Last week was great to watch. The Titans' offensive line made a statement, and the defense was great, sans a big play or two. If the special teams can go a week without giving up a punt return for a touchdown, we could finally see the Titans play a complete game this season. Could it come this week?
Reasons For Confidence: Delanie Walker, Browns' Injuries, Titans' Offensive Line
Delanie Walker: While the Titans have had some trouble finding guys open, Delanie Walker should not have that issue this week. The Browns have had a lot of trouble covering tight ends this season. If the Titans can create mismatches with Walker, and target him early and often, he could have his best game of the season. While this wasn't listed as a reason for confidence, the Browns pass rush has struggled mightily all season. For a team that has downfield options who struggle to get open, this bodes well. Delanie Walker could have a big day, along with some of the other threats through the air. I expect Mariota to have his best game of the season.
Browns' Injuries: This is a team that is absolutely banged up right now. They have blown through the depth chart at quarterback all the way down to Charlie Whitehurst, their explosive rookie Corey Coleman went down with an injury a few weeks ago, and now one of their best and most consistent offensive linemen Joel Bitonio is now out as well. This team has the players and coaching to be competitive, but right now, they are banged up in some key spots.
Titans' Offensive Line: As previously mentioned, the Browns pass rush has struggled this season. There is not really an extremely dangerous threat on the Browns' defensive line that the Titans have to key in on. This offensive line has played well, and should have a good day protecting Mariota. As far as the run game, the Browns' defense is 21st in the league in run defense. This is the Titans' strength on offense right now, by far. This looks to be another big mismatch on offense.
Reasons For Concern: Terrelle Pryor, Browns' Backs
Terrelle Pryor: Pryor has been one of the biggest playmakers in the league so far this year. He is starting to get comfortable, and Hue Jackson is finding ways to creatively use him in the offense. If he breaks off a couple of big plays in this game, it could completely change everything. We saw in last year's Browns game that 2 or 3 big plays can lose you the game. If the Titans can't contain Pryor, this game could be lost.
Browns' Backs: Isiah Crowell has had a great season so far. While the Browns' offensive line is banged up, he will still be productive in the run game. When he is paired up with the electric Duke Johnson, they can be a dangerous duo. The Titans will need to continue to be gap sound, and wrap up on defense in order to contain this run game.
Prediction: On offense, the Titans have mismatches all over. On defense, they need to contain a few of the Browns' playmakers. I would not be surprised to see the Titans have a big day on offense, and force Cody Kessler to beat them. In the end, I think the Titans win their second game in a row. Titans win, 30-13.