NFL Week 1: Tennessee Titans Take Down the Cleveland Browns

The Cleveland Browns were hyped heading into its home opener against the Tennessee Titans in the first week of the NFL season. A lot of people think Cleveland will be serious Super Bowl contenders this season and some people think Tennessee won’t make the playoffs even though they went 9-7 in the last three seasons.

The Titans defense picked off Baker Mayfield three times, recorded five sacks, and Malcolm Butler also returned one of those interceptions for a 38-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter in a 43-13 win over the Browns.

Tennessee did a tremendous job of coaching in this game. Arthur Smith is the new offensive coordinator this season after Matt LaFleur left in the offseason. Smith did a great job of mixing up play calls.

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It was one of the reasons why Marcus Mariota completed 14-of-24 passes for 248 yards and three touchdowns. Mariota also rushed for 24 yards on three carries.

Dontrell Hillard scored on a 6-yard touchdown run in the first quarter for Cleveland (missed extra point). That was his only carry in the game. He also caught one pass for 14 yards receiving, Nick Chubb was the leading rusher for the Cleveland Browns with 74 yards rushing on 16 carries. He also caught three passes for 10 yards receiving.

With the Titans trailing 6-3 in the second-quarter, Derrick Henry scored on a 1-yard touchdown run. Later in the quarter, Cameron Wake sacked Baker Mayfield in the end zone for a safety.

With Cleveland trailing 15-6 in the third quarter, Baker Mayfield threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to David Njoku. Njoku caught four passes for 37 yards receiving and a score. Mayfield completed 25-of-38 passes for 285 yards one touchdown and three interceptions.

Odell Beckham Jr. made his Cleveland debut. He caught seven passes for 71 yards receiving. The skill players were not an issue in this game for them. The offensive line was absolutely horrendous and it could be a long year for them upfront if this problem is not solved.

It was also Freddie Kitchens head coaching debut as well for them.

The play that changed the entire game was when the Tennessee Titans had a 15-13 lead in the third quarter. On the first play, Derrick Henry caught a screen pass and he took it 75 yards for a touchdown. Henry finished with 84 yards rushing on 19 carries and a score. That was Henry’s only reception in the game.

Rookie wide receiver A.J. Brown was the teams leading receiver with three receptions for 100 yards. Corey Davis did not record a single catch in the game. He was being covered by Denzel Ward a ton in the game.

Mariota threw two touchdowns in the fourth-quarter to Delanie Walker from 11 yards out and seven yards out. Walker finished the game with five receptions for 55 yards receiving and two touchdowns.

The Tennessee Titans are better than people think they are. Tennessee made a statement in Week 1. The Titans (1-0) will host the Indianapolis Colts next Sunday.

It will be interesting to see how the Cleveland Browns respond to adversity. Cleveland (0-1) will go on the road and face the New York Jets (0-1) next Monday night.

How do you feel about the Cleveland Browns after week 1? Leave a comment below.

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Follow Glenn on Twitter @glennkaplan13.

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