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Tennessee Titans vs. Cleveland Browns - Official Preseason Game Thread

The Cleveland Browns broke their preseason losing streak and touchdown drought last week with an impressive 20-0 first quarter over the Detroit Lions. This week is the third preseason game, otherwise known as the official "dress rehearsal" for the regular season. Will the Browns be able to prevail against last year's No. 1 seed?

Date: August 29, 2008 Location: Cleveland, OH
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Stadium: Browns Stadium
TV: WKYC (NBC, Ch. 3)
SBN Coverage: Music City Miracles
Radio: WKNR, 1100 AM Injury Report: Rogers, Pool, Harrison

Here are some pre-game notes to get you ready for the game...

Pre-Game Digest

  • As fans, I think we need to tame our expectations for this game. Tennessee has a very good defense and are coached well; they weren't the AFC's top seed last year for nothing. Even though Albert Haynesworth is gone, they still have the personnel to make their defense work. It'd be great to see us roll over their defense like we did against the Lions, but if that doesn't happen, we should not be disappointed.
  • Even if we go into half-time with something like a 10-7 deficit, in a regular season game, that is not necessarily a bad outing. Now, if we were down 10-7 because our offensive line gave up sacks every other play and our quarterbacks couldn't hit a single receiver, then the story might be different.
  • This is it: whoever plays better tonight between Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson will be the team's starting quarterback in all likelihood. Based on how things have gone in training camp and the other preseason games though, odds are that we won't have a definitive answer based on the quarterbacks' performances tonight. Then, we'll just have to await Eric Mangini's decision on who he prefers to lead this team.
  • The starters, including the rotation of the top two quarterbacks, are expected to go into the third quarter. This is Jamal Lewis' opportunity to show that he can come out strong for an entire half, as he has mostly just been playing in the first quarter of games. On the defensive side, we'll see how our defense reacts to the tandem of Chris Johnson and LenDale White. The Titans' ground game has struggled in the preseason after being unstoppable last season.
  • Besides the quarterback position, center will be the other position of focus. Who starts tonight, and do they play the entire time the starters are in the game? You expect this to be the game where the offensive line doesn't see many changes until mid-way through the third quarter, so if its Alex Mack in there the whole time, he'll be the opening day starter.
  • Don't expect to see NT Shaun Rogers or RB Jerome Harrison suit up. I'd pencil in S Brodney Pool as doubtful too.
  • I hate to even dare compare our offense to that of the New England Patriots, but if you watched their game against the Washington Redskins Friday night, then you saw how getting the ball to Randy Moss was a focal point of their gameplan. We need Braylon Edwards to have a good couple of quarters under his belt, and the only way to do that is to target him often.
  • Soon after the game, the rosters will be trimmed to 75 players. Most of those five cuts will probably be the players we signed most recently, but a few bubble players may get the boot instead. It's not uncommon to cut a player early like Paul Hubbard to see if he clears waivers, giving your team a chance to see if you can get him on your practice squad.
  • RB James Davis made some noise last week with a nice run at the end of the third quarter. With Jerome Harrison still sidelined, Davis has another opportunity to seize the "Leon Washington" role.
  • It seems like WR Mohamed Massaquoi has been eased into the starting lineup the past two weeks. If he sees action early today, it's probably safe to say that he has surpassed Joshua Cribbs as the No. 2 receiver (still counting Mike Furrey as the lock at No. 3).
  • Defensively, we'll see how creative Rob Ryan will get. We couldn't get much pressure on Aaron Rodgers in the first game, and although we generated some pressure on Matt Stafford last week, we didn't register a sack. Kerry Collins was sacked only 8 times in 16 games last season. I don't expect our defensive to get a hand on him very often, but if we do, that will be very encouraging.
  • The media says that the Titans have improved their receiving corps a lot this offseason, but I disagree. Kerry Collins isn't a "light 'em up" quarterback, and he doesn't make too many mistakes. Our secondary should be able to build on their positive momentum from a week ago.
  • An interesting note from the Plain Dealer yesterday: we'll probably see TE Martin Rucker line up at the fullback position a few times tonight. That versatility will help him make the team as the No. 3 tight end, but it also doesn't bode well for the roster odds of Charles Ali if Rucker does well.
  • Defensively, I'm most interested in these three players: Abram Elam, Eric Barton, and Kamerion Wimbley. Thus far, Elam and Barton have been "okay". With Pool likely out, Elam needs to step up. I've liked what we've seen from Wimbley in the preseason, but as I mentioned above, the Titans' pass protection is very good. If Wimbley gets completely shut down in his 2-3 quarters, it'll be quite depressing.

This is the official gameday thread for the Cleveland Browns third preseason game of the season, as they take on the Tennessee Titans. All comments regarding the game as it goes on and immediately following the game should remain in this thread. Enjoy the game, and GO BROWNS!!!