3 min

Browns defeat Titans - Sep 20, 2015

QB Johnny Manziel and WR Travis Benjamin led the Browns to victory in Cleveland by a score of 28-14.

Clearly, Benjamin has emerged as the number one offensive weapon on the Browns' offense and special teams. Benjamin has scored four TDs in the first two games. He scored three versus the Titans. Two came from lengthy TD pass plays, and TB returned a punt for a TD.

The game versus the Titans can prove that the stats can be very misleading. Based upon common stat numbers, one would think that the Titans won comfortably.

TNCle
First Downs 21 13
Total Yards 385 274
Turnovers 3 0
Time of Possession 35:11 24:49
First Downs 21 13
Third Down Efficiency 7-16 4-11
Total Yards 385 274
Total Plays 74 47
Avg Gain Per Play 5.2 5.8
Net Yards Rushing 166 116
Rushes 30 30
Yards Per Rush 5.5 3.9
Net Yards Passing 219 158
Comp-Att 21-37 8-15
Yards Per Pass 5.0 9.3
Times Sacked 7 2
Penalties 9 4
Penalty Yards 85 40
Fumbles 4 2
Fumbles Lost 3 0

Johnny Manziel fumbled twice, but the Browns recovered both fumbles. Versus the Jets, the Browns lost those fumbles. JM needs to improve on protecting the football, obviously.

I assumed that Mariota would need more than 13 pass completions to defeat the Browns. And I assume that to win in the future, the Browns and Manziel will need to complete more than 8 passes in a game. Now if the pass completions continue to be 30-plus yard TD plays, well, then that's different. But defenses will adjust as more game film on the Browns becomes available.

Unfortunately, the Browns have no other pass-catching weapons in case TB gets defended well, or if he misses a few plays for an injury.

Positives

  • Browns jumped out to a big lead early, 21-0 at halftime.
  • JM only rushed 3 times, which means he focused on being a passer. A mobile passer, which is a positive.
  • TB is a major offensive weapon for the Browns, but he will need more targets in the future.
    • Travis Benjamin : 4 targets, 3 receptions, 115 yards, 38.3 ave, 2 TDs
    • TB returned a punt 78 yards for a TD.
  • Browns rushed for over 100 yards.
    • Isaiah Crowell : 15 rushes for 78 yards = 4.8 yards per carry !!
    • Duke Johnson : 12 rushes for 43 yards = 3.6 yards per carry.
  • Browns defense sacked Mariota 7 times !!

Negatives

  • Titans rushed for 166 net yards.
  • Browns converted only 4 for 11 3rd downs into first downs.
  • Titans converted 7 of 16 3rd down plays and 2-2 on 4th down.
  • JM attempted only 15 passes, completing 8.
  • TB was targeted only 4 times.

The next main pass receiver was Andrew Hawkins who had 4 targets and 3 receptions for 43 yards.

TE Gary Barnidge had 1 target and 1 reception for 17 yards.

Taylor Gabriel had 1 target and 1 reception for -3 yards.

Dwayne Bowe was active. He had 1 target and no receptions.

Brian Hartline had 3 targets and no receptions.

I thought that Bowe and Hartline were suppose to be the main pass catchers for the Browns. We knew that someone else would need to emerge to help. And that may still be the case if defenses target TB more.

Maybe Bowe will get it together in October and be a healthy, productive WR over the last half of the season when others may be banged up.

The Browns won last Sunday with a seemingly bizarre stat sheet. That's not sustainable. But it's great experience for Manziel.

As of Tue morning, Sep 22, the Browns have not decided who will start QB for Cle this Sunday when the Browns host the Raiders.

The Raiders lost on week one to the Bengals, but they won this past week against the Ravens. The Raiders are 1-1 within the Browns division. The Raiders started their season with a couple tough games. The Browns started with the Jets and Titans.

The Jets, however, defeated the Colts last night on MNF. The Jets have started 2-0.

For this Sunday's game against the Raiders, it will be a good test for Browns head coach Mike Pettine. Last year, the Browns had a couple major clunker performances after big wins. Pettine needs to prevent a flat, down game this week, regardless who is QBing.

The Browns defense still needs to improve against the run. The Browns offense needs more firepower in the passing game. This past weekend, the Browns did enough on offense to win, and but that's all that matters though.

#browns

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