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4 Turning Points: Costly INTs hurt Kizer, Browns in loss to Titans

Analyzing four key moments from the Browns' 12-9 overtime loss to the Titans.

  1. DeShone Kizer was having one of the best halves of his Browns career. He was embracing the checkdown, as Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston advised, and taking what the Tennessee defense gave him. He had the Browns moving with short, quick passes and put the offense in position to tie the score late in the first half.

One bad throw changed everything.

The Browns were in field goal range when Kizer dropped back and looked downfield for Rashard Higgins. Kizer knew it immediately as his throw sailed high and well above a leaping Higgins and into the arms of Kevin Byard. It was the kind of throw Kizer simply couldn't make during a scoring situation in what turned out to be a low-scoring affair.

"The ball got away from me there," Kizer said.

  1. After a second Kizer interception, his final throw of the game, the Browns defense faced a tough situation with the Titans on their end of the field. It got even tougher when Rishard Matthews caught a 14-yard pass to set up first-and-goal from the 1-yard line.

Four plays later, Cleveland had the ball back and didn't surrender a single point. 

The Browns stuffed the run on three of the four tries, including the decisive fourth down. A Marcus Mariota pass to Delanie Walker on second down fell short.

Cleveland responded on the ensuing drive with Cody Kessler at quarterback to tie the score, 6-6.

  1. One of the NFL's most incredible streaks came to an end in unfortunate fashion midway through Sunday's third quarter. Ten-time Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas injured his triceps on Cleveland's scoring drive and didn't return.

Thomas will have an MRI on his arm Monday. Browns coach Hue Jackson described the injury as serious.

It marked the first time Cleveland ran an offensive play without Thomas since the 2006 season finale. His streak of 10,363 consecutive snaps spanned 11 seasons and 167 games. As he jogged off the field with trainers, Tennessee offensive lineman Taylor Lewan ran onto the field and patted him on the back.

Second-year do-it-all offensive lineman Spencer Drango filled Thomas' spot.

"That one is really personal to me," Jackson said. "He is a huge part of what we do. A huge part of this organization and we will see where that is, but that was a big blow because obviously those things, with him over there, changes the game on how you have to call the game, try to protect."

  1. A 54-yard Zane Gonzalez field goal sent the Browns to overtime, but Cleveland couldn't generate anything offensively in the extra 10 minutes. It ultimately paved the way to a seventh loss, as Tennessee's Ryan Succop nailed a 47-yarder on Tennessee's second possession.

The Browns went three-and-out on both of their drives. Their second possession was the costliest, as Kessler took a sack on third down that pushed the Browns into their own end zone on the ensuing punt.

The Titans took over at the Browns' 49-yard line and needed to convert just one first down to get in Succop's range. The biggest play came on third-and-3, when Mariota hit Matthews with an 8-yard pass.

"They gave it everything they had," Jackson said. "I think our defense fought hard. There was a play or two here or there they made, but overall I think our defense did a good job. Offensively, we have to find a way to score more points."

The Browns play the Tennessee Titans in Week 7.

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