Houston Texans (1-10-1) – Cleveland Browns (5-7): 14-27
It will probably take him some time to get back into the rhythm. This Sunday, the Browns’ new $230 million quarterback didn’t make a difference. Far from there. The score is a trompe l’oeil. Cleveland’s offense actually scored just 6 of the team’s 27 points. The rest ? Fourteen units for the defense and seven on the special teams side.
Number 4 (12/22, 131 yards, 1 int) only got two field goals. And we had to wait for the fourth quarter to see them! His team was already leading 14-8 when the first kick made it 17-8. The defense then folded the match two actions later by intercepting Kyle Allen (20/39, 201 yards, 1 TD, 2 int) and returning the ball directly for a touchdown (8-24).
Faced with particularly weak Texans, the Browns quarterback was therefore able to get back into the swing of things without too much risk, but without shining.
41 total points, only one offensive touchdown
It will surely be necessary to search in the archives to find traces of such a strange match. Of the 41 points accumulated by the two teams, there was only one offensive touchdown. And he was marked by the losing team at the very end of the match, when everything was already folded. It was Nico Collins (3 rec, 35 yards, 1 TD) who made the only visit of the day to the end zone, but simply to reduce the score to 27-14 at the end of the game. Symbolic of a match where the attacks were not really there.
From the first action of the match, Kyle Allen had also been intercepted. No big deal, Cleveland responds with a punt, a fumble and an interception from No. 4 for its first three offenses. Houston took the opportunity to score on foot (3-0), and even tackle Nick Chubb (17 races, 80 yards) in his end zone for a safety (5-0).
A few minutes before halftime, it was finally Donovan Peoples-Jones (3 rec, 44 yards) who unlocked the Ohio player counter with a punt return from 76 yards for a touchdown. The Browns lead 7-5 at the break. The defense takes over in the third quarter, snatching the ball from Allen’s hands to recover it and score (5-14). Houston reduced the gap at the foot (8-14), but Cleveland’s field goal, followed by the interception returned for a touchdown from Allen ended up killing the suspense just under ten minutes from time (8-24 ).
Cleveland relied on his ground game (174 yards) and fierce defense to provide the essentials. The opponent’s weakness helped a lot. The player guaranteed to receive 230 million dollars whatever he does, much less. Probably normal. We do not resume the NFL rhythm in the blink of an eye after almost two years of stopping.
The Browns remain mathematically alive in the playoff race. The Texans spin faster towards the first choice of the Draft than they spin forward in attack.