiah Crowell 30 yards rushing, Brian Hartline 75 yards receiving 1 TD
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