The Tennessee Titans got a dose of their own medicine from the Cleveland Browns on Sunday as the home team bloodied and bruised the Titans in a first half that resembled what the Titans produced in week one.
After a shakey opening possession for the Titans that ended in a punt, Cleveland quarterback Johnny Manziel looked like a grizzled veteran when on his very first play of the game, he connected with Travis Benjamin for a 50 yard touchdown pass over Coty Sensabaugh to stake the Browns to an early lead.
A Terrance West fumble on the ensuing possession allowed the Browns to turn a short field into a 14-0 advantage early in the first quarter.
The Titans defense played better in the socond quarter. but the offense was unable to sustain anything to produce points in the half.
Mariota finished a tough first half just 7 of 16 for 71 yards and a fumble. He was sacked three times and battered on multiple other occassions in the first half.
Manziel finished the half 6 of 12 for 101 yards and one scoring toss.
The Titans managed just six first downs while rushing for 99 yards, with most of it coming on two long runs in the first half.
Time after time the Titans hurt themselves with penalties (8-80 in the first half) and sloppy tackling that allowed the Browns to gain additional yards and keep drives alive.
The Browns got their third touchdown of the hald on a Benjamin 78 yard punt return with just 1:12 remaining in the first half to give the Browns a 21-0 halftime advantage.
The second half saw the Titans mount a comeback, as Mariota lead two scoring drives to cut the Browns advantage to 21-14.
On the first scoring drive, Mariota needed just just eight plays to cover 69 yards with the final 19 yards coming when he found tight end Anthony Fasano for the first touchdown of the game.
On the ensuing possession, once again Mariota produced a 15 play, 77 yard drive that ended with a beautiful 13 yard strike to fellow rookie Dorial Green-Beckham. It was the first career reception and touchdown for Green-Beckham, cutting the Browns lead to 21-14.
The Titans defense, who had played well in the second half could not hold the Browns, as Manziel made an improbable play when he avoided an umblocked Brian Orakpo coming off the edge. Manziel rolled to his left and threw the football downfield to Benjamin for a 50 yard touchdown that sealed the Browns victory.
Mariota and the Titans offense had one more possession, but it ended at the Browns 20 yardline when Mariota was stripped of the football and Cleveland recovered.
Along with the miscues and mistakes, the Titans lost gurad Chance Warmack to a lower leg injury late in the first half. He was helped from the field and taken by cart to the locker room. He did not return and his status going forward is unclear.
The Titan return home next Sunday for their home opener against the Indianapolis Colts at Nissan Stadium.