The Cleveland Browns will look to avenge their Week 1 loss when they host the Houston Texans this Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium.
There’s a simple blueprint for the Cleveland Browns to emerge victorious for the first time in 2021 and that is to play a complete game and finish.
The Browns enter Sunday’s contest 0-1 while the Texans are 1-0.
This is a message that head coach Kevin Stefanski is not letting his team forget in order for them to not be overly confident and think they will automatically beat a weaker Texans team.
In Week 1, Cleveland had Kansas City – the two-time reigning, defending AFC champions – on the ropes, but failed to land that fatal knockout blow.
For the better part of three-and-a-half quarters, the Browns were in full control, but then things took an unfortunate turn and the Chiefs walked away as the victor.
While some fans acted as if the world was falling, quarterback Baker Mayfield had another idea. He said this loss needs to sting in order for the Browns to realize that if they play their game, they will have many more chances at winning as there are 16 regular-season games left to play.
Cleveland boasts arguably the best offensive line in the NFL as well as the best running back duo in Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. This is a team that can set up the passing game with the run or set up the running game with the pass.
Whichever route the Browns decide to take; they simply cannot afford to take their foot off the gas pedal. They must impose their will early and maintain that for the full 60 minutes of the game.
The more this offense continues to mix the run and pass, and stays on the field, the better off the revamped defense will be. If the Browns are able to control the time of possession, this game shouldn’t be close.
Speaking of the defense, while it may not have seemed like they played well last week, they actually did, they just played against Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce. It’s still going to take time for this defense to fully gel, especially with key pieces returning to the lineup, but Week 2 is a good time to take another step further.
Last week, Mayfield played at an elite level despite the late interception and he knows he can do better. That should be a scary thought for the Texans’ defense. Look for him to distribute the ball to a bevy of receivers and extend plays and drives with his legs.
If the Browns play a complete, 60-minute game and don’t allow the Texans to climb back into it (should the Browns have a second-half lead), then 1-1 should be on the horizon. Cleveland cannot overlook Houston, which will be a big message at practice this week.