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Browns vs. Texans: Scouting Houston’s offense without C.J. Stroud in our Q&A with Battle Red Blog

We ask about Texans’ chances without rookie QB C.J. Stroud, their pass defense, and more.

Houston Texans v Tennessee Titans Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

This Sunday, the Cleveland Browns take on the Houston Texans. To help preview a few topics from the Texans’ perspective, we reached out to Scott Barzilla from Battle Red Blog and exchanged five questions with him.

According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Browns are 3-point favorites against the Texans.

Houston Texans v Tennessee Titans Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Chris: “The Texans seemed to have gotten the best rookie quarterback in C.J. Stroud, who has electrified the Texans’ offense. But with him still in the concussion protocol, Case Keenum is under center for the second week in a row. Can the Texans still be solid offensively, or was Stroud truly a guy who elevated all the players around him?”

Scott: “It’s a qualified yes and no. Stroud won with accuracy and decision making which Keenum can do. He could also make every throw which Keenum can’t. Keenum might have more mobility which could help but they won’t beat anyone over the top like they could with Stroud.”

Chris: “How has Texans’ pass defense been?”

Scott: “It would be easy to say terrible, but there are times when it’s good. The key is getting pressure up front. Derek Stingley (who I’ll get to later) is becoming a shutdown corner, but they can be beat with tight ends and backs in the passing game.”

Denver Broncos v Houston Texans Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images

Chris: “What is the biggest strength and weakness on the Texans’ offensive line?”

Scott: “Shaq Mason and Laremy Tunsil are pros pros who have seen it all. The other three spots are shaky. Michael Dieter in particular is about the 50th guy on a roster but has become the starting center. They will get some guys back next year but I imagine they sign one good veteran this offseason.”

Denver Broncos v Houston Texans Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Chris: “Tell us about one player who Browns fans may not have heard of, but who could have an impact on this Sunday’s game.”

Scott: “Derek Stingley was hurt for the last game with these two teams. He won’t be a Pro Bowler because he missed too much time but he’s performing like one. He had four iNTs in three weeks and then shut down Deandre Hopkins. If he’s matched up on Cooper the someone else will need to beat Houston.”

Chris: “The Browns are favorites against the Texans on Sunday (Browns -3 as of this question, per DraftKings Sportsbook). Who would you pick against the spread?”

Scott: “I’ll go Browns 17-10. I just don’t see how we score on the Browns defense. If we can create a few turnovers and get a defensive score or short field that changes everything but I just don’t see how we sustain a ten plus play drive without Stroud. Keenum won’t make many mistakes which is why he is in there, but they can’t go deep, so it will be a slog.”

Thanks again to Bill for taking the time to answer my questions.