The Cleveland Browns and Houston Texans squared off on Sunday with Cleveland’s playoff hopes on the line.
The Cleveland Browns kept their playoff hopes alive with a win over the Houston Texans to the tune of 27-14 but it was a game that was marred by Deshaun Watson’s poor play. The embattled and disgraced quarterback could not have looked any worse than he did in his return from suspension for sexually assaulting numerous women.
The struggles, however, were not unexpected. Watson had not played any real football in over 700 days, so many in the know were aware that he’d struggle, and struggle he did. The Browns’ new franchise quarterback went just 12-22 for the day with an interception and most of his passes, even the ones he completed, were ankle high at times.
Through the first two quarters, the Browns’ offense was inept, and couldn’t really move the ball through the air because of that, they had a hard time getting the running game going as its been in the past week weeks, with Nick Chubb only garnering 80 yards on the day.
The Browns’ only points in the first half came thanks to a punt return by Donovan Peoples-Jones. Peoples-Jones and Cade York would provide the only actual offense for the Browns, with the other two touchdowns being scored by the Browns coming at the hands of the defense.
Denzel Ward scored on a fumble recovery near the opposing goal line, while Tony Fields of all people scored the second defensive touchdown when he caught a tipped pass and ran it in for a touchdown.
Fields would later recover a fumble, thanks to Jordan Kunaszyk, giving the second-year linebacker the best outing of his young career. The defense as a whole was able to beat up the Texan’s league-worst offense, and while this was the expected outcome, the Browns have struggled in this scenario before. The team has lost to bad offenses before, so it was never a guarantee that it would go this way.
The team lost a few players this game, namely Sione Takitaki, who got hurt in the second half and didn’t return to action.