Cleveland Browns vs. Tennessee Titans
Date and Time: Sunday, October 16, 2016, 1 p.m. ET
Location: Nissan Stadium, Nashville, TN
Week 5 NFL Odds at BookMaker.eu: Titans -6
Browns vs. Titans TV Coverage: CBS
If we had to guess, Terrelle Pryor is going to be playing quarterback this week for the Browns. That's a scary thought for sure, but there just isn't anyone else healthy on this roster. Robert Griffin III is likely out for the season and is certainly out for at least another month and a half with a shoulder injury, Josh McCown has a collarbone problem that will keep him out for a while, Cody Kessler has a rib injury and probably won't be available this week, and even Charlie Whitehurst picked up a knee injury last week at the end of the game against New England.
To say that this is a disaster is an understatement, but we think the Browns have at least stayed remotely competitive even with their M*A*S*H* unit at quarterback.
Sure, last week's game against New England was a squash, but to us, staying within 20 against Tom Brady in his first game back from his suspension on a day that both Kessler and ultimately Whitehurst got hurt is an accomplishment in and of itself. It's hard to say that an 0-5 team has stayed competitive, but this is a poor Cleveland roster, and Hue Jackson had better be allowed to have all the time in the world to make this team right.
The Titans meanwhile, picked up a big win last week in Miami, and all of a sudden, they have a chance here to be 3-3 with very winnable games coming up ahead against Indy and Jacksonville at home.
The key is clearly going to be running the heck out of the football. Marcus Mariota didn't do a lot against Miami last week, though he's going to get a lot of credit for finishing off three drives with TD passes. However, it was Derrick Henry and DeMarco Murray who carried the load on this day, helping put together a 235-yard day on the ground for Tennessee.
When the Titans can run the ball and make the pass an option for Mariota, they're scary good because of one of the best offensive lines in the league. When Mariota is forced to put the pill in the air though, there are some real problems for sure.
Matchup To Watch
If Pryor does have to move over to quarterback in this game, what does that say for the Cleveland receivers? Andrew Hawkins becomes a legit No. 1 target, and he only has 12 receptions in five games.
Instead, Pryor should be used as a runner quite a bit, while the passing game should be limited for the most part to Duke Johnson and Isaiah Crowell out of the backfield as well as Gary Barnidge in short routes.
Let's remember that the Browns would already be on receivers Nos. 4, 5, 6 and 7 in this game if Pryor steps in at quarterback, as Josh Gordon has essentially quit football, while Corey Coleman is out with a hand injury through the end of this month.
Browns vs. Titans Free Picks
The Browns have eventually been overwhelmed in every game they've played this year, and this probably won't be an exception. Tennessee's offensive line features two of the best tackles in the game, and eventually, Cleveland is going to run out of answers.
We do think this game is going to be competitive, and we wouldn't have any issue teasing Cleveland in this spot up to +13, especially if Pryor is going to be playing quarterback. However, we do think the Titans are going to possess the ball for over 35 minutes as they did against Miami, and generally speaking, even at -6, that's a recipe for beating the NFL odds at BookMaker.eu.
Browns vs. Titans Week 5 ATS Pick: Titans -6 at BookMaker.eu
Browns vs. Titans Score Prediction: Titans 23, Browns 14