Saturday, August 29, 2009
What to watch: Browns vs. Titans
By James Walker
Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker
CLEVELAND -- The Browns will host their third and most important preseason game Saturday night against the Tennessee Titans, and the AFC North blog will be reporting live from the Dawg Pound.
Here are some things to look for:
- All eyes will be on Cleveland's quarterbacks, as Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn try to separate themselves in what's been a very close race. The starter won't be known until closer to game time. But whoever shines against Tennessee tonight will definitely have an inside track to starting the Sept. 13 season opener against the Minnesota Vikings.
- Also, do not overlook the current situation with the Titans. Although it's just the preseason, Tennessee was embarrassed last week in a 30-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. The Titans were outgained an astounding 466 to 191 in total yards. Jeff Fisher is not the type of coach who will accept two sluggish performances like that in a row, even in the preseason. With the fact that this is the "dress rehearsal," look for the Titans to throw a lot at Cleveland early.
- Can rookie tailback James Davis continue to impress? The sixth-round pick is leading the team in rushing this preseason and has taken a hold of Cleveland's backup tailback job behind starter Jamal Lewis. Davis is earning the trust of the coaching staff and will need to continue carrying that momentum into the regular season.
- Cleveland's first-team defense has gradually improved. In its preseason debut, the unit gave up two first-quarter touchdowns in a 17-0 loss to the Green Bay Packers. Last week against the Detroit Lions, the Browns gave up just three points at halftime. Although the quality of the opponent may have had something to do with it last week, the Browns' defense can make a statement with a good outing against a quality opponent in Tennessee.