Week 10 Preview: Houston Texans vs. Cleveland Brownsby Ethan Hewette November 14, 2020 0 comments
The Houston Texans (2-6) are headed to Ohio to take on the Cleveland Browns (5-3). Houston has not had a great start to the season, and things aren’t going to get any easier as the Browns are fresh off a Week 9 bye. While Houston is coming off a win last weekend, Cleveland is the favorite in this one and could be gaining a huge piece back on their offense.
Houston, we have a problem. Sorry, it’s cheesy, but it’s true. Houston’s defense has not been able to slow anybody down this season, especially in the running game. The Texans defense currently ranks 32nd in rushing yards allowed, 31st in yards allowed per carry, and 30th in total yards allowed. This is bad news considering that Cleveland is one of the most run-heavy offenses in the NFL, running the ball on 49 percent of their offensive plays. According to Sharp Football Stats, Cleveland also is relatively successful at running the ball, clocking in at a 51 percent success rate. Houston’s defense also hasn’t generated any pressure on opposing quarterbacks, mounting just 18 sacks on the season, led by J.J. Watt with four. Watt also is responsible for two of the only five turnovers forced by the Texans this season.
Offensively, the run game is the same story. David Johnson and Duke Johnson have been unable to move the ball effectively and rank 31st in the NFL in yardage and 26th in yards per carry. The Texans currently run the ball at just a 46 percent success rate, which is 28th in the NFL. However, the saving grace giving Houston at least two wins this season is quarterback Deshaun Watson. Watson has thrown for 2,376 yards and 17 touchdowns to five interceptions. In last week’s victory, Watson threw for 281 yards, two touchdowns, and led the team in rushing yards with 50. Wideout Will Fuller leads the team in receiving yards and touchdowns with 590 and six, respectively. Meanwhile, Brandin Cooks has also surpassed 500 receiving yards and has three touchdown grabs.
For Cleveland, the potential return of Nick Chubb would be huge this week. While Kareem Hunt has filled in valiantly, totaling 254 rushing yards and averaging 3.9 yards per carry in Chubb’s absence, having the dynamic duo back together would be a massive boost to the Browns’ offense. Before Chubb’s MCL sprain, he was averaging a touchdown approximately every 14 carries, a first down, and a 10-yard or more run every four carries. Needless to say, Chubb is still an upgrade over Hunt. Meanwhile, in recent weeks, Baker Mayfield has been hot or cold. He threw five touchdowns in Week 7 and threw for just 122 yards and zero touchdowns in Week 8.
Date: November 15th, 2020
Start time: 1:00 P.M. EST
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Stadium: FirstEnergy Stadium
TV Info: FOX
Betting Odds Sponsored by Jazz Sportsbook
Point Spread: HOU +4 (-110) | CLE -4 (-110)
Moneyline: HOU +165 | CLE -205
Over/Under: O 46 (-110)｜U 46 (-110)
While it’s hard to imagine Cleveland not winning this game by more than a touchdown, this season is not on their side. The Browns are currently 3-5 against the spread and 2-3 when they are favorites. However, Houston’s defense will not slow down the duo of Chubb and Hunt, followed by Mayfield attacking them over the top. While Cleveland hasn’t been great against the spread, Houston has been horrendous, going 0-5 as the underdog ATS. Take Cleveland -4 in this one.
While Houston’s defense isn’t great, neither is Cleveland’s. This game will turn into somewhat of a shootout. Thus, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the total in this one eclipse 50 or even 55. Plus, Watson may be able to work some magic and even keep this game close if Myles Garrett isn’t all over him. With 46 set as the total right now, pound the over with confidence.
Cleveland will come into this game looking to dominate the time of possession, allowing Chubb and Hunt to feast while keeping Watson on the sideline. The Browns will succeed in doing this going into halftime with a 21-10 lead off a pair of rushing touchdowns and a toss from Mayfield. Houston will close the gap in the second half, putting up two touchdowns from Watson and a field goal. Still, Cleveland prevails as the run game continues to dominate with Mayfield working off of play-action.
Final Score: Houston 27, Cleveland 35