Rough start to a promising season


Terence Checkett

The Cleveland Browns opened up their season this past Sunday with a 43-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans.

It was certainly a disappointing first look at a team that received a quite a bit of hype in the off season. With the first full season of sophomore quarterback Baker Mayfield approaching, the browns traded for star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr, one of the leagues great talents. With a good draft class and other minor free agent signings, the Browns looked primed for a playoff run and an exciting season for a team that knows all too well the struggle of winning games.

Penalties killed the Browns this weekend, committing a league high 18 penalties for a total of 182, highlighted by the ejection of lineman Greg Robinson in the 2nd quarter who kicked a Titans player in the head. The Browns stayed within 1 score until late in the 3rd quarter when signal caller Baker Mayfield’s level of play deteriorated quickly. He threw 3 interceptions in the 4th quarter as the Titans scored 28 unanswered points to run away with the game.

Some bright spots in a tough loss were Beckham debuting with 7 catches for 77 yards, an impressive stat line for the emerging chemistry between him and his new QB. Tight end David Njoku, an emerging star, caught his first touchdown pass of the season.

On the defensive side, the dog pound struggled to contain Titans workhorse running back Derrick Henry who rushed for 84 yards and a touchdown, along with a receiving score as well. Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota threw for 3 touchdowns, 2 of which went for Delanie Walker, tight end. Titans rookie wide receiver Aj Brown  led his team in yardage in his first career NFL game.

Looking ahead for the Browns, they travel to New York to face off against the Jets in a prime time game next Monday night. The Browns defeated the Jets last year on September 20th to end their dreadful 19 game win less drought, this was also Mayfield’s first appearance as a Brown. Cleveland will look to replicate that success as Jets quarterback Sam Darnold is labeled as out for the game with mono.