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The prediction: Browns 27, Titans 17

The Titans are an interesting matchup to start Cleveland’s season of expectations.

They are a run-first team that plays bend-but-don’t-break defense and tries to shorten the game by slowing it down. The formula has worked for three straight winning seasons, even through a coaching change to Mike Vrabel a year ago.

The game plan could be the perfect one to stifle what’s presumed to be a high-powered Browns offense. The less Baker Mayfield and Co. have the ball, the better the chance of the Titans pulling the upset on the road.

“They try to make us make the mistakes on our own,” receiver Rashard Higgins said. “So it’s up to us not to beat ourselves but to go out there and do what we’ve got to do and execute it.”

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The Browns defense can change the game. If it can get a few three-and-outs, get the ball back to the offense and the Browns can get a lead, the Titans will be scrambling to keep up.

“And then once we get into position where we can take them out of their element of running, then that’s when we really have the advantage,” nickelback TJ Carrie said. “So that’s what we have to try to work on.”

THE PICK: The Titans will do their best to make the game ugly and have some success doing it, but the Browns look good enough and finally get the first Week 1 win since 2004. Browns 27, Titans 17.

 

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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