The Houston Texans took care of business to start the month of December, defeating the Cleveland Browns by a final score of 29-13 at NRG Stadium.
This win matches the season high for Texans head coach Bill O’Brien during his tenure with Houston, as he has finished three other seasons with a 9-7 record.
Behind a Texans defense that was turnover happy, Houston was able to take advantage offensively with running back Lamar Miller. From the first offensive snap, Miller was in the zone, rushing for 103 yards on 19 carries, good for 5.4 yards per carry.
The Texans defense was able to disrupt Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield down the field. Despite not sacking Mayfield, the front seven for the Texans were able to force the rookie quarterback to throw into one of the best secondaries in the NFL this season, resulting in three interceptions in the game. One of those interceptions came from linebacker Zach Cunningham as he returned it to the house for a 38-yard pick six to extend their lead 17-0 with 7:26 left to go in the first half of the game.
Mayfield, however, had one of the best days of his rookie season so far with a stat line that read 29-for-43 passing, good for 67.4% completion. In this, Mayfield would throw for 397 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions.
Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson had a good afternoon as well, going 22-for-31 (70.96% completion) on the game with 224 yards through the air, one touchdown and no interceptions thrown. Watson would also run for 30 yards on seven carries on the afternoon. Star Wide Receiver DeAndre Hopkins would once again lead the WR category with seven catches on 12 targets for 91 yards and no touchdowns.
The only touchdown on the offensive side of the ball was an 11-yard pass from Watson to rookie and standout tight end Jordan Thomas to make it 10-0 with 38 seconds left in the first quarter. Thomas had three catches for 32 yards on three targets and one touchdown in the victory.
The Texans will face the Indianapolis Colts at noon next Sunday, Dec. 9th, at NRG Stadium with a chance to clinch the AFC South with a win. In the previous matchup this season, the Texans won it 37-34 in overtime for their first win of the season and the start of a now nine-game winning streak for Houston.
*Stats courtesy of NFL.com