CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Browns came closer than they have all season but lost for the seventh time in seven games, this time in overtime.
The Browns also lost their iron man.
The Titans were helped by safety Kevin Byard, who had three interceptions, but the most sobering moment during this loss came in the third quarter when left tackle Joe Thomas rolled to the ground in pain after a short run.
Thomas left the game to a standing ovation, then trotted to the locker room with what the team announced was a triceps injury.
He was shortly after pronounced out for the game, his consecutive snap streak ended at 10,363. Thomas had not missed a snap with the Browns since 2007 until Spencer Drango replaced him with 5:21 left in the third quarter.
In the game, DeShone Kizer started at quarterback but was benched for Cody Kessler early in the second half. Kizer led the Browns to one field goal and threw two interceptions, while Kessler had one interception and led two field goal drives.
On a day when the Titans did not get in the end zone and relied on field goals, the Browns inability to score and avoid turnovers cost them their first win.
What it means: There was progress, as the defense played a sound game and kept the Titans out of the end zone. But the yo-yoing with the young quarterbacks continued as Hue Jackson benched Kizer again. The coach who promised to stand by Kizer through ups and downs now has benched him twice. One has to wonder how much Kizer’s head is swirling as he sees the job given to him, then taken away on almost a weekly basis.
What I liked: The Browns defense played an impressive game without two starters in the secondary -- Jabrill Peppers and Jason McCourty were both inactive. Marcus Mariota never really got on track, and the Titans had to work for all the points they got. If the Browns got anything from their offense, this could easily have been their first win of the season. Instead they head to London 0-7 and 1-22 during the Jackson/Sashi Brown era.
What I didn’t like: Jackson had a head-scratcher of a decision early in the game when he chose to decline a 15-yard face mask penalty after a third-and-1 incomplete pass. Rather than forcing the Titans back 15 yards from the Browns’ 32, Jackson chose to decline the penalty. Tennessee happily went for the first down and, naturally, the Browns helped by jumping offside on fourth-and-1. Moving Tennessee back to the 47 would have put Ryan Succop out of field goal range. Instead, the Titans got the first points of the game on Succop’s field goal. This really seemed like an easy decision. Instead, the Browns and Hue Jackson went away from what seemed like an obvious decision.
Fantasy fallout: The Browns' offensive struggles and inconsistency make these players a tough choice for fantasy owners. With different quarterbacks playing and throwing three interceptions and inexperienced and undependable players at the receiver spot, the Browns are a risk on any fantasy offense.
What’s next: The Browns will rack up the frequent flyer miles as they travel to London to play the Minnesota Vikings at Twickenham Stadium. The team will leave Thursday evening, with everyone in the organization invited on the venture.