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Titans 12, Browns 9: The breakdown — thumbs up, thumbs down, the matchups

THUMBS UP

Ryan Succop, Titans kicker

In a game without touchdowns, go with the kicker.

Succop scored all of Tennessee’s points on four field goals, including the winner from 47 yards in overtime. He was also good from 43, 23 and 46 yards in regulation, extending his NFL-record streak of makes inside 50 yards to 55 in a row. He missed wide left from 53 yards in the fourth quarter.

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“We know he’s going to make it,” center Ben Jones said. “We see him every day in practice. We have the utmost respect for what he does. I know that’s not an easy job to do with all of the pressure and everyone looking at you. We know he’s going to make it. He does it every week, week in and week out, so when he’s out there we have all of the confidence in him.”

THUMBS DOWN

Kenny Britt, Browns receiver

He’s played only five games with the Browns, but it’s time for them to cut their losses by cutting him.

Britt returned to the lineup after two games inactive with a groin injury and had a negative impact. He caught two passes for 7 yards despite getting the start and playing extensively. He had the chance to make a huge play on the first possession of overtime, but the ball went through his arms as he went to the ground to try to catch a deep pass from Cody Kessler down the right sideline.

It continues Britt’s disastrous start with the Browns, who added him in March as a free agent. He’s been unreliable on the field with a series of drops and penalties. He’s been bad off the field, as well, missing curfew and getting sent home early during the trip to Houston last week. He’s not the veteran mentor the team needed at the position.

The Browns guaranteed him $10.5 million in a four-year, $32.5 million contract, but it’s already sunk cost. He’s hurting the team.

PLAY OF THE GAME

If owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam decide to fire coach Hue Jackson at some point during or after this season, a decision in the first quarter will make the PowerPoint presentation explaining the reasons.

On the opening drive, Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota threw incomplete on third-and-1 from the Cleveland 32-yard line. Left tackle Taylor Lewan was called for a 15-yard face mask penalty, but Jackson incomprehensibly declined it.

The Titans went for it on fourth-and-1, and defensive tackle Danny Shelton jumped offside to give them a first down. They didn’t get another first down and kicked a 43-yard field goal.

If Jackson had accepted the penalty, the Titans would’ve faced third-and-16 from the 47 — and needed at least 10 yards to attempt a field goal. His explanation of the decision didn’t make sense, either.

“I thought in that situation they would go kick the ball on fourth down,” said Jackson, who’s 1-22 with the Browns. “They went for it, they made it, they kept going and our defense rose up and held them to three. That is what the decision was about.”

 

STAT OF THE GAME

17

Interceptions thrown by Browns quarterbacks this season — 11 for DeShone Kizer, five for Kevin Hogan and one for Cody Kessler.

 

QUOTE OF THE GAME

“I have to watch the tape. I’m not going to sit here and anoint Cody (Kessler) this or DeShone (Kizer) that. I don’t know, maybe this is the way it is going to go for the rest of the year. I can’t tell you. I don’t know that, but I am going to find a way where we can’t turn the ball over because you can’t win when you turn the ball over. We have proven that, so we have to get the turnovers out of here.” Browns coach Hue Jackson on the yo-yo and unsettled situation at quarterback.

 

MATCHUPS

Offense

The Browns didn’t score a touchdown and had three turnovers. That’s a bad formula.

Marcus Mariota was careful with the ball and good enough for the Titans to win without a touchdown.

Edge: Titans

Defense

The Browns were short-handed in the secondary but held the Titans out of the end zone. More pressure on Mariota would’ve been helpful.

Safety Kevin Byard had three interceptions for the Titans.

Edge: Even

Special teams

Zane Gonzalez was 2-for-2 on field goals, including a 54-yarder to force overtime. The Browns continue to commit too many penalties in the kicking game.

Ryan Succop was 4-for-5 for the Titans, including the 47-yard winner in overtime.

Edge: Titans

Coaching

Hue Jackson admitted his team was undisciplined after 12 more penalties, and he made a couple of head-scratching decisions. None of that’s good for a coach on the hot seat.

Mike Mularkey was conservative and it paid off, as the Titans improved to 4-3.

Edge: Titans

 

Browns writer for The Chronicle-Telegram and The Medina Gazette. Proud graduate of Northwestern University. Husband and stepdad. Avid golfer who needs to hit the range to get down to a single-digit handicap. Right about Johnny Manziel, wrong about Brandon Weeden. Contact Scott at 440-329-7253, or email and follow him on and Twitter.

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