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Browns 10, Texans 7: 11 Takes on Too Little, Too Late

The Houston Texans offense had almost nothing on a day where the defense did its best before breaking down. Result, Browns 10, Texans 7

The Houston Texans are back in the loss column as they couldn't overcome the Browns in Cleveland, losing in NFL Week 10 by a 10-7 score. 

11. The start of the game was delayed 37 minutes due to severe weather in Cleveland. The Texans talked plenty about the poor weather expectations in the week leading up to the game. 

The field and weather looked fine once the teams got started. The wind seemed to be a factor in the kicking game later, though. 

10. The Browns' opening drive was sheer physicality and dominance against the Texans. The only times the Texans defense held was because the Browns ran a bad play or made an error. Zach Cunningham got run over once on the drive. 

Cleveland looked poised to attack on a third-and-short before the snap got away from Baker Mayfield. The Cleveland quarterback was able to pick the ball up and throw it away. The offense stayed on the field for the Browns, but an intentional grounding penalty forced them to kick a field goal. 

Houston would be solid in the middle, but the fourth quarter saw Cleveland demolish the Texans on the ground to help finish out the game. 

9. The early Duke Johnson rushes were a mixed bag. A few short runs interspersed by a big rush which he finished by bowling over a Browns safety. 

Johnson took his first carry of the second half for a big gain of 23 yards. Johnson would have only a few more yards than last week, but his yards per carry were far better. 

8. The Texans ran two plays from the two-yard line which were microcosms of the season. The first play had Randall Cobb open after a rub route from Cooks, and he inexplicably jumped and dropped the pass. Lack of execution. 

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Lack of ingenuity was on display on the next play. Going for it on fourth down, the Texans ran a draw with Deshaun Watson. Myles Garrett darted past Tytus Howard for the tackle in the backfield. 

Right decision ... but the wrong play call. 

7. C. J. Prosise returned the first kickoff for the Texans. Will Fuller returned the second punt from the Browns. Both looked better than any DeAndre Carter return this season. Prosise would return the opening kickoff in the second half. Carter would return the third Browns punt for a marginal gain in the second half. 

6. The Texans saw an impressive drive fall apart in their hands as they squandered good field position. 

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Houston started one yard in Browns territory and moved the ball fairly easily to Cleveland's 27-yard line. The Texans would then go backward. A false start and delay of game interspersed by two short passes had the Texans set to attempt a field goal of 48 yards. Instead, it was a direct snap to kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn and he pooch-punted the ball deep into Browns territory pinning Cleveland deep. 

5. Deshaun Watson's first half incompletion total was matched on the opening drive of the second half. He badly missed Will Fuller on a deep shot where he had plenty of time to make the toss. 

The designed Watson runs were in full effect in the game. Watson also had some scrambles escaping pressure to extend a play or even run for a first down. 

He'd finish with eight carries for 36 yards. 

4. Tim Kelly had a patented Bill O'Brien moment in the third quarter. After calling a screen on 3rd-and-15 that went for 12 yards, interim head coach Romeo Crennel let the offense stay on the field. The offense didn't have a play they liked and called a timeout. 

Ka'imi Fairbairn would go on to miss the kick moments later. 

O'Brien frequently made these types of second-guess heavy decisions. If the concern is giving the Browns the ball in decent field position, the missed field goal does just that. Watson and the offense had moved the ball well to that point. It was disappointing to feign aggressiveness when it should have been the move. 

3. The defense for the Texans had done a solid job on the Browns rushing attack but the fourth quarter finally saw the returning Nick Chubb get going. 

After Vernon Hargreaves gave the Browns a first down on defensive pass interference, Cleveland kept the ball on the ground for the game's first score. Just four rushes by Chubb to cover the final 35 yards to the end zone. 

Cleveland would convert a 3rd-and-nine on the next drive with ease as Kareem Hunt darted through the defense. 

It got to the point where putting the ball in the air was a positive for the Texans and negative for the Browns when Cleveland had the ball. 

The Browns rushing attack would finish off the Texans, however. Starting deep in their own territory with almost five minutes left Cleveland never put the ball in the air. Kareem Hunt would carry the ball four times for 30 yards to get to the two minute warning. 

Cleveland had 150 rushing yards in the fourth quarter. 

2. Houston's Houdini at quarterback struck the opposing defense again. In the grasp of a Browns defender, Deshaun Waston threw it up and completed a pass to Randall Cobb. 

Watson would finish the drive with a strike from 16 yards out to Pharoh Brown. 

1. The Browns only needing two scores to take out the Texans is disappointing for a team that has so heavily invested in the offense. Deshaun Watson had some bad misses. The play-calling was inconsistent. A few offensive players made mistakes that were magnified in this close game. The run defense couldn't hold up as the Browns wore them down and ground out a victory. ... and could've made it more lopsided had Cleveland's Nick Chubb not capped a breakaway run by stepping out of bounds at the 1 ... an unselfish move that smartly sealed the outcome.