The Browns will face off on Sunday against one of the league’s best defense through the first 3 weeks of the season. The Titans are 2nd in points allowed and 1st in yards allowed so Colt McCoy and company will face tough sledding. The Browns counter with also having one of the top defenses which ranks high in net yards per pass and points allowed. While both defenses are stellar, the Offenses both have had their struggles, especially running the ball. Like the Dolphins game, this definitely figures to be a close one and one where the outcome is the most divided by analysts.
Browns Offense: The Browns have seen their fair share of offensive struggles this year. McCoy has been hit-and-miss and teams have loaded the box against Hillis. The protection for both of these players has also been very mediocre overall, but that may change. Tony Pashos may be back from injury this week and could help to open holes for Hillis and let the Browns use TEs more in the passing game. The Browns best bet in the passing game is spreading the ball around a lot.
Titans Defense: This Defense is really good at all levels. The front 7 are holding opposing RBs to 3.1 ypc. Their DTs are doing a solid job of eating up blockers and penetrating into the backfield. This is letting the LBs and Safeties make some nice plays. Courtland Finnegan is having a great season and is shutting down opposing #1 WRs and have limited the damage done by TEs. They have the ability to shut down the Browns TEs and Hillis, their two biggest threats on offense.
Titans Offense: This Offense was struggling even before Kenny Britt went down for the season. Chris Johnson is having a terrible season, but the problem rests up front with the offensive line. Their line has been one of the worst in football at making sure the RB gets positive yards and ~1/3rd of their total carries are stopped in the backfield. Hasselbeck has been very reliant on Britt and Nate Washington who have been stellar, but after them their next receiver has only 38 yards on the season.
Browns Defense: The Browns defense has been performing great, led by D’Qwell Jackson who was voted the AFC Defensive Player of the Month who will wreak havoc against Johnson and Hasselbeck. Haden has also been a monster and the only CBs who have been better at shutting down WRs this year than Haden are Nnamdi Asomugha and Darrelle Revis. The Browns front 4 have been living in the backfield and making life difficult for QBs.
This game is going to come down to injuries. Tony Pashos may be back for the Browns but his status is up in the air. The same goes for the Titans’ Pro Bowl safety Chris Hope. Another big question on the injury front is how much will the Britt injury hurt them and will any WRs step up?
Prediction: Titans 23, Browns 20
As a Browns fan, its hard for me to predict 3 wins in a row unless this team is just dynamite. Even with Pashos coming back, Hope is a better player and has more of an impact.
About the Author
Written by Bradley Ross
Bradley Ross was born and lived most of his life in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. He grew up with a passion for sports and Cleveland teams, instilled in him by his father. He is currently studying Business/Journalism at Cuyahoga Community College and plans on transferring to the Ohio State University in the winter with an expected graduation date of 2013. He is currently a Staff Writer for the Tri-C Voice Newspaper, which was a recipient of an award for the best non-daily newspaper at a 2 year college (northeast region). He runs multiple blogs off of the blogger platform including The Take By The Lake, a sports blog. Sports is his passion and he enjoys being able to write about them and cover them. He also enjoys improvisational humor, long walks on the beach, and writing in the 3rd person. Follow him on Twitter @BRoss_Voice.