Sunday will be a big day for the Cleveland Browns, as Deshaun Watson will finally take the field for them in a regular season NFL game.
It will be a dramatic scene, though, as he will do so on the road versus the Houston Texans, the team he spent his first four seasons with and publicly demanded a trade from.
At first glance, it may not seem like an intriguing matchup, as the Texans are 1-9-1 and are vastly inferior on paper to the Browns.
But there doesn’t seem to be a such thing as an easy game for the Browns, and these two matchups could decide whether they still have at least a slight chance of sneaking into the playoffs or if such hopes are all but over.
Jerry Hughes Vs. Deshaun Watson
The Browns have an offensive line that is considered one of the best in the NFL, and it will have to hold off Hughes, the Texans’ best pass rusher.
Through 11 games, he has put up 8.0 sacks, nine tackles for loss and eight quarterback hits.
If Hughes is held in check, or if Watson is at least able to evade him, the new Browns QB may have room to move the chains himself, as Houston ranks 28th in rushing yards per attempt allowed and last in rushing yards allowed.
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah Vs. Dameon Pierce
Owusu-Koramoah has plenty of potential, but he is still a work in progress in his second season, although he has shown promise in terms of stopping opposing running backs.
#Browns LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah is a problem for opponents. Instincts, speed, shiftiness, sure-tackling… Inject this into my veins. This man is a heat seeking missile. JOK is your Defensive Rookie of the Year. #problem #heatseeker pic.twitter.com/WLyVGEoIQK
— Roberto Shenanigans (@Rob_Shenanigans) October 9, 2021
How he deals with Houston’s offensive line and contains Pierce will be a big key for Cleveland’s struggling defense.
Pierce may be the only bona fide weapon the Texans have, but the rookie is doing quite well for them, as he has put up 788 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns this season.