5 Browns Most to Blame for Wild Card Collapse Against Texans

Losing like the Browns did takes a full team effort, but some people carry a lot more blame than others in a blowout like that.

Nov 12, 2023; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Cleveland Browns offensive tackle James Hudson III (66)
Nov 12, 2023; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Cleveland Browns offensive tackle James Hudson III (66) / Jessica Rapfogel-USA TODAY Sports
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What is there to say in an introduction here? The Browns blew it.

We did get a little over one quarter of football where it looked like this might be a fun, closely contested game, but that unraveled in record time.

The offense was terrible. The defense was even worse. The game wasn't close enough for special teams to even matter.

Football is a team sport, but things don't go this far off the rails without some people really failing to do their jobs in a huge way.

And that's why these five Browns take the most blame for Saturday's loss to the Houston Texans.

1. James Hudson III

The Houston Texans defense is supposed to be the weakness that lets you beat them, but even before this game there was one part of the defense that did deserve some respect: the defensive ends.

Will Anderson Jr. and Jonathan Greenard aren't some unbeatable duo, however. This isn't like getting stuck blocking Myles Garrett, where even a good tackle is expected to struggle.

James Hudson is only on the field because of injuries, and it's not his fault that he's starting when he has no business doing so, but there are no excuses in the playoffs. You need to perform no matter what's going on.

And Hudson absolutely did not perform.

He gave up some key sacks, making it impossible for even casual fans to miss how bad he was, but the closer you were looking the worse it was. As he started to get beat his play deteriorated as he seemed desparate to recover, and ended up over-compensating and then getting beat inside and on bull rushes.

The Browns' inability to protect Flacco was the first domino (at least on the offensive side of the ball) that started to bring this disaster.

But you know I've gotta circle around to the other side of the ball now.