The meat of the Week 6 NFL schedule gets underway
October 14, 2017 7:57 AM
by Bob Christ
The meat of the Week 6 NFL schedule gets underway Sunday with a few trends to work with involving teams off extra rest and those on a short work week.
Cleveland Browns (0-5) at Houston Texans (2-3)
Time: 10 a.m.
Line: Texans by 9 (47)
Facts: Cleveland benched rookie QB DeShone KIzer after five weeks. Next up is Kevin Hogan, a fifth-round pick from Stanford in 2016 who entered this year as the fourth-string QB. He was 16-for-19 in a relief role last week in a 17-14 loss to NYJ... In their most recent get-together, a 23-7 Texans win as a 3.5-point dog in 2014, the Browns entered with a 6-3 record. They’ve gone 5-28 since... QBs are completing 74 percent of their throws vs. Cleveland. And none of those QBs is rated in the top half of the passer chart. Houston’s Deshaun Watson is ranked seventh... He had 5 TDs and no INTs in a home loss to KC last week, 42-34. (Two years ago, Eli Manning had 6 TDs and no INTs in a loss to N.O.).
Analysis: Both teams are hurting. Cleveland more mentally, Houston physically after the season-ending injuries to LB Whitney Mercilus and DE J.J. Watt. Mercilus led the Texans in sacks last year with 7.5. Watt needs no introduction. Combined with the long-ago suspension of LB Brian Cushing, the team’s defense could be in some disarray. The Browns, meanwhile have shown spunk. On offense, they had four drives of 10-plus plays against the Jets and outgained them by more than 200 yards. On defense, they’ve twice held foes to less than 40 yards rushing. No one else had done it more than once. It might be too much to expect the Browns to win, but they should keep it tight.
Forecast: Texans 26, Browns 24