On paper, Sunday’s game between the Cleveland Browns and Houston Texans looks like a bit of a mismatch in the Browns’ favor, especially now that Deshaun Watson will be making his regular season debut for them.
However, from an emotional standpoint, it will be a challenge.
Watson will be facing his old team on the road, and there will surely be many fans at NRG Stadium who will be dishing out vitriol in his direction.
As long as Cleveland accomplishes the following two things, it should come out of Houston with a victory.
Watson Must Manage His Emotions
It will probably be a highly charged atmosphere on Sunday, and given that it is Watson’s first regular season game in nearly two years, his first with the Browns and his first back in Houston after asking the Texans to trade him, he must maintain his composure.
He will also likely be rusty, as he was in his lone preseason game in August, so he must be careful to not make any impetuous plays that could cost his team and to not take any risks he doesn’t have to take at this point.
Contain Dameon Pierce
The running back has been one of the NFL’s best rookies this season, as he has put up 788 yards and three touchdowns on the ground, plus another touchdown in the air through 11 games.
Still thinking about this run by Dameon Pierce pic.twitter.com/J9T8WOIBEp
— Drew (@IndepthTexans) November 4, 2022
Linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah must be on his game and prevent Pierce from tallying any big-yardage runs, especially on third downs and other key situations that could swing the contest in the Texans’ favor.