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Wild Card Round: Cleveland Browns vs. Houston Texans Prediction

The 2024 NFL Playoffs are set to begin on Saturday afternoon as there is a big matchup in the AFC Wild Card Round. Kicking things off this weekend will be the Cleveland Browns visiting the Houston Texans in a matchup of two surprising teams this season.

Cleveland dealt with a number of bad injuries throughout the regular season, but they were still able to finish the year at 11-6. The Browns were not able to win the AFC North Division this season, but have qualified for the playoffs as a Wild Card team. 

Houston was not supposed to be a playoff contender this season, but they actually found a way to win the AFC South Division. The Texans finished the regular season at 10-7, but now must prove their worth in the postseason.  

The Cleveland Browns are coming into this game as a 2.5-point betting favorite over the Houston Texans on Saturday afternoon. 

Browns Winning With Defense

It was a total team effort to get the Browns to the playoffs this season, but the defense clearly set the tone for this team. Cleveland allowed just 21.3 points per game this season, and that defense was able to rack up 49 sacks. 

Not only will the Browns be looking to come after C.J. Stroud in this game, but they will couple that with running the football effectively. Cleveland is averaging 1118 rushing yards per game, and they will try to establish the run first. 

Veteran Joe Flacco has thrown for 1,616 yards and 13 touchdowns in five starts this season, and he has given this offense some new life. Flacco has plenty of postseason experience and that could be a key in this game. 

Stroud Leading Charge For Texans

The Houston Texans are coming into this game having scored over 22 points per game during the regular season. Houston is averaging just 96 rushing yards per game, but they have picked up plenty of yards through the air.

Rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud has thrown for over 4,100 yards this season, and he has also done a great job of taking care of the football. It’s not going to be easy for a rookie quarterback in the playoffs, but he just continues to deliver. 

The defense for the Texans was underrated all season long, but that unit allowed just 20.8 points per game. Getting some pressure on Joe Flacco is going to be a big key in this matchup on Saturday. 

Browns Get it Done

It has been a remarkable season for the Houston Texans, but things are going to get much more difficult in the postseason. Houston has shown the ability to score points, but they also struggle to get stops at times. 

Cleveland made a great move when they brought in Joe Flacco to lead the offense, and that is a move that has paid off in a big way. The Browns are going to take some shots down the field with Flacco in this game, and that will allow this team to have a big day on offense. 

The Browns will shut down the Texans on Saturday afternoon to advance to the next round of the playoffs. 

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