Dud: Freddie Kitchens
There was a lot of anticipation to see how Freddie Kitchens would fare in his debut as the Cleveland Browns head coach. But after his first game, there are plenty of questions and concerns about his first time being the lead man on the sidelines.
Kitchens was thoroughly out-coached by Titans head coach Mike Vrabel and defensive coordinator Dean Pees. Tennessee seemed to be much more prepared than the Browns and were able to make adjustments that the Browns could not keep up with.
Kitchens’ play-calling was also very concerning considering he did not adjust after the offensive line could not limit the Titans pass rush. Instead of adjusting to a quicker approach in the passing game, Kitchens continued to call long developing plays that left Mayfield vulnerable in the backfield.
The Browns offense also seemed to abandon the run game early on in the game, despite Nick Chubb having success most of the time. Chubb finished with 75 yards on 17 carries, an average of 4.4 yards per carry. When Chubb had the ball in his hands, the offense moved down the field. By the time Kitchens started to give Chubb the ball consistently, Tennessee already had control of the game.
And despite the Browns players making plenty of mental mistakes leading to penalties, Cleveland being called for 18 penalties falls back on the coaching staff. Kitchens was unable to keep the team’s emotions in check, leading to plenty of penalties when frustrations started to grow.
Kitchens is going to need to prove the season opener was an anomaly when the Browns take the field against the New York Jets. He will have an extra day of preparation, so he should have a better game plan ready for Monday Night Football. But his game plan won’t matter if he cannot keep the players from committing as many penalties as they did Sunday.