TEN-CLE Grades: Browns defense causes problems for Mariota
Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Titans-Browns game:
– QB Johnny Manziel (-2.7) led the Browns to victory for the first time in his career. The Browns put Manziel in a great position, where he only had to make a couple of plays to win the game; he was able to produce on those moments by moving out of the pocket and delivering two bombs downfield to WR Travis Benjamin (+1.6) for touchdowns. However, Manziel desperately needs to keep the ball secured tightly when being sacked; thankfully for the Browns, they recovered both of the QB’s fumbles, but if this issue reoccurs, they might not be so lucky.
– The Browns defense was able to pressure Titans QB Marcus Mariota (-4.0) all day long. Mariota was the pressured on 41.3 percent of his dropbacks and was sacked seven times. The Browns confused the Tennessee offensive line with multiple zone blitzes that the Titans where unable to pick up on a consistent basis.
– NT Danny Shelton (0.0) was the 12th overall pick in this years draft, and for a rookie, held his own versus the Titans. While he didn’t produce much on the stat sheet (three tackles and one run-stop), he was able to make life difficult for the Titans by using his body to occupy double teams without getting moved out of the hole.
LT Joe Thomas (+3.7)
DL Randy Starks (+2.7)
CB Tramon Williams (+2.4)
DL Jamie Meder (+1.8)
LB Karlos Dansby (+1.7)
– With the Titans behind early, QB Marcus Mariota (-4.0) was asked to drop back 46 times. When Mariota was not under pressure, he produced 179 of his 257 yards and a +2.9 PFF grade; however, on the 19 plays that he was pressured, he only completed 4-of-2 passes with a -5.7 PFF grade. For the Titans to be successful going forward, they need to keep the pocket clean.
– The surprise of the game was the effectiveness of RB Dexter McCluster (+1.0). As a runner, McCluster graded out at +2.1 thanks to 98 yards off of 10 carries. McCluster was able to take advantage of the blocking on the edge, as he gained all of his 98 yards from guard to the edge. The effectiveness of TE Anthony Fasano (+3.0) and RT Jeremiah Poutasi (-1.8 overall, but +1.4 as a run blocker) was vital to the success of McCluster.
– The Titans’ defense didn’t produce the same in Week 2 as Week 1, but NT Al Woods (+1.5) was able to record four stops in the run game, giving him a 18.2 run-stop percentage, the second highest for DT/NTs for the week.
TE Anthony Fasano (+3.0)
TE Craig Stevens (+2.5)
OLB Brian Orakpo (+2.0)
NT Al Woods (+1.5)
LB Avery Williamson (+1.5)