YEAR. It’s been fifteen fucking YEARS since the Browns won a game in Week 1 of the NFL season.
The last time they won?
Yeah, their QB was Jeff Garcia.
Even the years in which the Browns finished with winning records, they lost their first game.
In 2002, the Browns had won… only for Dwayne Rudd to ruin the outcome…
The Browns would go on to make the playoffs, but that shit still stings.
It was a disaster from the get-go, but, somehow, they managed to crawl back and finish the year 10-5.
They need to break this streak, man. I want to start a season with a win. In a season filled with the most hype, hands down, in their 20 years back in the NFL, the Browns have to come out of the gates hot.
Honestly, I am not sure I would bet this game. The Browns feel like they might come out of the gates and blow the doors off the Titans… but history stinks up the joint with this one. My main concern for the Browns is that they come out too hyped up and it hurts them, but, with injuries and talent comparisons, I do think the Browns are the better team and might please the home crowd in Week 1 for the first time in a long time.
ATS PICK: Browns -5.5, Over 45.0
MY RECORD IN 2018-2019: Line – 8-4-1, O/U – 7-6
Since returning to the league in 1999, the Browns are 7-9 against Titans (one of the wins was with Johnny Manziel at quarterback, the last time they beat the Titans) and 35-30 all-time.
JEFF’S FUN PREVIOUS MATCHUP STORY
Two of the greatest comebacks in Browns history actually happened against the Titans. In 2002, they found themselves down 28-14 with only a few minutes left on the clock…
You can’t get any better than that onside-kick recovery by Dennis Northcutt. It was an incredible game and essentially kick-started a really fun season for the Browns.
The deficit, once again in Nashville, was even worse for the Browns in 2014. At one point the Browns found themselves down 28-3…
The Browns reached 7-4 at one point that season… and then lost the rest of their games, but this moment was huge for Brian Hoyer and company. This remains the second-biggest regular-season comeback in NFL history.
Two model organizations right here when it comes to not getting suspended. Kareem Hunt was always going to be out for this game, but Antonio Callaway and Taylor Lewan were the more recent additions to the list. The Browns are loaded at wide receiver so, despite me being high on Callaway, this suspension doesn’t make an impact quite as much as Taylor Lewan’s does for the Titans. I’ll get to the biggest part of the game a little further down, but the Titans being out two starters on the offensive line is massive.
UPDATE: Browns will be without Takitaki and Genard Avery, Titans will be without Pamphile
Gone are the days of the Browns “star receivers” being Dwayne Bowe or Kenny Britt, or their quarterback being (INSERT LITERALLY ANY NAME). Now, we have this beauty of a lineup…
The offense for the Browns has been talked about ad nauseam since they traded for Odell Beckham Jr. back in March. We know about Baker, we know about the wide receivers…
…we know about David Njoku (throw Ricky Seals-Jones into the mix at tight end after this week) and we know about Nick Chubb. With the trade of Duke Johnson Jr., and Freddie Kitchens’ love of multiple back sets, there should be some eyes on Dontrell Hilliard and D’Earnest Johnson, who showed some nice flashed in the preseason.
But when it comes to this side of the ball, everything comes down to the offensive line. Obviously they moved stud right guard Kevin Zeitler in the offseason as a part of the Odell Beckham Jr. and Olivier Vernon trade. The position has been a revolving door in training camp, with the team eventually landing on free agent signing Eric Kush. Austin Corbett, one of the Browns’ two second-round picks n 2018, is inactive for the game and is essentially irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. There are concerns about the line and they’re clearly the biggest x-factor going into the season for the Browns. Greg Robinson was not all-world last year, but he was far better than people had expected him to be. Baker’s success last year started happening when Hue Jackson and Todd Haley got fired and the offensive line’s improvement was a big reason why.
The Titans have a really solid defense in all facets of the game. There’s no doubt that the Browns have one of the best offenses in the NFL, but today’s test is no bullshit.
I think I am as excited for the Browns defense as I am for the Browns offense.
The Browns front four is dynamite. Going against a ravaged Titans offensive line is a great way to start the season. But the big note here is that the Browns are going with their rookie cornerback Greedy Williams today.
This is a bit of a surprise and a tad out of nowhere. The expectation had been that Terrance Mitchell would start opposite of Denzel Ward. Greedy, the Browns’ second-round pick this year out of LSU, looked okay in the preseason…
…but even his one big moment wasn’t eye-opening. Don’t get me wrong, he is a talented player that I expect big things from, it’s just surprising to see him starting Week 1. The only Browns rookie to get the Week 1 start, Greedy is a ball-hawk and the combo of him, Denzel and Damarious Randall will have this defense looking to feast on Mariota.
The Browns defensive line against the Titans offensive line is the matchup of the day. Being without a starting offensive tackle (Taylor Lewan) and offensive guard (Kevin Pamphile) against this Browns defensive line?
That’s scary stuff for the Titans.
Myles Garrett needs to wreak havoc today in order for the Browns to win. The game in Cleveland today will be won in the trenches with this battle.
I am fucking pumped
Please, for once, be good.
This is exciting stuff right now for Cleveland fans. I’ve taken everything one step at a time, enjoying the hype and positivity. I think they might even struggle at the beginning of the season, but I refuse to let go of optimism.
There’s a chance the Browns lose today, no doubt. The Titans are no joke, especially on defense, and history is against the Browns. I think the Browns either win big or lost a close one.
MY PREDICTION: Browns defeat the Titans, 34-14
MY SEASON PREDICTION: 10-6, Wild Card