Titans Power Past Browns

After a slow start, Tennessee steamrolled its way past the Browns and to a division championship. Fred Greetham endured the game, and offers a full report...

The Browns were hoping for their own version of the Music City Miracle.

It was more like karaoke night at the local bar.

The Browns have now gone three games without scoring a touchdown and dropped a 28-9 decision to the 12-1 Titans. Meanwhile, the Browns officially will have a losing season as they dropped to 4-9 with three games left.

 The Browns lack of offense was evident as they could neither move the ball on the ground or through the air. The defense forced turnovers twice inside the Titans' 30 and three, overall, but could do little with the ball, offensively. The Browns only were able to get two field goals off of the turnovers.

Ken Dorsey's debut was far from impressive—as was the Browns' offense. Dorsey was 22-of-43 for 150 yards and an interception and a QB rating of 49.6.

In fact, the only bright spot was the limited time the Browns used Josh Cribbs at quarterback to run. Unfortunately, they tried to use the conventional offense against the Titans, to no avail. Cribbs had a 31-yard run in the fourth quarter called back on a holding penalty by Darnell Dinkins. They let him attempt a pass in the fourth quarter and he threw it 44 yards in the air and Braylon Edwards came down with it out of bounds. It was close, but the Browns didn't challenge.

On the other side of the ball, the Titans had two runners near the 100-yard mark as Chris Johnson had 136 and Lendale White had 99.

The Browns scored first as Phil Dawson kicked a 47-yard field goal with 11:38 to play in the first quarter to give the Browns a 3-0 lead. Dorsey, making his first start in an NFL game in nearly three years, connected twice for 31 yards to Braylon Edwards on the drive.

The Browns extended their lead to 6-0 with 3:59 left in the first quarter on Dawson's second field goal, from 41 yards out. D'Qwell Jackson set it up as he intercepted Kerry Collins on the first play of the Titans' second possession and returned it to the Titans' 25. The Browns did nothing offensively and settled for the field goal.

The Titans took a 7-6 lead with 14:10 left in the first half as Collins hit Ahman Hall for a 28-yard score on fourth down. The Titans finally decided to start using Chris Johnson and Lendale White to move the ball. After Collins hit Brandon Jones for 15 yards to the Browns' 48, the duo pounded the ball to the Browns' 27. After stopping White on third-and-one for a loss, the Titans elected to go for the first down on fourth down. Collins hit Hall on short pass and Hall took it untouched in for the score to give the Titans the lead.

The Titans pushed their lead to 14-6 with 1:12 left in the first half as White went in from the four on third down. The Titans went 93 yards in 10 plays taking 5:05 off the clock.  After forcing a Browns punt, the Titans continued moving the ball with Johnson and White. Back-to-back passes from Collins to Alge Crumpler and Justin McCareins for 20 yards each moved the ball to the Browns' 10. A personal foul on Corey Williams tacked on the end of the play put the ball at the seven at the two-minute warning. Three plays later, White scored.

The Titans scored their 21st unanswered point after Dorsey threw an interception on the Browns' first possession of the third quarter to Michael Griffin, who returned the ball 36 yards. After the return and a personal foul on Donte Stallworth gave the ball to the Titans at the 12. Collins hit Justin Gage from eight yards out on the second play for the score and the Titans lead 21-6 with 11:46 to play. 

The Browns missed another chance of scoring as Dawson missed a field goal in the third quarter after a turnover by the Titans. Trailing 21-6, Williams forced a fumble by White and Eric Wright recovered with 8:02 to play at the Titans' 26.  After not moving the ball, Dawson was wide right on the field goal attempt.

The Browns made it 21-9 as Dawson hit his third field goal with 13:30 to play. Jackson intercepted his second pass of the game and returned it to the Titans' 46. The Browns were faced with fourth-and-one from the 41 and Lawrence Vickers was able to pick up the first down. On third-and-12, Dorsey hit Stallworth for 15 yards to the 23. After the first down, the Browns could get no closer and Dawson hit the 39-yard attempt.

The Titans put the game away with 8:22 to play as Johnson broke loose for a 25-yard run on the first play from scrimmage after a 44-yard punt return by Chris Carr to make it 28-9.


Bad Decisions: Romeo Crennel continued to use QB Ken Dorsey at the position, despite his ineffectiveness. It was clear that Josh Cribbs could make things happen, but the coaching staff didn't let him throw it until it was 28-9. He threw his first pass about 44 yards in the air to WR Braylon Edwards, who was ruled to have caught the ball out of bounds. Crennel didn't challenge the call. Earlier, the Browns were trailing 21-12 on fourth-and-one and Crennel elected to punt the ball, which the Titans returned 44 yards and scored a touchdown one play later. As the Titans were trying to run the clock out, Crennel kept calling time outs.

Pick Two for D'Qwell: LB D'Qwell Jackson intercepted two passes against the Titans. Both times all the Browns were able to get was field goals. The Browns defense produced three turnovers and only scored six points off of them. Jackson led the Browns with 13 tackles and three passes defensed.

Squandered Opportunities: After LB D'Qwell Jackson made an acrobatic interception inside the Titans' 25, the Browns did nothing on offense and had to settle for a field goal. The Browns had good field position several times throughout the game, but could not take advantage of the opportunities. In the third quarter, DL Corey Williams forced a fumble that DB Eric Wright pounced on inside the Titans' 30. Again, the Browns did nothing and Dawson's field goal attempt was wide. Jackson intercepted Collins later in the game and the Browns again were able to do nothing but get a field goal.

Ken's Debut: QB Ken Dorsey completed his first pass attempt to WR Braylon Edwards for six yards and then hit Edwards on a third down for 25 yards. Dorsey under threw several passes to open receivers. On several third down plays, he threw passes short of the first down. Dorsey was just 8-of-16 for 61 yards and a 59.6 rating. Four of his completions and 37 yards were on the final possession of the first half. Dorsey was 16-of-36 for 104 yards and one interception and a 40.0 rating. Edwards was the leading receiving with three receptions for 38 yards.

No Run: RB Jamal Lewis had five carries for three yards in the first half. Josh Cribbs had four carries for 20 yards. Meanwhile, the Titans rushed for over 100 yards in the first half with Johnson picking up 56 and White 47.  Lewis finished with seven rushed for seven yards. Johnson had 136 yards and White had 96 for the Titans.

Not Lovin It: On second-and-30, CB Brandon McDonald commits an illegal use of the hands penalty to give the Titans a first down.

Rogers Hurt: DL Shaun Rogers was hurt early in the third quarter, but he returned.

Too Personal: The Browns had committed no penalties until the final two minutes of the first half when DL Corey Williams and DL Shaun Smith were flagged for personal fouls.    

Flash Package: KR/WR/QB Josh Cribbs gained seven yards on his first play lined up at quarterback. It was on the second series. He gained a first down on his second attempt for six yards. Cribbs continued his duties on kickoff returns, punt returns and coverage teams. He had four carries for 20 yards in the first half. Unfortunately, Cribbs wasn't used enough as the primary quarterback. He had a 31-yard run in the fourth quarter called back on a holding penalty by TE Darnell Dinkins. Cribbs was the leading rusher with 24 yards.

Stallworth Drop: Oft-injured WR Donte Stallworth dropped the first pass thrown his way by Dorsey on third down.

Bad D: On the Titans' opening drive, the Browns had Tennessee in a third-and-16 situation and they gave the ball to RB Chris Johnson, who picked up the first down on the run.


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