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43
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Tennessee 3 9 10 21 43
Cleveland 6 0 7 0 13
13
10:00 AM PT11:00 AM MT12:00 PM CT1:00 PM ET17:00 GMT1:00 10:00 AM MST12:00 PM EST12:00 PM CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00 , September 8, 2019
FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio  Weather: 71°, Partly Cloudy  Attendance: 67,431

Titans-Browns Preview

According to STATS
According to STATS

Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns

  1. The last game between the Titans and Browns was a touchdown-less affair, won by Tennessee at Cleveland in overtime, 12-9, on October 22, 2017. It is one of only four NFL games since 2017 in which neither team scored a TD, and the only time in the last 15 seasons in which the Browns lost a game without allowing a touchdown.
  2. After going 13-3 and winning the AFC South in 2007, the Titans have gone 10 straight years without a division title or a 10-win season. The Titans went 9-7 in 2016, '17, and '18; it is the first time the franchise has had that many winning seasons in succession since 1987-93, when the Warren Moon-led Houston Oilers enjoyed seven straight years over .500.
  3. After winning one game in the 2016 and 2017 campaigns combined, the Browns went 7-8-1 a season ago; it was their best mark since 2007 (10-6). Gregg Williams went 5-3 as interim head coach in the season's second half, with Freddie Kitchens taking over as offensive coordinator. Kitchens now becomes the head coach -- the team's 10th since 2005.
  4. Marcus Mariota won his last four starts last season, but injuries suffered in Week 16 kept him out of the Titans' Week 17 loss to the Colts, a winner-take-all game for an AFC playoff spot. Mariota set a franchise single-season record for completion percentage at 68.9, but his 11 TD passes tied for 30th in the league. He had no TD passes in his last three games.
  5. Baker Mayfield set an NFL rookie record with 27 TD passes last season -- the most by a Browns QB in 11 years. Mayfield passed for 1483 yards in the month of December, second most in the league, and was not intercepted in the red zone all season (20 touchdowns, zero interceptions in 54 attempts).
  6. Since a Week 1 win over the Ravens in 2004, the Browns have gone 14 straight season openers without a victory -- 13 losses and last year's tie with Pittsburgh. Tennessee won three straight openers from 2013 through '15 but has dropped its last three, scoring no more than 20 points in each.
Team Comparison

Tennessee
 
Cleveland
0.0 Points 0.0
- Pass Yds -
- Rush Yds -
Takeaways
(AP Photo/Mark Zaleski, File)

CLEVELAND (AP) The hype has bordered on hysteria for months. It's time for the Cleveland Browns to show if it's warranted.

Or simply talk.

Magazine covers, photo spreads. No team in the NFL received more offseason publicity than the Browns, who went 0-16 just two years ago but are considered legitimate Super Bowl contenders following the acquisitions of superstar wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., running back Kareem Hunt and others.

It's a stunning turnaround for a team that hasn't won a division title in 30 years, participated in the playoffs in 15 years - the league's longest drought - or started 1-0 since 2004.

These star-studded Browns could be different.

"We've had a long offseason," said quarterback Baker Mayfield, who went from backup to record-setting rookie last season. "It's been a long wait. I feel like it's been a longer one than last year, so we're ready to go. I'm ready to go. It is all business."

The Browns open Sunday against the Tennessee Titans, who just missed the playoffs a year ago and have seemingly played in the AFC's shadows for years.

They're accustomed to going unnoticed, and three-time Pro Bowl tight end Delanie Walker said he doesn't mind that the spotlight will be trained on Mayfield, Beckham, first-year coach Freddie Kitchens and the rest of the Browns.

"That's the NFL. They like to pick the team they assume is going to be Super Bowl champs because they got guys on that team that I guess they can turn a whole organization around, just two or three guys," said Walker, who suffered a season-ending injury in Week 1 last season.

"But, hey, that's how it goes. I like that they get the hype. The Tennessee Titans have always been under the radar. What's new? So I expect them to talk about Cleveland Browns, Cleveland this, Cleveland that. We're going to go in there and play football. As a group, we just got to handle the noise and play our game."

The Browns have a similar plan. Mayfield, never shy about speaking his mind, believes the Browns have offensive advantages across the board.

"I have full confidence in all of our guys, all of our playmakers, skill position guys that if they have one-on-ones, they should be licking their chops because they should all take that as disrespect," he said. "But that's the type of team that we have and need to take advantage of. It's going to be a matchup game."

And for the Browns, a quick test of their legitimacy.

Some things to know before the season opener:

ODELL'S DEBUT

The Browns put Beckham in bubble wrap during the preseason, holding him out of four games and team drills in practice because of a minor hip injury.

The three-time Pro Bowler, who missed 16 games the past two seasons in New York because of leg issues, isn't at 100 percent but said the injury won't prevent him from making his much-anticipated debut with Cleveland.

"I'm going to be running as fast as I can run, so if that's not 100, I feel confident in myself to wherever I'm at," he said. "I'm going to be ready to play with whatever I got. I'm confident in me."

LOSING LEWAN

Titans Pro Bowl left tackle Taylor Lewan will miss the opener, serving the first game of his four-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs. Tennessee will start reserve tackle Dennis Kelly, who has primarily played right tackle before getting a crash course on the other side in the preseason.

Kelly's first assignment is brutal: blocking Browns defensive end Myles Garrett, who had 13 1/2 sacks last season and anchors a strong Browns defensive front.

PUTRID PREMIERES

Cleveland is 1-18-1 in openers since 1999, with the lone win coming against Baltimore in 2004. The Browns did manage a tie last season against Pittsburgh, and safety Damarious Randall said there's no extra emphasis on beating the Titans.

"Obviously, we want to go out there and win Week 1," Randall said. "But I mean, that's not the Super Bowl, and our ultimate goal is to win the Super Bowl."

KICKED OUT

The Browns chose rookie draft pick Austin Seibert as their kicker over Greg Joseph. Seibert shook off a slow start in camp and went 7 of 9 on field goals in the preseason.

The Titans were forced to make a switch, placing veteran Ryan Succop on injured reserve after he underwent offseason surgery on his right, kicking leg. They signed Cairo Santos, who beat Succop out for the job in Kansas City in 2014.

Santos is with his fifth NFL team after spending the preseason with Tampa Bay.

TITANS' TAKE TWO

The Titans return nine of 11 starters for their second season with defensive coordinator Dean Pees, and they had the NFL's third-stingiest scoring defense in 2018 giving up just 18.9 points per game. They were the league's second-best backed up inside their own 20, giving up TDs just 44.7 percent of the time. They ranked eighth in total defense allowing 333.4 yards per game and sixth against the pass (216.9) with a secondary led by safety Kevin Byard.

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AP Sports Writer Teresa Walker contributed to this report.

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More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Updated September 5, 2019

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