The Browns will go on the road to face the Texans and kick off the 2024 NFL Playoffs with the first game of Wild Card Weekend. These two teams played each other on Christmas Eve and the Browns won 36-22 but the Texans were missing their starting quarterback CJ Stroud in that game. Stroud is back today so this game should be closer than the first matchup. Let's take a closer look and get into our Browns vs Texans Prediction - NFL Picks 1/12/24.
The Browns, led by veteran quarterback Joe Flacco, have been performing impressively, particularly in their offensive game. Flacco's recent form has been a talking point, with a successful run (5-1 ATS) that included a strong performance against the Texans previously.
Flacco also brings the Postseason experience and success to the Browns with a 7-3 record over his last 10 playoff games despite those games literally being a lifetime ago (10+ years). He doesn't make mistakes and when you combine that with a solid defense, you have a team that can make a legit run in the playoffs.
Cleveland's defense has been robust, especially against the run, but will face a challenging Texans offense. The Browns have been more effective at home than on the road, which could be a factor in this matchup.
The Texans are expected to feature their rookie quarterback, who missed the previous game against the Browns. His mobility and ability to elude the Browns' rush could be key to breaking up Cleveland's tough passing defense.
Houston's defense, especially their ability to rush the passer, will be crucial in trying to contain Flacco and the Browns' offense. However, their performance against the pass has been weaker, ranking 23rd in the league.
This matchup is expected to be a high-scoring affair. Both teams have shown the ability to put up points, with Flacco expected to connect frequently with his receivers, and the Texans also having potential for success in the passing game.
The Browns have the advantage on defense and I think Flacco's experience will go a long way in this one while CJ Stroud is playing his first career playoff game.
Browns 27 Texans 24