The Cleveland Browns extended their win streak to three games in a dominating victory against the Houston Texans in week 16. The current AFC playoff picture and Browns chances look good for the orange and brown
Beating a good Texans team and getting their 10th win of the season today was huge for the organization and their playoff implications. Cleveland is now two games ahead of both the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers, and have cemented themselves in second place in the AFC North.
There’s not much to say here besides the fact that we all just witnessed Cooper having the best-receiving day in Cleveland Browns history and tying an NFL record.
The Flacco to Njoku connection
Joe Flacco consistently looks for David Njoku in crucial situations such as on big 3rd downs or in the endzone. Today he did more of the same, and that resulted in Njoku having another excellent day that included yet another receiving touchdown.
Njoku’s athleticism and separation ability at the tight end position will continue to allow him to be a mismatch for the linebackers who attempt to cover him.
Cleveland’s pass defense continues to shine
The Browns’ pass defense has been almost impenetrable all season long and today was no different. They completely smothered Houston’s wide receivers today and by the end of the game, Case Keenum and Davis Mills had a combined QB rating of 58.4.
This is one aspect of the defense that will never have to be worried about.
The run game struggles
Watching Cleveland’s run game is one of the most frustrating things on the planet. For whatever reason, the team can’t get anything going on the ground.
They’re actively trying some different things but the injuries at offensive tackle might be too much to overcome from an ability standpoint.
The defense has been having trouble covering tight ends
Including today’s game, this Cleveland Browns defense has allowed tight ends to average 7 catches for 59.6 yards and 1 touchdown per game since week 14. The Browns cannot continue to allow offenses to convert easy passes over the middle consistently.
There have been quite a few instances where teams have been able to convert on 3rd downs due to tight ends being wide open on a “stick” or skinny “post” route between the hashes.
Martin Emerson Jr. penalties
Emerson continues to be one of Cleveland’s top cornerbacks, and he proves it every single week. His vision, anticipation, and length are what allows him to stay on top of receivers like glue but he tends to grab receivers around the waist when they get to hip-level during their release.
He’s been getting away with it throughout the year but as we saw today, the refs are going to start cracking down on it.
Bonus Hate: The injuries are just maddening at this point.
What did you love/hate from the Browns Week 16 victory?