Talk is cheap: Titans embarrass Browns in opener

18 penalties, 3 Baker Mayfield INTs do Cleveland in

September 8, 2019

Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

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Cleveland, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – Maybe the Cleveland Browns should petition the league office to just skip Week 1 of the season.

The Tennessee Titans came into an electric FirstEnergy Stadium and punched the lights out on the Browns and ran them off the field in the fourth quarter. As the Titans assistants ran from the press box to the elevators one said, "Same old Browns."

Yep. 

This was supposed to be the year the Browns put all the negative streaks behind them but the winless streak in openers rolls on – 15. At least they tied last year. They're 1-19-1 in openers since 1999. 

Outside of the opening touchdown drive, Sunday afternoon was an undisciplined disaster for Kitchens’ team.

Rookie kicker Austin Seibert missed the extra point that followed Dontrell Hilliard’s touchdown run, the Browns were hit with 18 penalties for 182 yards, left tackle Greg Robinson was ejected for kicking Titans safety Kenny Vaccaro in the head in the second quarter, Mayfield was sacked for a safety – one of five on the afternoon and he threw three interceptions.

Other than that, and the 43-13 defeat, things went well for the hometown team.   

The Browns marched down the field on their opening drive, even overcoming a first-and-25 that followed a blindside block penalty on Robinson thanks to a 35-yard completion to Rashard Higgins. Odell Beckham Jr. caught a pair of passes on the drive for 18 yards.

On the Titans first touchdown drive capped by Derrick Henry’s one-yard run, Cleveland’s defense was flagged four times, gifting Tennessee four first downs.

After Robinson was thrown out with just under five minutes to play in the first half, Kendall Lamm suffered a knee injury. That forced Chris Hubbard shift from right tackle to left tackle and Justin McCray came in to replace Hubbard on the right side.

The Browns awoke from their slumber in the third quarter, but the Titans punched right back.

Mayfield marched the Browns in six plays 61 yards capped by a three-yard TD to tight end David Njoku to climb within 15-13. Mayfield converted a third-and-16 with a 23-yard completion to Landry, then a 34-yard completion inside the 5 to No. 80 to set up the score.

Tennessee had been trying to work the screen game all afternoon with little success until they hit a home run to running back Derrick Henry that went for a 75-yard catch and run to extend to a 22-13 lead with 1:57 left in the third.

Mayfield threw three fourth quarter interceptions that resulted in three Titans touchdowns – two of them to Delanie Walker and the third was a 38-yard pick-six by cornerback Malcolm Butler.

Safety Kevin Byard and cornerback Logan Ryan had the first two picks of Mayfield.