3 Cleveland Browns to watch in Wild Card Round against Texans

These 3 Cleveland Browns can help the Browns secure a playoff victory against the Texans.

Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

The Cleveland Browns are headed to the Captial of the Sunbelt for their Wild Card matchup against the Houston Texans. The Browns finished the 2023 regular season with a record of 11-6 and are determined to keep their astonishing season alive. The Texans ended the season first in the AFC South with a 10-7 record and have no plans of slowing down. Here are three Cleveland Browns to keep an eye on as they try to win their second playoff game in four years: 

3. Denzel Ward, CB 

Cleveland Browns cornerback Denzel Ward has had a fantastic 2023 season despite missing multiple games due to injury. Ward, who suffered a knee injury at practice Thursday, is currently listed as questionable for Saturday’s Wild Card game.

Still, multiple reports claim the 26-year-old will be a go against the Texans. In 13 games, Ward has allowed just 48.6% of passes thrown his way to be completed, has given up the second-lowest yards per completion of his career with 10.6, and allowed just one touchdown through 66 targets. 

  • 13 Games 
  • 32/66 CompleteCompletionsions Allowed (48.5%)
  • 1 Touchdown Allowed 
  • 34 Total Tackles (30 Solo - 4 Assisted - 1 For Loss)
  • 2 Interceptions
  • 11 Passes Defended 
  • 1 Forced Fumble

Denzel Ward has been a valuable piece to the Browns high-powered defense and will play a significant role in keeping Texans wide receiver Nico Collins from having a big game against the Browns. Look for Ward to hold Collins to under 100 receiving yards and out of the endzone this Saturday.

2. Joe Flacco, QB

The Cleveland Browns season seemed to be in question following the loss of Deshaun Watson after the Week 10 victory over the Baltimore Ravens. The Browns signed Joe Flacco to the practice squad before facing the Broncos in Week 11 but held off starting the 38-year-old quarterback while he learned the playbook. With Flacco under center, Cleveland went 4-1 and clinched their first playoff berth since 2020.

  • 5 Games (4-1)
  • 123/204 Completions (60.3%)
  • 1,616 Passing Yards (323.2 Yards Per Game Average) 
  • 60 Passing First Downs 
  • 13 Touchdowns 
  • 8 Interceptions

Look for Flacco to continue his dominance this Saturday, passing for at least 300 yards and two touchdowns against the Texans. 

1. Amari Cooper, WR 

Amari Cooper had one of the best seasons of his career in 2023 and is looking to keep the momentum rolling in the postseason. Despite a slow start to the year and four starting quarterbacks throughout the campaign, Cooper racked up 1,250 receiving yards over 15 games, the most of his career.

These two teams last met on Christmas Eve when Cooper broke two Cleveland Browns franchise records. Cooper became the first Browns receiver to have consecutive 1,000 receiving yard seasons and broke the franchise single-game receiving yards record with 265 yards.

  • 15 Games 
  • 72/128 Receptions 
  • 1,250 Receiving Yards (83.3 Yards Per Game Average)
  • 50 First Downs 
  • 5 Touchdowns 

Look for Amari Cooper to have another big game against the Texans secondary, catching at least four receptions for 85 yards and a touchdown. 

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