When the Tennessee Titans kick it off against the Cleveland Browns at 1PM Eastern today at First Energy Stadium on Lake Erie, they will be facing their second home opener on the road for as many weeks. They will find the Dawg Pound as loud and crazy as their trip last week to Tampa.
They will take on a Browns team that was beaten 31-10 last week in the Meadow Lands and lost their starting quarterback Josh McCown to the NFL’s mandatory concussion protocol. Backup quarterback, Johny Manziel will get the game two start.
I think the Titans can come out of week two with a 2-0 record, but it won’t be the walk-in-the-park like week one. These are the three key things to watch for today.
The Tennessee Titans rookie quarterback had a perfect day in Tampa, was voted the Offensive Player of the Week and was anointed with the cover of Sports Illustrated.
The former Oregon Duck as well as his teammates have treated the week one win as the first game of the year with more work to do. This is the attitude for success in the NFL.
If Marcus can just continue to do what he has been doing since the preseason started, the Titans can come back to Music City with another win.
Mariota doesn’t seem to get too high when he does well, and too low when he has problems. He has been turnover free since the debacle in his debut in Atlanta. He finds a way to forget the mistakes and make good decisions.
We saw Mariota get all of his targets involved last week and that needs to continue today against a better defensive front than they saw last week in Tampa.
The defense wants to keep the pressure on the second-year quarterback out of Texas A&M but they need to keep him in the pocket. Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan have said they need to force the young quarterback to beat them with his passing game and not his legs.
This will require more discipline where they need to cut off his running lanes and make him thrwo the ball.
The Titans defense sacked Jameis Winston four times last week, and they will need to duplicate that effort today.
Terrance West can be a factor today, and although he has kept a low profile this week, you know he wants to rack up some yards against his former team.
In fact, Jim Wyatt at Titans Online reported that “West is prepared to run through walls in Cleveland”. West carried the ball 13 times in Tampa last week for 41 yards.
Coach Whisenhunt said that although he performed well against the Bucs, he was still unsure of the plays and where the holes the offensive line were making for him. Expect him to be more prepared for todays contest, and play with a chip on his shoulder.
We should get another good effort today from Bishop Sankey, but look for a great performance out of West.