Inside View

The good, bad and ugly from the Texans' 33-17 win over Cleveland

Deshaun Watson can do no wrong off the field. Matt Patterson/Houston Texans

Jermaine Every will be providing Texans commentary from every game.

The Houston Texans beat the Cleveland Browns today 33-17. While scoring thirty or more for the fourth straight game is awesome, Texans fans need to temper further expectations due to the fact that this came versus Cleveland and a quarterback making his first career start. Here are some observations:

The Good

1) Bill O’Brien’s play calling has been tremendous with rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson. I love the usage of read option play action passes and the motioning of a wide receiver into that action to create even more misdirection and confusion. Braxton Miller scored on a shovel pass by going into motion on read option play action. DeAndre Hopkins caught a touchdown pass off a similar play; so did Will Fuller.

2) The front seven played well. Not as well as they should against a team like the Browns, but well enough considering the injuries and relative inexperience of the guys replacing J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus. (D.J. Reader and Carlos Watkins are in years two and one respectively, while vet Lamarr Houston was signed earlier in the week. Brennan Scarlett played well also.)

3) Speaking of Fuller, his ability to stretch the field has been huge. That dynamic, along with the threat of the run game, created some openings underneath for tight ends and backs who accounted for six catches and 88 yards receiving.

The Bad

1) Dylan Cole appeared to have suffered a serious hamstring injury. As an undrafted rookie linebacker, he’s been a pleasant surprise, especially since Brian Cushing went Lattimer from The Program again. In my opinion, his play has made Cushing more expendable. Hopefully, it isn’t as serious and he can return soon. But a towel on the head riding a cart is never good.

2) Watson is still a rookie quarterback and makes rookie mistakes. A perfect example was his interception while extending the play in fourth quarter on a play action rollout. He has to learn to throw the ball away, or run and get down.

The Ugly

1) Missed tackles are this team’s Achilles heel. I stopped counting at 10, which was somewhere in third or fourth quarter. The Kansas City Chiefs took advantage of this last week. Luckily the Browns couldn’t. Moving forward, good offensive teams will take advantage of this and break big plays. This team can’t afford that with lack of pass rush already an issue, compounded by a defensive back group that has been subpar.

2) Tackle Chris Clark went down with a calf injury. When Kendall Lamm came in, they ran to the left and lost three yards. Browns rookie defensive end Myles Garrett took advantage and recorded a sack vs. Lamm as well. This isn’t a good look when you’re counting on a rookie quarterback to carry the torch for your team. I don’t care how mobile he is, this could get ugly.

All in all, this was a much-needed win coming off last week’s heart-breaking loss to the Chiefs. A win heading into the bye week before playing at Seattle can do some good. This team has some building blocks to become successful and reasons for fans to be excited. Let’s hope the “next man up” philosophy prevails with all the injuries because the AFC South is still winnable.

Finally, a shout out to Deshaun Watson rocking the Warren Moon Oilers throwback. The kid seemingly can do no wrong off the field.

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