The Browns ended a nine-game losing streak, and ended the season on a good note as the team topped the Houston Texans 22-14 on Sunday at Reliant Stadium in Houston.
The win was achieved primarily due to the Browns domination of the Texans' offensive line, as the teams' front four raced through the Texans line for six sacks of starting QB David Carr. The Texans' franchise QB was actually knocked out of the game at one point thanks to a sack by DT Alvin McKinley. Even when able to throw, Carr was constantly harassed, and wound up with just slightly more than 100 yards on the day.
The return of Kelly Holcomb and the third-straight 100-yard game by starting RB Lee Suggs enabled the Browns to click more on offense, and out-gain the Texans by over 100 total yards (364 to 238). Suggs gained 131 yards on 26 carries.
The win held only a small Draft Day downside for the Browns, as last weeks loss to the Miami Dolphins, coupled with the Tennessee Titans 24-19 win in Detroit would seem the Browns at the #2 spot in next April's NFL Draft. Unfortunately, it appear that (based on strength of schedule) the Dolphins will pick ahead of the Browns, who fall to #3. While various web sites (including ESPN) have the Browns at #2, we suspect that the team will pick third. Regardless, the Browns improved to 4-12 and the Texans failed to finish the season even, winding up at 7-9.
The win was especially meaningful to Browns head coach Terry Robiskie, who gave game balls to all of his players and coaches, and entertained the happy locker room by dancing on a table in celebration of his first win as a head coach.
The Texans, in their third year as an expansion team, should be particularly concerned about today's results. Houston's offensive line was swarmed throughout the day, and victimized quarterback David Carr, who left the field to boos several times during the course of the contest. The arrival of back-up quarterback Tony Banks was received with great enthusiasm by the Houston crowd.
While the rest of the NFL world turns to the upcoming play-offs and February's Super Bowl, the Browns will begin working immediately to hire a General Manager and Head Coach. The team looks to be active in the off-season, both in free agency and the draft.
Bernie's Insiders already has a listing and odds on General Manager candidates as well as our Draft Database. We will be debuting head coaching prospects and free agent listings in the coming days as we focus on this very important off-season for the Browns.