In week 6 of the NFL regular season, the Cleveland Browns travel to Texas to face-off against recent big-trade partners, the Houston Texans. It is that recent trade partnering that makes this such a big game for the Browns. In the trade that these two teams did before the season, the Cleveland Browns agreed to take QB Brock Osweiler and his stupidly high salary that the Texans had agreed with him away from them so long as a 2018 second round draft pick came with him as compensation for taking on his high salary and making the mistake go away for the Texans. We all know how that ended up for Brock who is now a very rich man and back with the Denver Broncos keeping the bench nice and warm (well done Mr Osweiler for getting so highly paid for doing nothing).
Anyway, back to the game, the Cleveland Browns are in the thick of a total team rebuild right now and are looking to build through the draft. They have 5 picks in the first two rounds, which is a huge haul, add another 3 picks for a total of 8 in the first four rounds and the potential is massive. Two of those picks (one in the first round and another in the second round) have come via trades with the Houston Texans in QB-related deals (the Osweiler trade gives the Browns a 2nd rounder and the deal during the 2017 draft so the Texans could move up to get DeShaun Watson gives them their other 1st rounder). So obviously, with those two picks still in play, the Browns need the Texans to have as bad a season as possible this year.
The Texans and Browns only meet once this season, so it’s now or never for the Browns to help themselves in more ways than one. Can they do it and get the win this weekend? Hmm, I’m not so sure.
I only got to watch the Chiefs/Texans game last night and I only did so because everyone seems to have been banging on about DeShaun Watson like he’s the second coming of Christ or something. I thought to myself, “Wow, this guy must have had the best game any QB has ever had! I better watch this one”.
After watching the game I just thought, “Huh, wtf?”. Yeah, looking at his stats makes you think, “Wow, 5TD’s and a 119.8 rating!”, but actually watching the game doesn’t show me anything that the Browns need to be worried about. I don’t get it, maybe I just look at the game of football in a completely different way to everyone else? Yes, he was decent but there were lots of inaccurate passes as well as under and over-thrown passes as you’d expect from a rookie and I’m sure that’s what people would come back at me with, “He’s a rookie, you’ve got to expect that kind of thing!”. I know, and I do, so why has everyone been raving about him so much over the past week? Yes, he was decent and it was a good game to watch, but I don’t agree with how the media have been gushing over him this week.
Just watch, now that I’ve said all that, he’ll go and pick the Browns defence apart and make them and me look silly. Ah well.
Is he better than DeShone Kizer? Heck yeah, but I’m still not jumping on the bandwagon and petitioning for his HoF bust to be made just yet like many seem to be. I do think it could come down to his performance to determine the outcome of the game. I say this because they look to have a good running game with Lamar Miller and D’Onta Foreman but the Browns have one of the best run-defences in the league at the minute and have only allowed a 2.9 yards per carry average (second only to the Broncos at 2.4). Their pass defence, on the other hand, isn’t quite so good and this is why I think DeShaun Watson could be a big factor in the result of this game.
J.J. Watt out
A massive blow to the Texans (and the league, really) is the fact that their star defensive end, J.J. Watt will be out for this game and the rest of the season after fracturing his tibial plateau in his left leg. He’s had successful surgery on the injury and, thankfully, there was no ligament damage to go with the fracture but he’s still out for the season.
Add the Watt absence to the LB Whitney Mercilus pectoral injury, which is also season-ending, and that’s a huge amount of pressure off the Browns offensive line and QB. This could prove to be another key factor in this game.
At last, a week where I don’t have to endure the torture of watching DeShone Kizer look like a rabbit in the headlights and out of his depth in the backfield of an NFL game. Maybe that’s a little amateur dramatic but I’m fed up of watching him as he’s so not ready for the NFL it’s been difficult to watch.
I’m one of the Browns fans that have been shouting at their TV for a couple of weeks now to get Kizer outta there and get Hogan in. After his week 2 entry into the game against Baltimore during the bizarre migraine incident when he put the Browns’ only points on the board, I’ve been championing for him to start. The offence actually looks competent with Hogan at QB with the receivers not looking like they can’t get open (Kizer was waiting too long allowing the DB’s to react and get tight) and the two good receiving TE’s getting more involved.
People have said the only reason Hogan has done well in his two appearances this season is that the opposing defences haven’t studied film on him…..huh, really? Aren’t both he and Kizer the same kind of mobile QB’s operating under the same head coach/offensive play-caller who’s calling plays from the same gameplan? Please, let me know if I’m incorrect by thinking this.
I doubt very much that Kevin Hogan is the long-term answer at QB for the Cleveland Browns but I for one am looking forward to seeing how the offence can do with a better QB at the helm rather than a 21-year-old who’s clearly struggling in the NFL environment.
Will Kevin Hogan win the game for the Browns this week? I have no idea but he definitely gives them a better chance to do so.
Myles Garrett and Jamie Collins
I really like the Browns defence and the way it’s coming together (even though they suck a bit at pass defence for now) and I think two big factors for their week 6 clash with the Houston Texans come in the forms of DE Myles Garrett and LB Jamie Collins.
2017 draft first overall pick Myles Garrett has missed most the first four games of the season and only had limited game time in week 5 against the Jets as he was used in the more passing situations. What he did with that limited time, though, was pretty special. He had two sacks which showed some real quickness and skill, as well as a, never quit attitude. He added two solo tackles as well. It was a high ankle sprain that kept him out for the first four games and a slightly worrying sign at the end of the week 5 game was the fact that he looked to be hobbling a little. We’ve been told by the team that he’s fine and it’s nothing but, to be honest, I’ve come to not trust statements and reports too much when it comes to things like this.
The reason I think Garrett will be a factor in this game is simply that he looks bloody awesome and is likely going to see more playing time in this one than he did in his first game back against the Jets.
Jamie Collins has been a so-so addition to the Browns since his move from the Patriots last season but he has such great skill and ability that I’d much rather have him in the starting line-up than out of it. The reason for his absence has been due to a concussion he sustained in the loss to the Baltimore Ravens in week 2. His replacement for the past few of weeks has been James Burgess who seems to be a great pick-up for the team and is doing great under Greg Williams and his version of doing things on the defensive side of the ball. Because of Burgess, it’s not all lost when Collins is out but, like I say, Collins has great physical ability, it’s just that I get the impression he can’t be bothered at times.
Having said that, I think the run defence is good and when they go into the Nickle, Jamie Collins and Christian Kirksey are one of the best LB combos you could want.
Game Result Prediction
Oh my word, this is such a difficult one for me to predict. Probably because I’m a biased Cleveland Browns fan who likes to look for the positives in the team and its situation and this is clouding my judgement.
Even with Hogan stepping in at QB and likely going to make the offence look better than Kizer could, and Myles Garrett getting more playing time and Jamie Collins coming back from concussion protocol, and J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus being big absences for the Texans, I’m still struggling to see the Browns coming out of this one with a win, simply because the Texans passing game has looked a lot better (let’s be honest, how could it not have so far).
What the score will be, though, is anyone’s guess as I bet no-one predicted Watson would throw 5-TD passes against an undefeated Chiefs team last week did they.
I’ll not bother trying to guess the score as it’s really not worth it so I’ll just go with a prediction (that will stun nobody) of:
Houston Texans win.