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Browns vs. Texans Season Finale Thread

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With how the depth chart looked like for the Browns at the moment, you would think this was a preseason game. It's ridiculous with the amount of players we have on the injured reserve, and we're still now giving playing time to guys like Travis Wilson, Isaac Sowells, and Babatunde Oshinowo. Hopefully that changes a little against the Texans, but all I'm really hoping for is that we don't get embarrassed. Cleveland has won their season finales for four consecutive seasons, so can we make it a fifth straight? Let's get to the breakdown of the game...

OFFENSE

Category Browns Texans
Points Scored 15.4 (30th) 16.8 (27th)
Passing 181.3 (23rd) 179.7 (24th)
Rushing 80.5 (31st) 106.1 (21st)
Total Offense (yards) 261.8 (31st) 285.7 (28th)

DEFENSE

Category Browns Texans
Points Scored 22.8 (24th) 24.0 (27th)
Passing 210.6 (20th) 217.7 (24th)
Rushing 145.3 (30th) 121.9 (20th)
Total Defense (yards) 355.9 (31st) 339.6 (23rd)
- Quarterback
Although we've been hearing that Ken Dorsey will be our starter this week, there are reports going around that Charlie Frye may actually step in and start for us today. Even WKYC's Jim Donovan, the play-by-play voice of the Browns, stated that he believes Frye will start. For the moment though, I'm basing this quarterback ranking on the fact that Dorsey will be in the game. The Texans are favored simply based on experience more than anything else. A first-string quarterback who has taken reps all season will always be favored over a third-string quarterback that hasn't seen live game action since the preseason. David Carr may be ousted by the Texans next season, but he's trying to end the season on a high note.
- Running Back
To close out the season, the Texans have gotten a big lift from running back Ron Dayne. Isn't that the same thing that happened for Dayne last season, when he was with the Denver Broncos? I expect both teams to run the football heavily today, and that will mean a lot of touches for the starting running backs. Dayne shouldn't have trouble reaching the century mark, something Michael Pittman would've done last week had Mike Alstott not received all the carries that he did. I don't see us giving Jerome Harrison significant carries with a third-string quarterback in the game, and Droughns could hit the century mark for the third time this season.
- Receiver
Want to know who the Texans have in the receiving game? Andre Johnson. The Texans are similar to the Buccaneers, in the sense that Joey Galloway was their only weapon, whereas Johnson is the Texans only weapon. However, also like the Buccaneers, the Texans have a tight end that not many people know about in Owen Daniels. The Browns will be thin at the receiving position with Joe Jurevicius out, Dennis Northcutt banged up, and Braylon Edwards' status up in the air. One positive for the Browns here is that Kellen Winslow will finally make it through a full 16 game season.
- Offensive Line
It's embarrassing to admit, but the Texans have actually given up less sacks than the Browns have this season. Either way, the Texans still have some issues on that side of the ball. Carr is knocked down way too often for their liking, while the running game didn't do a whole lot until Dayne came around lately. The Browns are basically down to third-stringers on the entire line, but with the way our starters played earlier this season, I welcome the presence of some young players attempting to block.
- Defensive Line
Mario Williams may not have had the typical No. 1 overall pick type of season, but his production will be more likely to pay offer in the future rather than the present. Williams is better than everyone on our defensive line combined probably, although that isn't saying much. I hope that Oshinowo is active and gets some playing time today, because he actually showed some penetration back in the preseason. To be honest though, I wouldn't mind if we completely cleaned house in terms of our defensive line next season.
- Linebacker
Leon Williams played well for his second consecutive game last week, as Kamerion Wimbley reached the quarterback twice and forced a fumble leading to our only touchdown of the game. Wimbley matches up well against the Texans defensive line and could add another sack or two before the year is over. The Texans bring rookie linebacker DeMeco Ryans to the table, a player that a lot of Browns fans wanted the team to select back in April. He's had a good year overall, but even with our injuries at the position, I'd give the Browns the slight edge.
- Secondary
Cleveland only has Sean Jones remaining as our lone starter in the defensive backfield. While Daven Holly has shown the playmaking ability to return next season, guys like Ralph Brown will probably be tossed away. The Texans haven't really made any big plays in the secondary this season and have had to rely more on coverage instead. Former first-round pick Dunta Robinson has played well for the Texans, but he only has three picks over the past two seasons.
- Special Teams
With how disappointing the Browns special teams has been lately, I almost thought about not giving us the edge this week. Then again, the Texans really don't have anyone that is too impressive on their side of the field. Phil Dawson needs to step up his game late in the season, while Dave Zastudil needs to rebound from a couple of punts he sent into the end zone last week. Josh Cribbs has not broken a return since teams have started kicking it short, and that has taken away from one of the few exciting aspects of our football team.
FINAL PREDICTION: Houston Texans 20, Cleveland Browns 10.
I'd like to be optimistic, but the Browns will simply be overmatched. Having Ken Dorsey at quarterback and someone like Rob Smith at guard will be too much to overcome, even against a team like the Texans. I'll still watch the entire game though, because it's the last time we'll be able to savor a Browns game this season. Then, we'll all get our hopes up in the offseason again due to some nice-looking draft picks and free-agent signings. Hopefully, injuries and some poor coaching decisions don't hamper us again.

This is the official gameday thread for today's game. Any comments you would like to make before, during, or after the game should be placed into this thread. Enjoy the game, and GO BROWNS!

By the way, here is a nice article from Terry Pluto of the ABJ this morning: View from Pluto: Browns plan changes.