Looking at the three most important matchups as the Cleveland Browns take on the Houston Texans in Week 2 of the 2021 NFL Season
With the Kansas City Chiefs game in the rear-view mirror, the Cleveland Browns now have their attention set on the Houston Texans on Sunday. The home opener for Cleveland will certainly bring the Browns faithful back to the lakeshore and First Energy Stadium.
Head coach Kevin Stefanski even suggested to Browns fans on Friday that they should leave their tailgating early around the stadium to ensure a full house at the time of kickoff to give our Browns team a strong home-field advantage.
Many have noted that the Texans are bringing several former Browns with them, including quarterback Tyrod Taylor and linebacker Christian Kirksey. So that in itself should be fun to watch those matchups of former Cleveland players going against some of their former teammates. There are several other matchups with the Texans that are noteworthy and will be interesting to see play out on the field Sunday.
Let’s look a little more at those matchups.
Cleveland Browns matchup to watch No. 3: Baker Mayfield vs Texans secondary
I’ll start with the idea that I know the Texans aren’t the Kansas City Chiefs, but, the Texans did start the season by grabbing three interceptions from the Jacksonville Jaguars. And yes, I know that the Jaguars are starting rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence. But it’s an interception and those count all the same in the NFL.
Now there are potential reasons for the blunders, including the fact that the Jags quarterback threw the ball 51 times. For comparison’s sake last year, when Baker Mayfield competed against the Texans he only threw the ball 20 times.
I will also note here that though Cleveland did beat the Texans a year ago, something they hadn’t done in the previous five games they played each other. So this game Sunday isn’t a slam dunk and automatic win. And just to refresh everyone’s memory Houston is 1-0 and Cleveland is 0-1.
Will this fact put more pressure on Mayfield Sunday? I suspect it might, but I’ve been so impressed lately with Mayfield’s demeanor and approach to the game, and like you, might attribute that to his coach’s preaching and “Steady Eddy” attitude.
Mayfield didn’t throw a touchdown pass last Sunday. He may not need to either in this game because the Browns running game can be so dominating as I’ll discuss here in few moments.
I believe in front of the home crowd, Mayfield will try to open things up early against the Texans. Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. will continue to sit out this game as he nurses his knee injury from a year ago. But now Mayfield will be able to use other Browns wide receiver Anthony Schwartz, otherwise is known as “Flash” a name he picked up in middle school.
With Schwartz’ ability to stretch the field it’s almost as if the passing of the torch between Beckham and Schwartz is taking place in real-time in front of us all. That’s a discussion for another story.
So look for Mayfield to have a solid game against the Texans. If Mayfield throws three interceptions, I’d be shocked. With what we saw in the Chiefs game I believe we’re in for highlight after highlight game from our franchise quarterback.