Who says it's for nothing?
The Browns will draft as high as third in this year's lottery after dropping to 4-12 in a 14-6 loss to the Texans in the season finale. The Browns couldn't overcome their own miscues as has been the case most of the season. They committed three turnovers and failed to take advantage of scoring opportunities, particularly early in the game.
The good news was Charlie Frye returned, but the bad news the Browns failed to score a touchdown.
The Browns undoing was the fact they couldn't put more than two field goals on the board after having four scoring opportunities in the first half and one in the second half.
The Browns moved the ball throughout the first half but had just three points to show for it. The first drive ended in an interception thrown by Frye in the end zone and the second ended in a missed field goal by Phil Dawson from 48 yards out.
On a third drive, Reuben Droughns fumbled the ball back to the Texans as the Browns were driving at Houston's 20.
On the final play of the first half, Dawson hit a 43-yard field goal to give the Browns a 3-0 lead at the half.
A seemingly rejuvenated Texans team marched down the field after the second half kickoff and took a 7-3 lead as Chris Taylor went in from five yards out with 10:19 to play in the third quarter. Taylor accounted for most of the yardage as the Texans went 70 yards in nine plays spanning 4:41. Taylor rushed six times for 42 yards on the drive.
The Browns third turnover led directly to the Texans second touchdown as they took a 14-3 lead with 6:28 to play in the third quarter. Anthony Maddox returned a fumble 47 yards for a score after Charlie Frye was sacked by Maddox. Romeo Crennel challenged the call, but it was not overruled.
The Browns got to the two-yard line after Frye hit Steve Heiden, but Kevin Shaffer was called for holding to negate the play. The Browns ended up settling for a 36-yard field goal by Dawson with 7:08 to play to make it 14-6. The Browns went 59 yards on nine plays to get the field goal.
However, the Browns couldn't stop the Texans from getting first downs after the score as the Texans took off over five minutes off of the clock before giving the ball back to the Browns with 1:50 to play.
When the Browns got the ball back they were inside their own 10 and after four downs, they turned it over to the Texans on the Browns' two-yard line. The Texans knelt on the ball and ran out the clock.
Record K2: TE Kellen Winslow caught seven passes in the first half and finished with 11 receptions for 93 yards. He finished the season with 89 receptions for 875 yards, tying him with Ozzie Newsome for the best in team history. Newsome had the best two individual seasons with 88- and 89-receptions previously. Winslow passed Kevin Johnson, who had 84 catches in 2002.
Sneaky Charlie: In a surprise move, QB Charlie Frye started against the Texans. Frye had missed the last three games since injuring his right wrist in the win against the Chiefs. He was all but ruled out and Ken Dorsey was presumed to be the starter and Lang Campbell was signed to be the backup. However, in pregame workouts, it was determined that Frye could go. Frye threw a pass on his first play from scrimmage and it was a completion to TE Kellen Winslow. Frye led the team inside the Texans' 20 before throwing an interception in the endzone to S C.C. Brown. Frye was 13-of-16 for 80 yards in the first half, including one interception with a QB rating of 61.5. He finished 25–of-34 for 187 yards, including no touchdowns and one interception. He had 36 yards rushing. For the season, Frye finished 252-of-392 2454 with 10 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.
Zero for Romeo: Romeo Crennel challenged a fumble return for a touchdown by Anthony Maddox and lost. Crennel did not win any challenges this season in six attempts.
Fumbling Reuben: RB Reuben Droughns rushed well, but fumbled the ball twice. One was recovered by the Texans and one by the Browns. Droughns had 65 yards rushing in the first half and finished with 83 yards on 19 carries. Droughns finished the season with 758 yards rushing with four touchdowns.
Kamerion's Season: Rookie LB Kamerion Wimbley picked up a sack in the first quarter to finish his first season with 11 sacks. Going head-to-head with No. 1 overall selection Mario Williams, who finished no sacks and had 4.5 on the season. Wimbley tackled QB David Carr in the fourth quarter for a loss, but was not credited with a sack. Wimbley entered the contest two sacks behind DE Mark Anderson of the Bears for the lead among rookies in sacks. The Bears play the Packers later.
Braylon Starts: WR Braylon Edwards started against the Texans after not starting last week against the Buccaneers. WRs Joe Jurevicius and Dennis Northcutt did not play due to injuries. Edwards caught four passes for 46 yards.
Jolly, Holly: CB Daven Holly intercepted a pass that was tipped by LB Leon Williams to end the first quarter. It was Holley's fifth interception of the season. He ended the season tied with S Sean Jones for the team lead.
New Guys: With all of the injuries, the Browns had several new faces in the lineup. OL Rob Smith started at guard and OL Isaac Sowells saw action on the line at RT. WR Travis Wilson started at WR and caught a 16-yard pass in the first quarter.
Walking Wounded: The Browns finished the season with 14 players on injured reserve, one on non-football injury list and one on physically unable to perform (PUP) list. DL Ted Washington and Nick Eason were both injured in the third quarter, but returned.