Coming from somewhere deep underground, it’s the Titans v. Browns preview. Here we are, one week before the bye week, with a 500 record and the perfect opportunity to go into the bye with a winning record. The only thing that stands in that way is most likely the worst team in the NFL. Seems easy, have Marcus Mariota toss the ball around get up big and coast to the bye. It seems that Titans fans should have nothing to worry about. Anyone reading, stop, the Titans are going to win, there is nothing to be concerned about. Wrong! This game makes me nervous. I understand that the Browns are terrible, however, when have the Titans ever given us reasons not doubt them. Obviously the best example of the Titans collapsing against a bad team comes from the nightmare before Christmas last year. All they had to do was beat an awful Jaguars team that had just fired their coach, and they completely shit the bed. I understand that the Browns have yet to win a game and that they have nearly zero talent. However, desperate teams tend to do desperate things, which can catch the other team off guard. Additionally, this is the NFL in one of the most unpredictable seasons of all time. The Titans cannon get complacent, anything can happen, even losing to the Browns.
Offensively the Titans have got to come out fast. They have started slow all season, and if they do so again then the coaching staff really needs to reevaluate what they are doing at the start of games. I know this has become so repetitive with my post and with Titans fans, but I want to start the game out with Mariota spreading the Browns out and launching and aerial attack similar to what they did against the Colts. The Browns defense is not spectacular. They have some strong points, including Myles Garrett and former Titans Jason Mccourty. The Titans should have some success against them; really, if they cannot get the passing game going against the Browns then they have big problems. I would love to see the offense work on quick shots to Eric Decker, Rishard Matthews, and Taywan Taylor. I am loving what we are seeing out of Taylor and I hope they get him involved at the start of this game. With all of that said, I highly doubt that this is the way the Titans go. I believe that they want to ground the Browns out with Henry and Murray (if he is playing). The Browns have some talent on the d-line, but they should not have enough to cause too much disruption. Former Titans defensive coordinator and bounty gate ringleader, Gregg Williams is their coordinator, so I would expect their defense to least play hard. I can see Mularkey wanting to start the game off with heavyset runs. I believe that Henry and Murray should find space against this defense. Therefore, as an irrational fan I would like to see a high octane passing offense in this game, however, realistically I would guess that they would want to go conservative and slowly chip away at the Browns, similar to what they did against Jacksonville.
As for the Defense, I think they need to focus on stopping the Browns running with Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson. It appears that DeShone Kizer will be starting, but he will be without Corey Coleman and possibly even Kenny Britt, although Britt has been mostly worthless this year (are there any Titans fans surprised by that?). Kizer is not a bad rookie quarterback, however the team does not have an abundance of talent on offense. I think if the secondary shows up, especially Adoree’ Jackson and Logan Ryan then the Titans can lock the Browns receivers down. Hopefully this can be the week that the Titans d-line shows up and they can get after Keiser. If they can apply a consistent rush and force Keiser into uncomfortable situations then the defense should thrive.
Being a Titans fan for nearly twenty years I have learn to never take anything for granted. I have seen the team lose to inferior competition more times than I can count. I am hopeful that the Titans win, I understand that they should, however, I am not 100% convinced that they will go into Cleveland and walk all over the Browns like a lot of people think, but if the Titans lose, I will throw my TV out of the window, and burn my clothes while crying in the shower.