The Browns are coming off their annual performance of “things we wish we could unsee” in Pittsburgh, while the Titans picked up their first win of the season in an overtime takedown of the Los Angeles Chargers.
Sunday marks the first week of the post-Nick Chubb era and the Browns welcomed back old friend Kareem Hunt to offer support to Jerome Ford and Pierre Strong Sr.
It is also an opportunity for quarterback Deshaun Watson to finally start setting off some of the fireworks on offense that he talked about prior to the season. Watson promised this week that “sooner or later it’s going to click” on offense, and this week is as good a time as any, especially with the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers up the next two weeks.
But before we turn our attention to those games, the Browns first need to deal with their former AFC Central Division foes, so here is everything you need to know as the Browns take on the Titans.
Records: Cleveland is 1-1. Tennessee is 1-1.
Kickoff: 1 p.m.
Stadium: Cleveland Browns Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio.
TV: WOIO CBS
Announcers: Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta and Aditi Kinkhabwala (sidelines)
Radio: ESPN 850, 92.3 The Fan, 98.5 WNCX, 89.1 FM La Mega (Spanish)
Announcers: Chris Rose, Nathan Zegura and Jerod Cherry (sidelines)
First meeting: The Browns won the first meeting, 28-14, when the Titans were still the Houston Oilers, on November 22, 1970.
Last meeting: The Browns won the last meeting, 41-35, in Week 13 of the 2020 season.
All-time series: Cleveland leads the all-time series, 36-31, but has lost three of the last four overall.
Weather: 69 degrees and partly cloudy, with a nine percent chance of rain and wind from the northeast at 14 mph. (weather.com)
Uniform: The Browns will wear their classic brown jersey and white pants kit on Sunday.
classic look for Week 3 ⚪️ pic.twitter.com/wW0Rj6y6wT— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) September 22, 2023
Injury report: Browns - Out: Cornerback Greg Newsome II (elbow); Questionable: Offensive tackle James Hudson III (ankle). Titans - Out: Offensive lineman Peter Skoronski (abdomen) and wide receiver Kearls Jackson (ankle). Questionable: wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (ankle), cornerback Anthony Kendall (hip), defensive tackle Teair Tart (knee) and defensive tackle Denico Autry (foot/groin).
The line: Browns -3.5 (DraftKings)
Some Notes to Remember
- Cleveland’s defense has only allowed one touchdown through the season’s first two games.
- The defense did not allow the Cincinnati Bengals or Pittsburgh Steelers to enter the red zone, which in turn means the defense has not given up a red zone touchdown or field goal. If they can pull that off again against the Titans it will be the first time since 1978 that a defense has not allowed any red zone points in the first three games of a season, according to ESPN.
- Cleveland’s defense is also currently the league’s best on third down as they have allowed opponents to convert just 21 percent of their opportunities.
- Tennessee has seven sacks this season, which might not bode well for Cleveland quarterback Deshaun Watson, who has taken nine sacks in the season’s first two games.
- Titans running back Derrick Henry is off to a slow start as he has only one rushing touchdown and is averaging a career-low 3.6 yards per carry. The Browns are allowing just 3.2 yards per carry.
- Tennessee quarterback Ryan Tannehill bounced back from a rough Week 1 performance to light up the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 2 by completing 83 percent of his passes, averaging 10.3 yards per attempt and posting a quarterback rating of 123.3. The Browns may prove a tougher challenge, however, as they are limiting opposing quarterbacks to just a 47 percent completion rate, which is the best in the league.
- The weekly game poster is all kinds of fun:
something you didn't know you needed:— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) September 22, 2023
greek god Brownie ⚔️ pic.twitter.com/MfcphIjE3w
- Cleveland quarterback Deshaun Watson has been successful against the Titans in the past, as in six career games he has completed 73 percent of his passes with 17 touchdowns and just five interceptions, while posting a quarterback rating of 119.2.
- The Browns will be turning to Jerome Ford, Pierre Strong Jr. and Kareem Hunt to carry the running game now that Nick Chubb is out for the season. They will face a tough test against a Titans defense that comes into the game allowing just 65 rushing yards per game and 2.7 yards per carry.
In Case You Missed It
A Final Quote
Offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt on whether the offense is struggling to get everyone on the same page (quote via a team-provided transcript):
“Yeah, I don’t know if that’s the case … but I think we’re doing good things. We’re close. A couple plays here or there, I think we’ll better. Not 100% synced up right now and it’s second game of the year, so we’ll continue to grow, grow together. I think that’s where we’ve got to stay positive and keep moving forward. I mean, we’re doing a lot of good things offensively, and we’re not clicking 100% yet, so I feel good about the direction we’re heading, and I see it all coming together as we move forward. It’s like any other season. Very rarely, teams start off and get hot and stay hot the whole year. So it’s finding your way through and just continue to grow together.”
What are you looking for from the Browns in Sunday’s game against the Titans?