Tennessee Titans and Cleveland Browns clash in the NFL on Sunday after both grabbed important victories to keep pace in the AFC playoff race (1pm ET; TV: Live on CBS).
If the season ended today the Titans would be the 3rd seed and the Browns would be the 5th seed in the AFC. The Titans had a convincing win against the division rival Colts last week while the Browns managed to hold on and barely beat the Jaguars. The Titans won 45-26 as +3.5-point underdogs and the Browns squeaked by 27-25 as -7prs road favorites with the American-focused oddsmakers.
The Browns were less than convincing on the road versus a third string quarterback in Mike Glennon. Glennon hasn’t played since week 12 of last year in garbage time for the Raiders. He only threw the ball seven times in mop up duty and hasn’t played since. He got the start last week after rookie quarterback Jake Luton threw zero touchdowns and four interceptions against the Steelers in his second career start.
Glennon and the Jaguars moved the ball with relative ease against a struggling Browns’ defense. He threw for 235 yards and two touchdowns while rookie running back James Robinson added 128 yards and one touchdown on the ground. The Browns were unable to generate much pressure on Glennon and didn’t record a sack on the day.
They were missing their best defender with Myles Garrett on the COVID reserve list. Garrett is still 2nd in the NFL with 9.5 sacks despite missing the last two weeks after a positive COVID diagnosis. Garrett was activated from the reserve list today and looks poised to return against the Titans this week. So how will this influence our Cleveland Browns vs Tennessee Titans predictions for this preview?
Expect a Shootout
These are two of the bottom 12 defenses in average points allowed per game. The Titans rank 20th in the NFL and give up on average 25.9 points per game while the Browns rank 21st and allow 26.0 points per game on average. Both these defenses play surprisingly well against the run, which is what the two offenses do best.
The Browns rank 9th in average rushing yards allowed per game and the Titans rank 16th out of 32 teams. These are two of the top three rushing attacks in the entire league. The Browns rank 1st (161.4) in average yards gained on the ground and the Titans rank 3rd (158.2). Titans’ running back Derrick Henry leads the league in rushing yards with 1,257 yards through 11 games. He is also second in the NFL in rushing touchdowns (12).
Cleveland running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt are both also in the top 10 in rushing yards. Both these teams will look to establish the run but where the defenses can be exploited most is through the air. The Browns rank 20th (246.7) in average passing yards allowed per game and the Titans rank 28th (268.5). Expect each team to lean on their dominant run games, but also to use this strength to set up the play action pass and deep ball that will lead to a shootout.
The Titans allowed Philip Rivers to throw for nearly 295 yards and two touchdowns. In their first matchup against Rivers and the Colts they allowed 308 yards through the air. The Browns defense can also be dominated by a strong passing game. In week two they were carved up by rookie quarterback Joe Burrow and the Bengals. Burrow in his second career start threw for 316 yards and a touchdown against the Browns’ weak secondary.
Our Betting Preview’s Cleveland Browns vs Tennessee Titans Predictions & Picks Conclusion
USAbetting is going to be riding with the over in this game, which is at 54pts, and we expect a shootout in which both teams can exploit a weaker defense.
These are two of the most explosive rushing attacks in the NFL, which will help the passing games. Both defenses will be focused on stopping the run when each passing defense is the biggest weakness on the field. Both passing attacks have enough weapons to put on quite the performance against two lackluster defenses against the air game. Jarvis Landry and Austin Hooper are reliable pass catchers for the Browns and Jonnu Smith and AJ Brown can stretch the field for the Titans.
One injury to keep an eye on is Browns’ starting cornerback Denzel Wards. He is their number one corner and is “unlikely” to play again this week due to a calf injury. Another player to keep an eye on is fellow corner Adoree’ Jackson. The Titans’ starter has yet to play this season due to an injury and has missed three straight games after being activated from the injured reserve list. These would both be tough injuries to overcome for two already weakened secondaries. This is the one pick for our Browns vs Titans predictions against the sportsbooks: