Browns at Texans
The Houston Texans couldn't be more thrilled with the way their rookie quarterback is performing while the Cleveland Browns have already benched their latest quarterback of the future. The Browns will turn to Kevin Hogan under center when they visit the Texans on Sunday.
Winless Cleveland started rookie DeShone Kizer at quarterback in each of the first five games but benched him in favor of Hogan during a 17-14 loss to the New York Jets last week. The Browns will give the starting job to Hogan, a second-year player out of Stanford, for Week 6. "It's not so much 0-5, it's how we're playing on offense," coach Hue Jackson told reporters. "I know everybody keeps thinking it's the record. I have a vision for this offensive football team and I know how this offense works. That's what I have to get it to. I don't care how we go about that. We just got to do it." Houston rookie DeShaun Watson, who was passed over in the draft by Cleveland, became the first rookie in NFL history with five total touchdowns in back-to-back games when he threw five TD passes against the Chiefs last week. “When you have a guy like that, and look, I know he’s only a 22-year-old rookie, (but) I think our team needs to understand that and to understand that you’ve got this guy under center and at shotgun out there playing for you, you’ve got a chance in every single game,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien told reporters. “No doubt about it.”
TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Texans -10. O/U: 47
ABOUT THE BROWNS (0-5): Hogan completed 16-of-19 passes for 194 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in relief of Kizer last week and is looking forward to the opportunity to start. "I'm excited," Hogan told reporters. "It's another opportunity to go out there and play some ball, which I love. I played a lot of games in college and, when I was out there the other day, it felt like I was in college again. I'm looking forward to the opportunity." Hogan should have some help on the other side of the ball from No. 1 overall pick Myles Garrett, who played just 19 snaps in his NFL debut last week after sitting out with an ankle injury and recorded two sacks.
ABOUT THE TEXANS (2-3): Houston is suddenly thin on defense after losing end J.J. Watt (tibial plateau fracture) and outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus (torn pectoral muscle) to season-ending injuries last week. "It's going to be multiple guys," O'Brien told reporters. "You don't replace J.J. Watt or Whitney Mercilus with one guy. That's ridiculous. So it's going to a lot of different guys that are going to chip in to help." The Texans signed veteran defensive ends Lamarr Houston and Kendall Langford this week and hope the two can regain the form that saw them combine for 15 sacks in 2015 with the Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts, respectively.
1. Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins hauled in three TD receptions last week and has five on the season, one more than his 16-game total from 2016.
2. Houston C Greg Mancz (knee) sat out the last two games and remains questionable.
3. Cleveland LB Jamie Collins (concussion) missed the last three games but is back at practice and could return this week.