The Cleveland Browns are in a must-win situation during their Week 10 matchup against the Houston Texans.
With a healthier team on the field than has been there in weeks, the Browns should have the advantage.
However, it is worth noting that the weather forecast at game time is going to be rainy and windy with wind gusts up to 50 miles per hour.
Just like the last #Browns home game, #wind will be a big factor as Browns take on #Texans tom. Gusts near 50 mph will be likely with a few rain showers. Most of the rain should push out before the game. Temps will be falling during game. #ohwx #nfl#weather #wews #Cleveland pic.twitter.com/zw6wyiRr4B
— Remeisha Shade (@RemeishaShadeTV) November 14, 2020
The Browns game plan needs to be ready for the weather; wind played a role in the Raiders game and seemed to catch the Browns off guard.
Hopefully, those lessons are learned and can be implemented in Sunday’s game.
Here are 3 keys the Browns must do to secure a win:
1. Run the ball…extremely well.
This was the Browns’ winning formula in Weeks 2 through 4 before RB Nick Chubb and then G Wyatt Teller went down with injuries.
Both are expected to play against the Texans so the running game needs to return to the glorious state it once was in.
Nick Chubb practiced both with and without a knee brace this week so it’s unclear whether he will have it on for the game.
#Browns left guard Joel Bitonio: "When you see Nick [Chubb] in the huddle smiling and just ready to play football again, it makes you happy. … I'll argue with anybody — Nick's one of the best runners in the league."
— Nate Ulrich (@ByNateUlrich) November 12, 2020
Hopefully, he is fully recovered and is not sluggish at the start of this game.
Because the run game needs to be established early and often.
Houston’s defense is ranked last in the NFL against the running game.
So Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt in relief have to be running machines.
2. Contain Deshaun Watson the entire game.
Deshaun Watson is multi-faceted and extremely talented.
#Texans QB @deshaunwatson joins Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Steve Young and Peyton Manning (twice) as the only five players with at least 275 passing yards & a 105 passer rating in five consecutive games in a season in NFL history. pic.twitter.com/bkvKEtnxdC
— Texans PR (@TexansPR) November 8, 2020
He doesn’t have a great supporting cast to work with on offense so he generates it himself.
His legs and arm are both weapons so the Browns defense has to be ready.
To put it in context, in his last 6 games, Watson threw 15 TD passes against only 3 INTs.
Yet the Texans have only won 2 of those 6 games.
It is hard to imagine what the Texans would look like without him; he is an elite quarterback who carries this team week in and week out.
As a result, he is the primary threat that the Browns need to hone in on.
One more thing, we’ve seen the Browns play an outstanding half of football here and there; the Dallas game is a good example.
That won’t work with the Texans; the Browns will need to contain Watson for all four quarters.
Or they could lose.
3. Win The Turnover Game
The Browns defense is in a slump when it comes to takeaways.
WOW! 0️⃣ Turnovers forced by the @Browns defense today against the Raiders.
— BROWNS OR DIE 💀 (@BrownsorDie) November 2, 2020
Now is the time to right the ship and force turnovers.
On the other hand, the Browns offense needs to play clean and precise.
They can’t hand the ball back to Watson so Baker Mayfield needs to be smart about the passing game.
No unnecessary risks should be taken that could result in interceptions or Pick 6’s.
The same goes for Nick Chubb who hasn’t been on the field for over a month.
He needs to protect the ball; clean handoffs must occur between Baker Mayfield and Nick Chubb.
This is a bit concerning since the two haven’t practiced together for a while, and Baker was on the Reserve/COVID-19 list at the beginning of the week.
It is unclear how many practice reps they took together.
These are the 3 keys to a Browns victory.
Let’s hope the team gets them done on Sunday when the game is on the line.