The Winning Mix

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The Winning Mix: 3 keys to a victory over the Texans

Browns looking for their second consecutive win by taking care of business against the struggling Texans

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Late game heroics from Jacoby Brissett, David Njoku, Amari Cooper, Nick Chubb, Myles Garrett and the entire Browns team earned them a huge win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week, keeping the 2022 season alive.

At 4-7, however, there is much work to be done and it starts with a win over the 1-9-1 Texans on Sunday by following the plan laid out in this week's Winning Mix.

Check out photos of players and coaches working to prepare for the teams regular season game against the Houston Texans

1. End the game in the first half

The Texans have lost six straight games by a touchdown or more, and many of them have been decided by halftime, so let's keep that trend going. In their last two games, the Texans have been outscored 50-0 in the first half and have trailed by at least 20 points in both games.  Offensively, the Texans have been anemic in those first halves, producing just four first downs, 37 total yards and zero points. In fact, the opposing defense has scored more touchdowns than the Texans in the first half of the last two contests.

The Browns are one of the best quick strike teams in the NFL, with touchdowns on their opening possession in six games, including three straight games and four of the last five. Jump on the Texans early and follow the path of recent games with a monster first half that puts this one away and allows the Browns to cruise to victory in the second half.

2. Get Deshaun Watson going

A good way to have a high-scoring first half and to get ready for a hopefully epic run to close out the season is to get your quarterback, Deshaun Watson, going early.

It's been 700 days since Watson last played quarterback, so getting him into a good rhythm early will be important not just for this game, but for those yet to come. He's near the top of the rankings in NFL history in multiple categories including, first in completion percentage (68 percent), second in quarterback rating (104.5) and third in yards per attempt (8.3). He has played at an elite level, and getting the three-time Pro Bowler back into his typical form will be an important mission the Browns need to accomplish Sunday.

*3. Run the ball! *

One way to help your quarterback is with a dominant run game, and the Browns should be able to do just that against the 32nd-ranked Texans run defense — Houston is allowing a league-worst 168.6 yards per game on the ground.

The Texans have already allowed running backs to produce 1,592 yards (145 per game on 5.2 yards per carry) and 14 rushing touchdowns in just 11 games this season. Five backs have rushed for more than 140 yards individually against the Texans this year, including a monster 219-yard, two-touchdown performance by Titans RB Derrick Henry in Week 8.

Nick Chubb already has six 100-yard games this year and has topped 100 in all four of the Browns wins, so let's get him there on Sunday — and also into the end zone for a new career-best 13 rushing touchdowns.

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