The Browns basically got to run back their effort from two weeks ago (in regards to heavy wind), but this time it finished with a better result as the Browns defeated the Texans 10-7 coming out of the bye. Cleveland is now 6-3 on the season — let’s get to the recap of the game.
We knew the weather was going to be bad in Cleveland today, but right at 12:57 PM, the winds came out of no where, the clouds let loose, and lightning struck. You could feel your house shaking in those moments, and because of the lightning, a weather delay was called. The Browns eventually kicked off at 1:37 PM.
How it started. How it's going. pic.twitter.com/rspr06jqmb— Scott Patsko (@ScottPatsko) November 15, 2020
The Browns received the ball first and were running effectively with RB Nick Chubb and RB Kareem Hunt, moving into the red zone. That’s when things got a little messy for a variety of reasons. Hunt appeared to have a first down, but the officials marked him short for a 3rd-and-1. Then, C JC Tretter had a bad snap, but Mayfield ran back, picked up the ball, and threw it away. Despite WR Jarvis Landry being in the area, the officials threw a flag for intentional grounding. K Cody Parkey nailed a 41-yard field goal in the wind to give Cleveland a 3-0 lead, but it felt like the Browns were robbed of a gimme touchdown opportunity.
The Browns’ defense came up with a three-and-out on their first drive, thanks to a run stop by DE Myles Garrett on second down and a sack by Garrett on third down. Unfortunately, the Browns’ offense also went three-and-out, with Houston’s defense being keyed by a batted pass at the line on second down.
The Texans chipped away the rest of the quarter with a mix of runs and passes, running a lot of plays reminiscent of the Raiders’ lengthy drives two weeks ago.
Houston continued moving the chains to a goal-to-go situation to begin the second quarter. On 3rd-and-goal from the 2 yard line, WR Randall Cobb was open on a rub route, but QB DeShaun Watson couldn’t connect with him on the moving pocket. The Texans decided to go for it on 4th-and-goal from the 2 yard line. Houston spread the formation and Watson tried the quarterback draw, but Garrett closed the gap and dumped Watson for a two-yard loss and a turnover on downs. Houston’s 14-play, 67-yard drive taking nearly seven minutes of clock yielded no points.
Fourth-down stop— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) November 15, 2020
: @NFLonFOX pic.twitter.com/NzXLzlq1At
With the Browns backed up, the running game wasn’t working, but Mayfield connected with WR Jarvis Landry on an 18-yard completion for a first down. However, Landry spiked the ball and looked at the defender after the catch, resulting in a taunting penalty. The Browns still had a first down, but were again backed up — and with the run game not gaining a lot of yards, Mayfield’s third-down pass for WR Rashard Higgins fell incomplete. The wind was blowing heavily, so the Texans took over at midfield following the punt by P Jamie Gillan.
Houston drove into field goal range, but DL Larry Ogunjobi got a second down sack and then there was a delay of game on third down. After a short gain on third down, Houston sent the field goal unit out on fourth down for a 48-yard attempt. It seemed surprising, because they were kicking into the wind — but after the snap, we knew why they did it. The snap went to the kicker, who pooch punted the ball down to the 4 yard line, again setting Cleveland up with bad field position.
Man, I can't remember the last time I watched an NFL contest where coaches are actively playing the field-position game.— Brent Sobleski (@brentsobleski) November 15, 2020
The Browns’ drive started with 4:20 remaining in the first half. Cleveland had a few successful plays but then on a 2nd-and-1 right before the two-minute warning, DE J.J. Watt blew by the block of TE Austin Hooper and stopped Hunt for a loss of four yards. On the 3rd-and-5 after the two-minute warning, Cleveland converted with a pass to Higgins. They got to the border of long field goal range, but on 3rd-and-5, Mayfield’s pass was a tad behind Hunt on the rollout and he couldn’t hang on. On fourth down, Mayfield’s long pass on a scramble was incomplete, basically leading to the end of the half.
Houston got the ball to begin the second half. They started back at the 13 yard line after a holding penalty on the kickoff, but then RB Duke Johnson ripped off a 23-yard gain on first down. Watson’s next three passes fell incomplete, and Houston’s punt went 64 yards for a touchdown.
Cleveland picked up a first down via the ground on their next drive, but then Mayfield was sacked on a playaction fake when RG Wyatt Teller was beaten by his man. That led to a quick punt, with Houston taking over at the 26 yard line.
The most interesting thing that’s happened in this game is that there is a pigeon that has refused to leave the playing field for the last two quarters.— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) November 15, 2020
Cleveland should have stopped Watson on the next drive, but he escaped a sack from the edge and scrambled for a first down. A few plays later, the Texans faced a 4th-and-2 from the 27 yard line. They initially lined up to go for it, but then took a timeout and sent K Ka’imi Fairburn out for the 46-yard attempt. He pulled it wide left, allowing Cleveland to take over at the 35 yard line.
LT Jedrick Wills false started to begin the next drive, digging the Browns in a hole. Chubb was hit for no gain and then a loss of three yards on the first two plays, setting up 3rd-and-18. Somehow, Mayfield converted a 21-yard pass to Higgins along the sidelines for a first down!
✨ HOLLYWOOD ✨— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) November 15, 2020
: @NFLonFOX pic.twitter.com/dg1mo2xzXG
Of course, Hooper was flagged for a hold on the next run play, digging Cleveland in another hole at 1st-and-20. On 3rd-and-8, Cleveland got the Texans for a 14-yard pass interference penalty. Chubb then bursted for an 11-yard gain to end the quarter.
Cleveland began the fourth quarter with a 1st-and-10 at the 24 yard line. Chubb busted another 11-yard gain on the first play. Two plays later, Chubb punched it in from 9 yards out for the game’s first touchdown! Parkey hit the extra point, giving the Browns a 10-0 lead with 13:32 to go in the game.
.@NickChubb21 IS BACK❗️— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) November 15, 2020
: @NFLonFOX pic.twitter.com/elXd6QbFMk
The defense responded with a three-and-out, forcing a punt. Even against the wind, Houston got off a great punt with very little return, forcing Cleveland to start at the 20 yard line.
The Browns were running the ball effectively with Hunt on the next drive, burning some clock in getting close to midfield. On a 2nd-and-3, Chubb was stopped for no gain, and then Mayfield’s third down pass for Chubb was wide of the mark, forcing a punt. Gillan’s punt was fair caught at the 10 yard line with 7:51 to go.
On the Texans next drive, Cleveland had Watson dead to rights — while in the grasp, he threw up a pass and completed it to WR Randall Cobb for 29 yards.
Deshaun Watson WHAT @deshaunwatson @HoustonTexans— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) November 15, 2020
#HOUvsCLE on FOX pic.twitter.com/DApHXeIfbc
The onslaught of fortunate plays for Houston continued from there — a 15-yard penalty on the Browns for unnecessary roughness on a tackle, and then Watson drilled a touchdown pass from 16 yards out to make it a 10-7 game with 4:59 to go.
Right where it had to be— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) November 15, 2020
: https://t.co/Nm64mQkAPf pic.twitter.com/8JxgD9DHJL
Peoples-Jones then muffed the next kickoff and slipped, and was tackled at the 3 yard line. Hunt started the drive with a 3-yard run. On 2nd-and-7 from the 6 yard line, Hunt gained 6 more yards, setting up a key 3rd-and-1 situation. Hunt stumbled on the pitchout, but still stumbled forward for 2 yards and a first down!
Hunt followed that up with a 19 yard run, thanks to a double clearout on the pull guard by Teller. That brought the game down to the two-minute warning and the Texans only having one timeout. Hunt ran for three yards on first down and Houston took their final timeout. Hunt gained four more yards on second down, setting up 3rd-and-3. A first down would seal it for sure — Chubb came in. On the pitch, he broke free for 59 yards — instead of scoring the touchdown, he made the unselfish play and ran out of bounds at the 1 yard line.
That's our RB— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) November 15, 2020
: @NFLonFOX pic.twitter.com/TNMnLnEb45
Cleveland won 10-7 after a couple of kneeldowns.
The Browns will play at home on Sunday, November 22, in their Week 11 match-up against the Philadelphia Eagles. The game will be at 1:00 PM ET.
Quick Hitter Stats
- QB Baker Mayfield: 12-of-20 for 132 yards.
- RB Nick Chubb: 19 carries, 126 yards (6.6 YPC). 1 TD.
- RB Kareem Hunt: 19 carries, 104 yards (5.5 YPC).
- WR Rashard Higgins: 3 catches, 48 yards.
- WR Jarvis Landry: 3 catches, 29 yards.
- DE Myles Garrett: 0.5 sack.
Quick Hitter Notes
- I know the wind forced this to be a one-dimensional game, with helped the Browns’ defense tremendously. With that said, I felt the Browns’ defense also should tremendous discipline and contain on QB DeShaun Watson for much of the game. Yes, Watson beat them a few times with his legs. But other times, he wanted to run and couldn’t, leading to a sack or incomplete pass.
- Nick Chubb seemed a bit hesitant with his instincts to begin the game, but that picked up in the second half and he looked like the Chubb of old.
- The announcers sucked big time, holy cow.
- Watson had some miracle-like plays to get Houston’s lone touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter. That made things close, but thankfully, the Browns’ running game clinched it.
- Despite the late start, all of the running made the game go quick.
Nick Chubb (126) & Kareem Hunt (104) became the first @Browns teammates to each rush for 100 yards in the same game since Leroy Kelly (113) and Ernie Green (103) on Oct. 8, 1966.— Dan Murphy (@DMurph_BrownsPR) November 15, 2020
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