Cleveland Browns vs. Houston Texans

CLE
13
HOU
29
FINAL
1234T
CLE 007613
HOU 10133329

Game Information
Location: NRG Stadium Houston, Texas
Attendance: 71,741

HOUSTON (AP) After the Houston Texans extended their franchise record with a ninth straight win on Sunday, J.J. Watt was asked to reflect on how far the team has come in the past year.

"I was on the couch a year ago so this is a lot better," said Watt, who missed the last 11 games of Houston's 4-12 2017 season with a broken leg. "I was in a lot of pain. So it's good for us to be winning ... this is what it's supposed to feel like. Honestly this is how you dream it up."

Deshaun Watson threw a touchdown pass and the Texans intercepted rookie Baker Mayfield three times, returning one for a score, to get the 29-13 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday that extended the streak.

The Texans (9-3), who opened the season 0-3, haven't lost since Sept. 23 to take a commanding lead atop the AFC South. While they appreciate what they've done to turn things around, they're quick to note that they still have plenty of work left to do.

"It means a lot especially from where we came from 0-3 ... but it's not the Super Bowl so we're still fighting," receiver DeAndre Hopkins said.

Houston raced out to a 23-0 halftime lead and added two second-half field goals by Ka'imi Fairbairn to give him five on Sunday.

Mayfield, the top overall pick in this year's draft, had his worst game of the season, throwing three interceptions for the first time since he was a freshman at Texas Tech in 2013. He entered the game having thrown nine touchdown passes with just one interception in the past three games as the Browns (4-7-1) won consecutive games for the first time since 2014.

Mayfield lamented the mistakes he made in this one.

"(If) I would've taken care of the ball, this game would've been very close," he said.

He finished with 397 yards passing and had a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter after throwing a career-best four in a win over the Bengals last week. Houston's fearsome pass rush, led by Watt and Jadeveon Clowney didn't sack Mayfield, but they hurried and harassed him for much of the day.

His interceptions all came before halftime to help the Texans build the big early lead.

"He probably wasn't feeling too dangerous in the first half, but he was feeling a little more dangerous in the second half," Watt said.

Houston was up 3-0 after an early field goal when Watson, who finished with 224 yards, connected with rookie Jordan Thomas on an 11-yard touchdown pass. Hopkins set up that score when he made a 24-yard reception after T.J. Carrie grabbed his dreadlocks in an attempt to slow him down two plays earlier.

Zach Cunningham made it 17-0 when he grabbed his first career interception and ran 38 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. Officials first ruled him down at the 1, but the play was reviewed and changed to a touchdown.

Kareem Jackson was called for a 47-yard pass interference penalty on Cleveland's next drive to put the Browns at their 20. But Mayfield threw another interception two plays later and it was returned 18 yards by Johnathan Joseph.

Houston added another field goal to make it 20-0 with about three minutes left in the second quarter.

Mayfield's third interception came late in the second quarter when Andre Hal grabbed the ball in the end zone.

Lamar Miller had 103 yards rushing for his second straight 100-yard game and fourth of the season and Hopkins had seven receptions for 91 yards.

Cleveland continued to struggle in late-season games, and the Browns fell to 9-39 in December and January games since 2008.

Nick Chubb got the Browns on the board in the third quarter when his 2-yard TD run cut the lead to 23-7 with about 9 1/2 minutes left. Rashard Higgins had a 17-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter, but the 2-point conversion failed to leave the Browns down 29-13.

Houston added another field goal after that before a mistake-filled possession by the Browns. First Mayfield threw what looked to be a 76-yard touchdown pass to rookie Antonio Callaway, but it was brought back because of a holding penalty by left tackle Greg Robinson.

Two plays later, Mayfield connected with Callaway again and he gained 71 yards before rookie Justin Reid chased him down from behind and knocked the ball out of his hands just before he would have scored. It bounced into the end zone where it was recovered by the Texans.

"It was just trying to make something happen," Reid said. "I didn't want him to score so just make a play on the ball and see if it would come out. Good thing for us it did."

INJURIES

Cleveland cornerback Denzel Ward left in the first half with a concussion. ... Browns defensive lineman Larry Ogunjobi injured his biceps in the second quarter and didn't return. ... Joseph didn't return after injuring his neck in the second quarter. ... LB Brennan Scarlett injured his leg and didn't return. ... Houston offensive tackle Kendall Lamm left in the second half with a concussion.

REMEMBERING PRESIDENT BUSH

The Texans observed a moment of silence before the game for former President George H.W. Bush, who died on Friday night in Houston at 94. Bush was a frequent visitor to Houston's games and had participated in the coin toss at several contests. During the moment of silence pictures of Bush at various games were shown on the video screens flanked by huge 41's made out of a collage of pictures as a further tribute to the nation's 41st president.

UP NEXT

Browns: Host the Panthers next Sunday.

Texans: Host the Colts next Sunday.

---

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL

1st Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Browns Texans
08:12 Ka'imi Fairbairn 35 yd FG 0 3
00:38 Jordan Thomas 11 yd pass from Deshaun Watson (Ka'imi Fairbairn kick) 0 10

2nd Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Browns Texans
07:26 Zach Cunningham 38 yd interception return (Ka'imi Fairbairn kick) 0 17
03:19 Ka'imi Fairbairn 42 yd FG 0 20
00:01 Ka'imi Fairbairn 48 yd FG 0 23

3rd Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Browns Texans
09:39 Nick Chubb 2 yd run (Greg Joseph kick) 7 23
05:26 Ka'imi Fairbairn 53 yd FG 7 26

4th Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Browns Texans
05:46 Ka'imi Fairbairn 38 yd FG 7 29
02:58 Rashard Higgins 17 yd pass from Baker Mayfield (failed 2pt Pass from Baker Mayfield) 13 29

Team Stats
  Cleveland Houston
1st Downs 20 25
Total Yards 428 384
Passing 397 197
Passing Completions/Attempts 29-43 22-31
Yards/Pass 9.2 5.6
Rushing 31 187
Rushing Attempts 9 39
Yards/Rush 3.4 4.8
Turnovers 4 0
Fumbles Lost 1 0
Interceptions Thrown 3 0
Possession 22:25 37:35

Cleveland Passing
Player CP ATT YDS AVG TD INT
Baker Mayfield 29 43 397 9.2 1 3

Houston Passing
Player CP ATT YDS AVG TD INT
Deshaun Watson 22 31 224 7.2 1 0

Cleveland Rushing
Player ATT YDS AVG TD LG
Nick Chubb 9 31 3.4 1 11

Houston Rushing
Player ATT YDS AVG TD LG
Lamar Miller 19 103 5.4 0 32
Alfred Blue 13 54 4.2 0 17
Deshaun Watson 7 30 4.3 0 11

Cleveland Receiving
Player REC YDS AVG TD LG
Jarvis Landry 6 103 17.2 0 28
Antonio Callaway 3 84 28.0 0 71
Rashard Higgins 4 62 15.5 1 21
Nick Chubb 3 41 13.7 0 24
Dontrell Hilliard 4 40 10.0 0 23
Breshad Perriman 2 26 13.0 0 19
Seth DeValve 1 19 19.0 0 19
Duke Johnson Jr. 2 12 6.0 0 7
David Njoku 3 8 2.7 0 9
Damion Ratley 1 2 2.0 0 2

Houston Receiving
Player REC YDS AVG TD LG
DeAndre Hopkins 7 91 13.0 0 29
DeAndre Carter 6 32 5.3 0 11
Demaryius Thomas 3 32 10.7 0 15
Jordan Thomas 3 32 10.7 1 15
Jordan Akins 1 13 13.0 0 13
Ryan Griffin 1 12 12.0 0 12
Lamar Miller 1 12 12.0 0 12

Cleveland Defense
Player TACKLES ASST SACKS SACK YDS
Damarious Randall 7 1 0 0
T.J. Carrie 6 2 0 0
Emmanuel Ogbah 4 2 1 3
Phillip Gaines 4 2 0 0
Jabrill Peppers 4 4 0 0
Brian Price 3 2 0 0
Myles Garrett 2 1 1.5 9
Briean Boddy-Calhoun 2 0 0 0
Jamie Collins Sr. 2 2 0 0
Derrick Kindred 2 3 0 0
Chris Smith 2 0 0 0
Tanner Vallejo 2 2 0 0
Genard Avery 1 2 1 13
Joe Schobert 1 8 0.5 2
Trevon Coley 1 6 0 0
Denzel Ward 1 1 0 0
Joel Bitonio 0 0 0 0
Breshad Perriman 0 0 0 0
Tavierre Thomas 0 0 0 0
Anthony Zettel 0 2 0 0

Houston Defense
Player TACKLES ASST SACKS SACK YDS
Aaron Colvin 5 1 0 0
Tyrann Mathieu 5 1 0 0
Kareem Jackson 4 0 0 0
Justin Reid 3 1 0 0
Andre Hal 2 0 0 0
Benardrick McKinney 2 2 0 0
Shareece Wright 2 1 0 0
Angelo Blackson 1 0 0 0
Jadeveon Clowney 1 0 0 0
Dylan Cole 1 0 0 0
Zach Cunningham 1 1 0 0
Johnathan Joseph 1 0 0 0
Whitney Mercilus 1 1 0 0
Brian Peters 1 0 0 0
D.J. Reader 1 0 0 0
J.J. Watt 1 0 0 0
Johnson Bademosi 0 0 0 0
Sammie Coates Jr. 0 0 0 0
Brandon Dunn 0 1 0 0
Peter Kalambayi 0 0 0 0
A.J. Moore 0 0 0 0
Mike Tyson 0 0 0 0

Cleveland Interceptions
Player INT YDS TD
No interceptions.

Houston Interceptions
Player INT YDS TD
Zach Cunningham 1 38 1
Johnathan Joseph 1 18 0
Andre Hal 1 0 0

Cleveland Kick Returns
Player KR YDS AVG TD LNG
Dontrell Hilliard 3 68 22.7 0 26
Jabrill Peppers 1 27 27.0 0 27
Orson Charles 1 12 12.0 0 12

Houston Kick Returns
Player KR YDS AVG TD LNG
DeAndre Carter 1 23 23.0 0 23
Justin Reid 0.0

Cleveland Punt Returns
Player PR YDS AVG TD LNG
No punt return stats.

Houston Punt Returns
Player PR YDS AVG TD LNG
DeAndre Carter 1 0 0.0 0 0

Cleveland Kicking
Player FGM FGA PCT LG
No kicking stats.

Houston Kicking
Player FGM FGA PCT LG
Ka'imi Fairbairn 5 5 100.0 53

Cleveland Punting
Player PUNTS YDS LG
Britton Colquitt 2 91 51

Houston Punting
Player PUNTS YDS LG
Trevor Daniel 3 114 52