The Cleveland Browns ran their way to another victory on Sunday to stay in playoff hunt
The Browns welcomed the Houston Texans to FirstEnergy Stadium for the second of three straight home games for Cleveland. The Browns escaped with a 10-7 victory that was everything but pretty.
One Cleveland Browns player took a win over stats, and faced heat from fans. The Texans failed to control the Browns running game. Both the Browns and Texans left us with 5 key takeaways from the game on Sunday.
5. Baker Mayfield has gone back-to-back games without a touchdown
Baker Mayfield has to be one of the most criticized quarterbacks in the NFL. The last two weeks, Mayfield has failed to throw a touchdown. The Cleveland Browns fan base is looking at his stats and are some are calling for Baker's job.
What Cleveland should be looking at is the stat next to the number of touchdowns thrown. That stat is interceptions. Baker has also gone back-to-back games without throwing an interception. Mayfield has shown over the last two weeks that he is getting smarter with the football. Cleveland should be feeling good about the maturity that has been shown by its former No. 1 draft pick.
4. Deshaun Watson shows that he's an elite quarterback
Deshaun Watson did not had a stat-stuffing game. Watson threw for 163 yards and one touchdown on Sunday against the Browns. It has been shown that the Houston Texans are all-in on Watson and he continues to prove why it's a great idea.
The Texans QB has recorded four straight games without an interception. Watson has completed 96 passes on 138 attempts in that span. He has added 1,088 passing yards and nine touchdowns. The main stat is that he has not thrown a single interception. The Texans have made the right choice in choosing Watson to lead their franchise.
3. The Texans need to improve their defense in the offseason
The Texans struggled to stop the Cleveland Browns rushing attack on Sunday. This is something that everyone expected, with the Texans having the 32nd-ranked rush defense in the NFL. Houston has given up 167.4 rushing yards per game this season.
Stopping the run is not the only area that needs assistance when it comes to the Texans defense. Houston has given up 18 passing touchdowns this season and only intercepted two passes.
The Texans need to address their defense in next year's NFL Draft.
2. Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt could be the NFL's best RB combo
The Cleveland Browns have a two-headed monster in the backfield. Nick Chubb returned from a knee injury and made a huge impact in his first game back. Chubb would carry the ball 19 times for 126 yards and one touchdown. Kareem Hunt would also carry the football 19 times and run for over 100 yards.
Chubb made a play late in the fourth quarter that would receive feedback from all football fans. He broke a run for 59 yards, but instead of scoring, he ran out of bounds to allow the Cleveland Browns to keep possession and run the clock out.
He took a win over stats and showed how great of a football IQ he has.
1. The Cleveland Browns could be on the outside looking in for the playoffs
The Cleveland Browns currently are sitting in the eighth place in the AFC. They're behind the Las Vegas Raiders, Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens. All four teams are sitting at 6-3 and the aforementioned three hold tiebreakers over the Browns.
There is one more team in the mix of the crazy AFC playoff race. The Tennessee Titans are also 6-3, but Cleveland holds the tiebreaker over the Titans. The Browns have two important games on their schedule coming up, against the Ravens and Titans. If the Cleveland Browns wants to make the playoffs they need to win those games.