Browns-Titans Preview


Browns keys to victory

1)      Rush for 150 total yards

After rushing for more than 175 yards against both the Steelers and Saints, the Browns posted only 85 against the Ravens. When the fourth quarter came around, the lack of the usual potent rushing attack stopped the chains from moving. Against Tennessee, look for Cleveland to feed their beasts. Ben Tate is back. Isaiah Crowell, Terrance West and the offensive line are fresh and amped up to hit someone after the bye week. Most importantly, as it did in the first two games, running the ball will open up the passing game.

2)      Intercept two Jake Locker passes

In Titans losses to the Cowboys and Bengals, Locker threw two interceptions in each game. His combined quarterback rating was just above 50. The Browns recognize Locker is capable of making plays – good and bad ones. It'll be up to Cleveland to pounce on errant throws.

3)      Make a big play on special teams

It could be a big return, a blocked punt – but something impactful. Special teams coordinator Chris Tabor has indicated he likes how the Browns have a ton of options at the return man position. Maybe this is the week we see rookie Justin Gilbert tossed into the mix. Remember, Gilbert set a Big 12 record with six kickoff return touchdowns at Oklahoma State.

Titans keys to victory

1)      Get an early lead

If the game comes down to final plays the fourth quarter, this time, the Browns will be ready for the challenge. The losses to Pittsburgh and Baltimore stung, but in the long run, they may make Cleveland a better football team. The Titans games this season have been the opposite. They sprung out on Kansas City in Week 1, leading 20-3 at the end of the third quarter. And in losses to the Cowboys, Bengals and Colts, Tennessee was never really in the game. The Titans need to score early, for their confidence and to get an edge on the Browns.

2)      Pressure Brian Hoyer

The Browns offensive line has done a tremendous job of keeping Hoyer's jersey clean. In turn, Hoyer has been frying opposing secondaries. It will be more challenging on Sunday. The Titans' defensive line is underrated and has potential to cause problems. Watch for number 99 Jurrell Casey. The 24-year-old defensive end burst onto the scene last season with 10.5 sacks and already has two this season.

3)      Run the football

Until the Browns defense has proven they can consistently stuff the run, expect teams to start off games attempting to ram the football down Cleveland's throat. The Titans use veteran Shonn Greene, rookie Bishop Sankey and gadget-guy Dexter McCluster. Oh, and don't forget about Locker either – arguably the fastest quarterback in the NFL.

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