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Texans Go Black and Blue On Browns in 23-7 Victory

Houston Texans v Cleveland Browns

The Texans put it all together on Sunday, putting a dominating beat down on both offense and defense on the AFC North first place Cleveland Browns in a 23-7 win in Cleveland.

Alfred Blue, taking the place of the injured Arian Foster, ran for 156 yards on a franchise-record 36 carries, and rookie QB Ryan Mallett making his first career start played well, leading the Texans to 23 points.

“It was fun out there,” Blue said. “I was running the ball behind my offensive line and they were making some great blocks. The receivers were making blocks. It was really like playing in the backyard.”

On defense, J.J. Watt led a punishing effort, in which they harassed Browns QB Brian Hoyer into 30 incomplete passes (20-for-50) with a game sealing pick.

The team also forced a fumble of Browns back Isaiah Crowell late in the second quarter that kept the game tied at seven.

From there, it was Mallett who drove the team quickly downfield, connecting with tight end Garrett Graham from 20 yards out to gave the Texans a 14-7 lead and capped a solid first half.

The second half was all Texans D, as Watt and pal Brian Cushing held the Browns scoreless, and giving the Texans offense plenty of chances to put up points and put the game away.

“First of all, we made it one dimensional,” NT Ryan Pickett said.

“We did a good job on the run, then they hit us with a big play. From that point, we settled down, stopped the run, and then made the game one dimensional.”

Randy Bullock kicked field goals of 46, 37 and 50 yards for the Texans.

Mallett finished 20 of 30, and connected in the first quarter with Watt on a two-yard TD. He’s the first defensive lineman to score four times in a season since 1948.

“It was a great throw,” Watt said of the TD.

“First, you have to give a lot of credit to the offense for getting the ball down there. The did a heck of a job getting it down there. Great throw by (QB Ryan) Mallett. My job was to catch it and it worked out pretty well.”

The 5-5 Texans will host the Bengals next Sunday.

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