Mayfield Shakes Injury to Lead Browns to 31-21 Win Over Texans
In front of close to 70,000 fans for the first time in over a year, the Browns hoped to impress against a Texans team surrounded by controversy.
Though the Browns received the ball first, a third-and-out set up a punt to the visiting Texans. However, a botched return and subsequent recovery by the Browns set Baker Mayfield and the offense up in enemy territory.
After a quick score, the Browns found themselves with an early 7-0 lead.
A methodical drive by the Texans set up a touchdown reception from RB Philip Lindsey. At the end of the first quarter, the game went back to even, 7-7.
Both Mayfield and Tyrod Taylor of the Texans started the game without an incomplete pass. However, Mayfield broke that streak on the Browns next drive. Two straight incompletions, one an interception, set the Texans up to drive the field again.
They did, resulting in another touchdown - this one from Taylor. The Browns stare at their first deficit of the game, 14-7.
That deficit did not last long, however - as the Browns drove the length of the field, relying heavily on running back Kareem Hunt. Hunt wasn’t the one who ran in a touchdown as they got towards the end zone - instead, it was Mayfield using his legs.
At the end of the first half, the Browns and Texans were tied, 14-14.
To start the second half, the Texans received the ball. Noticeably missing from their offense was Tyrod Taylor - who was ruled out at halftime with a hamstring injury.
A punt from the Texans gave the ball back to the Browns. Though some penalties set them back, the Browns drove into Texans territory. Rookie Demetric Felton caught, spun and rushed in a 33 yard touchdown. Now 21-14, the Browns have the lead back.
An interception from LB Malcom Smith set the Browns up within the Texans 20 yard line again. They may have lost the lead before, but it was clear the Browns were determined to not allow that again this half.
A field goal from K Chase McLaughlen extended their lead 10 points to 24-14 at the end of the third quarter. However, the Texans refused to quit.
Their next drive ended in another touchdown. This one, a first career passing touchdown from Davis Mills to WR Brandin Cooks, cut the Browns lead to just three - 24-21.
However, per the Browns usual game plan in the fourth quarter, the mix of Hunt and Chubb proved too much for the Texans defense.
After driving the length of the field, Chubb rushed in a 26 yard touchdown - the extra point allowed them to take back their double digit lead, 31-21.
Once they took it back, they kept it.
In what was a hard fought game from both teams, the Browns ended up getting their first victory of the season, while the Texans picked up their first loss.
The Browns are home again next week, as they entertain the 1-1 Chicago Bears.
Player of the game:
Baker Mayfield: 19/21 213 YDS 2 Total TD (1 Rush TD)