Marcus Mariota threw for three touchdowns, Derrick Henry scored twice and the visiting Tennessee Titans clamped down on the error-prone Cleveland Browns for a season-opening 43-13 win at FirstEnergy Stadium on Sunday.
Mariota completed 14 of 24 passes for 248 yards, hitting all six of his second half passes for 143 yards. He broke the game open in the fourth quarter with scoring strikes of 11 and 7 yards to tight end Delanie Walker about 3 1/2 minutes apart.
Both of those score came off short fields after interceptions of Baker Mayfield, temporarily deflating the high hopes of Browns fans looking for the team’s first division title since this version of the franchise was founded in 1999. Mayfield hit 25 of 38 throws for 285 yards and a score.
Cleveland opened its season with a bang, going 73 yards on eight plays to take a 6-0 lead on a 4-yard run by Dontrell Hilliard with 10:11 left in the first quarter. A missed extra point kick by rookie Austin Seibert hinted at the day’s remainder.
Browns’ mistakes colored the rest of the day, and Tennessee eventually took advantage. New Titans kicker Cairo Santos booted a 37-yard field goal with 6:32 left in the first quarter to get Tennessee on the board, and Henry’s 1-yard leap with 9:39 remaining in the second quarter put the Titans ahead to stay.