Cleveland Browns at Tennessee Titans
Time: NOON (EST), CBS
Spread: TEN -6
Odds c/o 5dimes
The much-improved Cleveland Browns will visit the also-much-improved Tennessee Titans at Noon (EST) on CBS.
The Browns enter as 6-point favorites, and the over-under is set at 54 total points according to NFL Oddsmakers at bookmaker 5dimes.
CLE News & Notes:
Cleveland rallied a 10-7 win over the Houston Texans two weeks. It is currently riding a three-game win streak. The Browns have gone 2-1 at home in its last three home outings.
The Browns possess the third-best rush offense in the NFL at 161.4 yards per game. Its passing game lingers bottom-five at just 194.4 yards per game. The Browns generate 23.9 points per game itself, while the defense surrenders 26, giving the Browns a -2.1 point differential.
The story offensively mostly revolves around quarterback Baker Mayfield. Mayfield has changed the fates of the Browns, and in turn helped to change the culture, to that of a winning atmosphere. He has 2,100-plus passing yards this season with a 61.2 percent completion ratio to go along with 17 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He has been sacked 1.6 times per game for nearly nine yards per game, and his passer rating is decent, at 92.3.
Mayfield has added another 76 yards on his 32 rush attempts, but he has also rushed for five first downs this season. Lead backfield options Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb are feasting on having a competent offensive line. Hunt has 706 yards on 157 attempts and three touchdowns, while Chubb leads all rushers in yards-per-carry at 6.3 and also leads the team in touchdowns (6).
Jarvin Landry and Odell Beckham Jr are the top-two receivers. Landry has 614 yards and 30 first downs, both of which lead the Browns, but he has just one TD. Beckham trails him with 319 yards and second-best three touchdowns. OBJ has been on the shelf, though.
Hunt leads the team in receiving touchdowns with four, coming out of the backfield to have caught 22 of 32 targeted looks for 151 yards and 11 first downs. Between Hunt and tight end Harrison Bryant, the Browns possess up to six competent receivers, and eight players are better than 100 yards in fact. Rashard Higgins is a versatile third-receiver with 305 yards and two touchdowns, but he has been targeted just 25 times (having caught 19).
TEN News & Notes:
The Tennessee Titans have won two of its last three overall.
The Titans have largely gone away from the pass-heavy offense it employed during the (failure) tenure of Marcus Mariota. While the Titans managed just 227 passing yards per game, it ranks No. 2 in the NFL in rushing— accounting for 158.2 yards per game. Even with the lack of play diversification, the Titans rank No. 5 in scoring at 29.5 points per game. While the defense has been less than outstanding, it is managing to limit opponents to 25.9 points per game, which works out to a +3.6 point differential for Tennessee.
While the yardage may not be overly impressive, the accuracy and lack of mistakes from Ryan Tannehill have been plenty impressive. He has thrown at a 65 percent clip and has 23 TD passes with just four interceptions. He has also been sacked just 15 times in 11 games, showing that the OL has provided him with the protection to make good decisions, while also providing many great holes for the Titans’ backfield to exploit. That improvement on the line is one of the biggest factors in the Titans’ turnaround in the last two seasons.
In terms of the rush game, it would not be incorrect to assign most of the improvement to the tremendous season Derrick Henry is having. He has rushed for 1,257 yards at a 4.9 yard-per-carry average, and he has 12 of the Titans’ 15 rushing touchdowns. He has also rushed for 64 first downs and has yet to suffer a single fumble. The Titans really could not ask for more from its No. 1 back. Jeremy McNichols has been effective in fewer touches, with just 34 rushes on the year but a 5.7 yard-per-carry average. Tannehill, too, has been a good rush threat with his 5.1 yards-per-carry on 30 attempts this season.
The Titans have five receiving options with at least 22 receptions this season. AJ Brown leads the team in yardage (638) and leads in touchdowns, as well, with eight.
The overall work of the receivers has been great, but some of that success must be attributed to the attention that Henry draws from opposing defensive backs. The Titans average 12 yards per reception, and it has scored 23 touchdowns via the pass, compared to just 15 rushing TDs.