3 keys to victory in Week 16: Browns must limit turnovers

The Cleveland Browns can find themselves at 10-5 with these 3 keys to victory against the Texans.

Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns / Jason Miller/GettyImages

The Cleveland Browns head down to the Lone Star State this Sunday to take on the Houston Texans. Cleveland is 9-5 on the year and just two games behind the Baltimore Ravens for first in the AFC North, while Houston is 8-6 and in a three-way tie with Indianapolis and Jacksonville for the top spot in the AFC South. Lone Star State

Here are three keys to victory for the Cleveland Browns against the Houston Texans in Week 16: 

3. Keen on Case 

The Texans will start veteran quarterback Case Keenum for a second straight week while CJ Stroud remains in concussion protocol. In Week 15, Keenum went 23/36 for 229 yards (6.4 YPA) and threw one touchdown and an interception in Houston’s 19-16 overtime victory over the Titans.

Keenum, who played for the Browns in 2020 and 2021, is back with the team that signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2012. Since entering the league, Keenum has compiled a solid resume as a backup quarterback.  

  • 7 Teams
  • 79 Games
  • 65 Starts (30-35)
  • 1381/2216 Completeions (62.3 %)
  • 15,113 Passing Yards 
  • 191.1 Career Yards Per Game Average 
  • 723 Passing First Downs
  • 79 Passing Touchdowns  
  • 49 interceptions 
  • 150 Rushing Attempts 
  • 451 Rushing Yards 
  • 54 Rushing First Downs
  • 6 Rushing Touchdowns 

If the Cleveland defense can keep the pressure on Keenum, forcing him to make mistakes through the air and catching him in the backfield, the Browns defense can keep the Texans' time of possession to a minimum and allow their offense to control the game. 

2. Browns need to stifle Singletary and the run game 

With the absence of CJ Stroud last week, the Texans' run game was utilized against the Titans. Houston running back Devin Singletary rushed for over 100 yards on 26 attempts, the third time this season the Texans back has broken the 100-yard mark.

Cleveland's defense has only allowed eight teams to rush for more than 100 yards all season and just one running back, Jaylen Warren, who ran for 129 yards in Week 11. Singletary is also coming into Week 16 with three touchdowns, all of which have come in the past five weeks. 

  • 14 Games 
  • 167 Rushing Attempts 
  • 711 Rushing Yards (50.8 Yards Per Game) 
  • 28 Rushing First Downs 
  • 3 Rushing Touchdowns 

23 Receptions 
166 Receiving Yards (11.9 Yards Per Game) 
7 First Downs 

The Browns will need to keep Devin Singletary to under 100 rushing yards, limit his first downs, and not allow the fifth-year back from moving the Texans' offense into Cleveland territory. 

1. Browns must limit the turnovers 

The Browns lead the NFL with 30 turnovers, 18 of which came from interceptions. Joe Flacco has thrown five interceptions since taking over as Browns quarterback, with three coming last week against the Bears. Their offense has fumbled the ball 22 times, with receivers losing the ball 13 of those times.

If the Browns can keep the turnovers to a minimum, out of Houston’s hands and into the possession of their receivers, the Browns will have no issue putting numbers on the scoreboard. If not, they might make this one harder on themselves — just as they did in Week 15.

More Browns analysis