The first half was completely dominated by the Browns from the get-go. On the first pass of the game by QB Johnny Manziel, he found Benjamin streaking down the middle of the field for a 60-yard touchdown.
On the Titans' next drive, former Browns' RB Terrance West fumbled on his first carry of the game with ILB Karlos Dansby stripping the ball and CB Joe Haden coming up with the recovery. Several plays later, the Browns took a 14-0 lead mid-way through the first quarter when RB Isaiah Crowell punched it in from 11 yards out.
The Browns' defense continued to dominate the rest of the first half, put the offense wasn't putting more points on the board despite good field position. With 0:53 left in the first half, though, Benjamin scored his second touchdown of the game on a 78-yard punt return that included him leaping over the fallen punter.
Travis Benjamin having a big day in Cleveland https://t.co/vCGAq37VRg— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) September 20, 2015
The Browns went into the half with a 21-0 lead and got the ball first to begin the third quarter. Things got dicey for awhile in the second half, though. Manziel fumbled on a third-down play (but Cleveland recovered), but Tennessee put together their first scoring drive of the game to close out the third quarter as QB Marcus Mariota hit TE Anthony Fasano for a 19-yard touchdown to close the gap to 21-7.
The Browns went three-and-out and then to begin the fourth quarter, the Titans put together an 8+ minute drive that ended with a 13-yard touchdown pass to WR Dorial Green-Beckham on 4th-and-6. That closed the gap to 21-14, and with Cleveland's offensive struggles in the fourth quarter, fans began their preparations for the inevitable collapse.
After picking up a couple of first downs via the running game, Cleveland faced a 3rd-and-6 from the 50 yard like with 2:52 to play. Manziel took the snap and blindly rolled away from the pressure before setting and firing a 50-yard touchdown pass to Benjamin to go up 28-14 and seal the game! Cleveland moves to 1-1 on the season and this is the first victory of Manziel's NFL career.
Quick Stat Highlights
- Johnny Manziel was 8-of-15 for 172 yards and 2 touchdowns.
- Isaiah Crowell had 15 carries for 72 yards (4.8 YPC) and Duke Johnson had 12 carries for 43 yards (3.6 YPC).
- Travis Benjamin led the Browns with 3 catches for 115 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also had a 75-yard punt return for a touchdown.
- The Browns sacked Marcus Mariota 7 times.
- They came from Armonty Bryant (2.5), John Hughes (1.5), Jamie Meder (1), K'Waun Williams (1), Paul Kruger (0.5), and Donte Whitner (0.5). The Browns forced four fumbles, recovering three of them.
- The Browns cut down on penalties, only having 4 for 40 yards.