The Cleveland Browns and the Houston Texans have played 10 times with the Texans winning seven. In recent years, the Texans have dominated the Browns and are currently on a five-game winning streak. Houston started playing in the league as a expansion franchise in 2002 replacing the Houston Oilers who moved to Nashville, TN, and became the Tennessee Titans.
They are the NFL’s youngest franchise.
When the NFL allowed the Browns to play in the league in 1999, the NFL had 31 teams. To have an even number of franchises, the NFL awarded Houston an expansion team on October 6, 1999. Because the NFL had an even number of teams, the league realigned the divisions going from three per conference to four. Between 2002 and 2010, the Texans struggled, but in 2011 won their first division championship. They went on to win the AFC South five more times (2012, 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019). They are the only NFL franchise to never play in a conference championship game.
As mentioned earlier, the Browns have only beaten the Texans three times in their young history. The two teams played their first game on October 20, 2002, with the Browns winning, 34-17. After a scoreless first quarter, the Browns scored first on a one-yard run by Browns RB William Green. In the third quarter, the Browns added a K Phil Dawson field goal, a 95-yard kickoff return by WR Quincy Morgan and a 25-yard touchdown pass to Morgan from Browns QB Tim Couch. Couch was 21 of 31 for 148 and a touchdown. Browns RB Jamel White rushed for 65 yards on 12 carries. The Browns defense sacked Texans quarterback David Carr eight times with DE Kenard Lang, DE Mark Word and DE Tyrone Rogers each getting two. The Browns would finish second in the AFC North with a 9-7 record and play in their last playoff game and the first since 1994.
The two teams met again on January 2, 2005, with Browns winning, 22-14. The Browns led at halftime, 9-7, on the strength of three Dawson field goals. Dawson would end up kicking five for the game. In the third quarter, Browns QB Kelly Holcomb threw a nine-yard touchdown to TE Steve Heiden. Browns RB Lee Suggs paced the ground attack with 131 yards on 26 carries. The Browns defense was again a thorn in Texans QB David Carr’s side sacking him six times. Both DE Alvin McKinley and DE Ebenezer Ekuban had two sacks. This would be the Browns’ last game of the 2005 season, finishing 4-12.
The last Browns win over the Texans happened on November 25, 2007. Browns QB Derek Anderson threw two touchdown passes, a 19-yarder to WR Braylon Edwards and a seven-yarder to TE Kellen Winslow. Browns RB Jamal Lewis added a one-yard touchdown run and Dawson added two field goals for a 27-17 win. Anderson was 24 for 35, 253 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. RB Jamal Lewis was unstoppable on the ground rushing for 134 yards on 29 carries. TE Kellen Winslow ended up with 107 yards on 10 catches. Texans QB Matt Schwab was sacked twice and intercepted twice by the Browns defense. The NFL Network highlights from this game are impressive. The commentators pour on the superlatives for the 2007 Browns. The Browns would finish 10-6 and give the franchise its last winning season. However, they failed to make the playoffs.
History is not on the Browns’ side this Sunday, but in 2020 anything can happen. A five-game losing streak versus the Texans and 0-2 verses Texans QB Deshaun Watson.
If history tells us anything, streaks are meant to be broken.