Swarmed and confused: Browns punish rookie QB Mariota in win
Marcus Mariota was far from perfect on Sunday in Cleveland.
The rookie Titans quarterback was sacked seven times and was under pressure most of the day in Tennessee's 28-14 loss to the Browns. The constant pressure forced Mariota into three fumbles, two of which were recovered by Cleveland.
Confusing Mariota with different looks was a big part of the defense's game plan after the rookie made his NFL debut look easy with four touchdown passes and a perfect passer rating in a 42-14 win over Tampa Bay.
“We were giving him a lot of different pressures and our coach said when you have one-on-one blocking schemes, we've got people who just make it happen,” cornerback Joe Haden said via Cleveland.com. “I really applaud them for being able to put pressure on him constantly every play, and they did an outstanding job.”
Defensive end Armonty Bryant notched a career-best 2.5 sacks, punctuating the game with a forced fumble on Mariota on Tennessee's final series. John Hughes added 1.5 sacks while Jamie Meder and K'Wuan Williams each had one.
“I think [defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil] did a really good job mixing pressure with straight rush,” Browns coach Mike Pettine said. “We got to him a lot with just a straight four-man rush. Not just the sacks, I think there was also a cumulative effect with that we hit him a bunch, too.”