The Cleveland Browns and the Houston Texans collide on Saturday in the opening game of the 2023-2024 NFL Playoffs. The game is a fitting way to kick off the playoffs, as the two teams engaged in one of the biggest, and to date, worst trades ever when the Texans sent the Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson. Watson signed the richest contract ever at the time and then went on to play terribly for the Browns.
Now, it's former Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco who is guiding the Browns to potential playoff success, not Watson. This in itself is fitting, as Watson's reputation will never recover from the scandals he brought on himself, and now he not only cost the Browns heeps of draft picks that would help fortify them heading into the near future, but the contract that will balloon exponentially over the next few years will surely cause catastrophic damage to the roster.
Yet, the Texans have seriously made off like bandits from the trade already; having landed new franchise stalwarts in Will Anderson Jr. and C.J. Stroud at the third and second spots in this past year's draft respectively. They are now a squad that is poised for big things, and may not be looking to next year to achieve them.
While many people are predicting the Browns to beat the Texans, this is a better and more even matchup than those folks would like to admit. The Texans' offense with Stroud guiding it is truly impressive and while the Texans' secondary has had its struggles, the Browns' offense isn't exactly good, having leaned solely on Flacco to garner points.
So it's very possible the Texans' defense can wrap this game up faster than people expected. So with that, let's look more closely at what the Texans need to do to win this game.