HOUSTON, TX — The Cleveland Browns got three combined touchdowns from their defense and special teams to beat the Houston Texans, 27-14, Sunday afternoon at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.
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It was quarterback Deshaun Watson’s first game back after being suspended the first 11 games of the season for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. The Browns acquired Watson from the Texans during the off-season in exchange for draft picks.
In his first game since January 3, 2021 when he was a quarterback for the Houston Texans, Watson looked like he had not played in 700 days. He went 12 of 22 for 131 yards and an interception against his former team. Several of his passes were low. Watson also ran seven times for 21 yards.
The Browns struggled offensively throughout the game.
On their first four possession, they had two turnovers (one fumble and one interception), one punt and running back Nick Chubb was tackled in the end zone for a safety as they trailed, 5-0, with 11:53 to play in the second quarter.
Cleveland got on the board when Donovan Peoples-Jones returned a punt 76-yards for a touchdown with 3:41 left in the first half and the Browns led, 7-5, at halftime.
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Denzel Ward returned a fumble a four-yards for a score to increase it to 14-5 with just over 10 minutes left in the third quarter. Ka’imi Fairbairn made a 35-yard field goal to cut it to 14-8 after three quarters.
Cade York’s 43-yard field goal in the fourth quarter increased it to 17-8. Tony Fields II picked off Kyle Allan’s pass and returned it 16-yards into the end zone to expand it to 24-8. York added a 42-yard field goal to cap the scoring for the Browns. The Texans got a late touchdown catch by Nico Collins with 1:57 to play to cap the scoring.
The Browns outgained the Texans, 304-283. Nick Chubb led Cleveland with 80 yards rushing while Kareem Hunt added 56 yards on the ground.
Cleveland’s defense forced four turnovers, which led to 14 points. Denzel Ward and Fields each recovered a fumble. John Johnson II and Ward each had an interception.
The Browns’ next game will be December 11 when they play their in-state rival, Cincinnati Bengals, in the second game of “The Battle of Ohio.”
Cleveland won the first game, 32-13, on October 31 at FirstEnergy Stadium and have won five straight games over the Bengals.
Kickoff is at 1 p.m. from Paycor Stadium. You can watch the game on Channel 7 and it will also be broadcast on WHIO Radio.
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