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The Browns have a better defense than the Texans, and their offense looks to be healthy and scores more points than Houston does on average, so Cleveland will most likely cover this spread.
Browns -3.5 (-110)
|Texans vs Browns Information|
|What||Houston Texans vs Cleveland Browns|
|Where||FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, OH|
|When||Sun, November 15, 2020; 1:00 PM ET|
|How to watch||FOX|
In Week 9, the Houston Texans earned their second win of this exasperating season against the Jaguars, with QB Deshaun Watson completing 19 passes for 281 yards and 2 touchdowns with no interceptions, a good sign that this middle of the road Houston offense has some kind of life left in it.
The Cleveland Browns are 5-3 and have their eyes on a Wild Card spot, so they are hoping that running back Nick Chubb returns from his injury (he’s practicing this week) and that TE Austin Hooper will be back after having his appendix removed a few weeks ago, all offensive weapons to help quarterback Baker Mayfield earn more wins.
These two AFC teams have only met each other 10 other times, with the Cleveland Browns winning 3 of those games and the Houston Texans winning 7 of the games.
The Texans’ defense is ranked 30th in the league right now after allowing opponents to gain an average of 417 yards and score over 30 points per game, a team weakness that has contributed greatly to their six losses to date.
Defensive end J.J. Watt is a critical part of the Texans pass rush, so far with 4 sacks and 8 quarterback hits on the season with 2 forced fumbles and 26 total tackles, and a big game by him against a solid Cleveland front line will go a long way to help Houston come out with a win.
But the D-line depth could be affected with DE Charles Omenihu currently listed as questionable for this one, his leg injury causing him to be a game-time decision.
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Despite the Browns Week 8 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders, Cleveland is having a winning season for the first time in a long time and a big reason for that is the play of their starting QB Baker Mayfield, now in his third NFL season.
Mayfield has an accurate arm but struggles to get comfortable in the pocket, and his new HC Kevin Stefanski is beginning to realize this and design plays that play more to his strength, which is throwing on the run.
The Browns offense is now without star receiver Odell Beckham, who went down for the season with a knee injury, but they have enough play makers to average almost 26 points per game, and now that RB Nick Chubb is back, that should increase even more.
Texans starting RB David Johnson is currently undergoing concussion protocol and is listed as questionable for this Week 10 matchup, a huge loss if he can’t go since Johnson is averaging four yards a carry and has four total touchdowns when you include the ball he caught for a score.
Having a dual-threat like Johnson out of the backfield helps QB Deshaun Watson as both a powerful running back, a reliable receiver, and a legitimate bluff to pull defensive attention away from other Texans who can better find an open field.
Johnson has carried the ball 103 times for 408 yards this season plus he’s caught 16 passes for another 161 yards, so it is key that gets through concussion protocol and suits up for this Week 10 matchup.
The Browns’ front office acquired tight end Austin Hooper in the offseason and made him the highest-paid player in the league at his position, and he has proven to be worth the money as both a receiver and a solid blocker on the line.
Hooper was forced to miss three games due to having his appendix removed, and his absence was felt by QB Baker Mayfield who had begun to get used to using the sizable tight end as a reliable check-down receiver.
This season, Hooper has caught passes for yards and one touchdown, but his importance goes beyond those stats, since having him running routes causes defenses to panic because they know he can catch the ball and is big enough to get even more yards afterward.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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