The Browns knew what to expect when they arrived at FirstEnergy Stadium on Sunday afternoon for their Week 10 matchup against the Houston Texans.
Sunshine, rain and wind — lots of wind. The nutty forecast was undoubtedly going to be a factor in how the game unfolded, but the Browns were never fazed as they gutted through a 10-7 victory to get back on track after a bye week.
The score was low, but there were plenty of game-changing plays that helped the Browns finish on top.
1. Parkey puts Browns ahead with early field goal
For the second consecutive game at FirstEnergy Stadium, Cody Parkey faced treacherous kicking conditions when we walked out for his first field-goal attempt of the afternoon.
The 41-yard attempt was no gimme for Parkey, who made two of three field goals in Week 8 under similar gusty conditions in Cleveland, but the Browns put faith in him to make the kick for three points on the first drive of the game.
The kick went up, and the ball appeared unaffected by any wind as it traveled through the uprights. Early field goals aren't always game-changing plays, but all points were needed in the low-scoring affair.
2. Garrett stuffs Watson to secure goal-line stand
The Browns defense entered Sunday with just one fourth down stop all season, and they needed to buck that trend early in the second quarter if it wanted to preserve its early lead.
The Texans moved through the Browns defense in small chunks for 13 plays and 69 yards and were threatening for a touchdown at Cleveland's 2-yard line. But then the Browns stuffed the Texans on first, second and third down. One more down to go.
Myles Garrett was ready for it. He used a perfect jump around the offensive line to reach Deshaun Watson for a 2-yard loss. Houston was 2 yards away from taking a 6-3 lead. Instead, the drive ended with zero points.
For Garrett, it was yet another game-changing play to add to his dominant 2020 season.
Check out photos of the Texans against the Browns
3. Fairbairn misses 46-yard field goal
The Browns have always looked to use the wild weather that can stroll through Cleveland on any Sunday as an advantage.
In the third quarter, it appears as though the advantage was indeed brewing in their favor.
The Texans turned to kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn to score their first points of the game if he could convert a 46-yard field goal on fourth-and-2. The distance wasn't much farther than Parkey's kick in the first quarter, but the end result was vastly different.
Fairbairn's kick sailed well left of the uprights as the flags on top of the posts swirled around in the air. The missed kick preserved the Browns' shutout and made Parkey's earlier field goal even more important — and impressive.
4. Chubb breaks away for first touchdown
By the end of the Browns' second drive of the second half, everyone knew who was going to get the football.
Cleveland was threatening to add to its 3-0 lead when it cracked the Texans' red zone for the first time since the first quarter with 14 minutes left in the fourth quarter, and it's all because the Texans couldn't stop running back Nick Chubb, who was playing his first game since suffering a knee injury in Week 4.
Chubb broke through for two 11-yard runs to bring the Browns deep into Texans territory. The next two plays went back to Chubb, too, and the last one was a 9-yard run to the end zone. He showcased the same shiftiness and speed that have made him one of the best backs in the NFL, and the Browns chose to ride with Chubb as they looked to pad their thin lead.
5. Watson hits Brown for Texans' first touchdown
The Browns had done a good job suppressing the arm talents of Deshaun Watson all afternoon. But things changed quickly as the clock ticked down in the fourth quarter.
Watson and his deep array of talented receiving targets used a seven-play, 75-yard drive to break the shutout and come within a field goal of tying the game. The drive featured a few tricky throws from Watson, including a 29-yard pass he mustered despite having Browns safety Ronnie Harrison Jr. pulling on his legs to attempt a sack.
The final play ended with Watson hitting tight end Pharaoh Brown on a 16-yard pass in the end zone. Cleveland had done a great job of limiting Houston's offensive production until that point, and there was still plenty of work left.
6. Chubb runs 59 yards, steps out of bounds, seals win
The final run of the game might've been the best — even though it didn't end with six points.
All the Browns needed to effectively seal their win with just over a minute left was a first down. They handed the ball off to Chubb, who ran near the sideline and found an open hole that took him straight to the end zone.
Chubb was poised for a touchdown. Then, he stepped out of bounds.
In an incredibly smart act of selflessness, Chubb avoided the touchdown to ensure the Texans wouldn't have any shot of getting the ball back even though they had no timeouts with 56 seconds left. Instead of scoring a touchdown, the Browns could simply kneel twice and run out the clock.
Cleveland was in victory formation for its sixth win, and it was all because Chubb put the team first.