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Tennessee Titans travel to Cleveland to face the Browns

Tennessee Titans (2-1) at Cleveland Browns (2-1)
Sunday, October 2nd, 2011 • Noon CDT
Cleveland Browns Stadium • Cleveland, Ohio • TV: CBS

Tennessee TitansNashville, TN – Coming off two consecutive victories at home, the Tennessee Titans (2-1) go on the road this week to face the Cleveland Browns (2-1). Kickoff at Cleveland Browns Stadium (capacity 73,300) is scheduled for noon CDT on Sunday, October 2nd.

The Titans and Browns, two former AFC Central Division rivals, will meet for the 61st time in the regular season. The Browns hold a 33-27 advantage in the previous 60 contests. Since realignment in 2002, which sent the Titans to the AFC South and the  Browns to the AFC North, they have played three times. Most recently, the Titans were able to clinch a division title in Week 14 of the 2008 campaign with a 28-9 defeat of the Browns at LP Field.

This week’s game will be televised regionally on CBS, including Nashville affiliate WTVF NewsChannel 5. Marv Albert will handle play-by-play duties, while Rich Gannon will provide analysis.

The Titans Radio Network, including Nashville flagship 104.5 The Zone, will broadcast the game across the Mid-South with the “Voice of the Titans” Mike Keith, analyst Frank Wycheck, sideline reporter Cody Allison and gameday host Larry Stone.

The game can be heard locally on 1400 AM, WJZM.

Hasselbeck, Defense Lead Charge

Tennessee TitansThe Titans used 311 passing yards by Matt Hasselbeck in last week’s 17-14 win over the Denver Broncos. Hasselbeck completed a pair of touchdown passes, one to wide receiver Nate Washington and another to tight end Daniel Graham. The latter was a four-yard strike that proved to be the game-winning score with less than five minutes to play in the game.

Hasselbeck arguably is off to the best start of his 13-year career. His 932 passing yards make up the highest total of his career through the first three games of a season and also qualify as the third-highest sum in franchise history through the first three weeks of a season, exceeded only by Warren Moon’s 989 yards in 1990 and 970 yards in 1992.

The Titans played most of the day against the Broncos without wide receiver Kenny Britt, who sprained his knee in the second quarter and did not return. Nevertheless, Washington led the team and recorded a career-high eight receptions for 92 yards in the victory.

Defensively, the Titans held the Broncos to 231 yards and forced two turnovers. Cornerback Jason McCourty intercepted a pass for the second consecutive game, and linebacker Will Witherspoon sealed the win by picking off a Kyle Orton pass. For the third consecutive week, the defense held the opposing quarterback under 200 passing yards.

The Titans are currently ranked first in the NFL in overall defense, allowing 261.0 yards per game, and they are second in the league in scoring defense, permitting an average of 14.3 points per contest.

The Browns

Browns HelmetLike the Titans, the Browns have won two consecutive games entering this week’s contest. Last week, they came from behind in the final minute of play to defeat the Miami Dolphins 17-16. Quarterback Colt McCoy led the deciding 80-yard march down the field in front of his home crowd and completed a 14-yard touchdown pass to Mohamed Massaquoi to clinch the

The Browns are led by first-year head coach Pat Shurmur. They lost their opener to Cincinnati but recovered to win at Indianapolis and then at home against Miami. The Browns defense is third in the NFL against the pass (187.3 per game), and they are second in the league with 11 sacks through three weeks.

Titans-Browns Series At A Glance

  • Overall series (regular & postseason): Browns lead 33-28
  • Regular season series: Browns lead 33-27
  • Postseason series: Titans lead 1-0
  • Total points: Titans 1,177, Browns 1,205
  • Current streak: One win by Titans
  • Titans at home vs. Browns: 13-18
  • Titans on road vs. Browns: 15-15 (including 1-0 in playoffs)
  • Longest winning streak by Titans: 6 (1995-01)
  • Longest losing streak by Titans: 9 (1970-74)
  • Titans vs. Browns at LP Field: 3-2
  • Last time at LP Field: Browns 9 at Titans 28 (12/7/08)
  • Titans vs. Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium: 3-1
  • Last time at Cleveland Browns Stadium: Titans 14 at Browns 20 (11/6/05)
  • First time: Oilers 14 at Browns 28 (11/22/70)
  • Mike Munchak’s record vs. Browns: 0-0
  • Pat Shurmur’s record vs. Titans: 0-0
  • Mike Munchak’s record vs. Pat Shurmur: 0-0

What To Look For This Week

K Rob Bironas will play in his 100th career game (also his 100th consecutive game).

QB Matt Hasselbeck can record the 24th 300-yard passing game of his career. It would also be his third consecutive 300-yard passing game, which would tie for the second-longest streak in franchise history. In 13 seasons, Hasselbeck never has passed for 300 yards in three straight contests.

RB Chris Johnson can record the 25th 100-yard rushing game of his career.

RB Chris Johnson needs two rushing touchdowns to tie Steve McNair (36 career rushing touchdowns) for third place on the team’s all-time list.

CB Jason McCourty can record an interception in his third consecutive game.

T Michael Roos is scheduled to make his 100th consecutive start.

G Jake Scott is scheduled to make his 108th consecutive start.

LB Will Witherspoon needs six tackles to reach 1,000 career tackles.

Titans-Browns Series History

This week’s game marks the 61st all-time meeting in the regular season between the Titans and Browns. In the previous 60 outings, the Browns own a 33-27 advantage, including separate nine- and six-game winning streaks by the Browns. The Titans’ nine-game losing streak against the Browns from 1970-74 is tied for the longest in franchise history (Oakland, 1966-73). Additionally, the clubs have played one playoff game, a 24-23 Wild Card win by the Oilers in 1988.

The two teams met for the first time in 1970, when as a part of the AFL-NFL merger, the Browns moved from the NFL Century Division to the AFC Central, where they would compete with the Oilers/Titans as divisional foes for 32 seasons. The series was interrupted after the 1995 season as a result of the former Browns moving to Baltimore to begin play as the Ravens.

A new team was granted to Cleveland to begin play once again in 1999. The new version of the Browns kept the old team’s name, records and logos and was once again a member of the AFC Central until divisional realignment in 2002 sent them to the AFC North and the Titans to the AFC South.

The last time the teams met at Cleveland Browns Stadium was Week 9 of the 2005 season. Browns running back Reuben Droughns accounted for 189 yards of offense, and in a game affected by heavy wind gusts, the Browns held on for a 20-14 win.

In 2008 at LP Field, the Browns came to LP Field in Week 14. With the Titans needing a win to clinch a playoff berth, they rushed for 235 yards in a 28-9 win. That win ended a three-game winning streak by the Browns, which was preceded by a six-game winning streak by the Titans.

Titans-Browns: The Last Meeting

Cleveland Browns 9 at Tennessee Titans 28
Sunday, December 7th, 2008
LP Field, Nashville, TN

In Week 14 of the 2008 season, the Titans outrushed the Cleveland Browns by 200 yards and pulled away for a 28-9 victory at LP Field. The win clinched the AFC South title for the Titans.

Running backs Chris Johnson and LenDale White accounted for all of Tennessee’s 235 rushing yards. Johnson carried 19 times for 136 yards, while White gained 99 yards on 24 carries. Each player scored a touchdown.

Meanwhile, the Browns were limited to 35 rushing yards on 19 attempts, including seven carries for seven yards by starting tailback Jamal Lewis.

Browns quarterback Ken Dorsey, making his first start since 2005, completed 22 of 43 passes for 150 yards and one interception. He was consistently knocked down by a Titans defense that allowed 12 first downs and 178 total yards.

The Browns opened the game with a scoring drive that resulted in a 47-yard field goal by Phil Dawson. Later in the first quarter, they took advantage of an interception by D’Qwell Jackson and scored again when Dawson booted a 41-yard field goal.

On the ensuing possession, the Titans engineered their first scoring drive of the game. Starting on their own 32, they advanced to the Cleveland 28, where they faced a fourth-andone.

Quarterback Kerry Collins rolled left and found a streaking Ahmard Hall, who took the pass 28 yards for a touchdown.

Later in the second quarter, the Titans engineered their longest drive of the season and added to their lead. Beginning on their own seven-yard line, they marched 93 yards and scored on a three-yard carry by White on third-and-goal. The series featured consecutive 20-yard passes from Collins to tight end Alge Crumpler and wide receiver Justin McCareins.On the day, Collins completed 14 of 23 passes for 155 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions for a 73.6 passer rating.

With the Titans leading 14-6 at the start the third quarter, safety Michael Griffin intercepted a pass and returned the ball 36 yards to the Cleveland 22. A personal foul penalty gave the Titans a first down at the 11-yard line. Two plays later, Collins found Justin Gage in the back of the end zone for a nine-yard touchdown.

A 39-yard field goal by Dawson made the score 21-9 a minute and a half into the fourth quarter, and penalties and turnovers by the Titans helped keep the Browns alive. The Titans were flagged for a season-high 13 infractions for 131 yards. They turned the ball over three times, leaving them with a turnover deficit for the first time in 2008.

However, the Titans eventually added their fourth and final touchdown to put the contest out of reach. Chris Carr provided a career-long 44-yard punt return for the Titans. That set up a 25-yard touchdown run by Johnson on the next play, ending the scoring for the day.



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