Let’s gooo! What a way to start the NFL Playoffs.
Texans vs Browns might not look like the most glamorous of matchups on paper, but it’s certainly intriguing with rookie QB CJ Stroud going up against one of the Comeback Players of the Year, Joe Flacco. Just the 16 years that separate these two signal callers…
Texans have turned around their fortunes and have found a star in Stroud, the second pick in last year’s Draft. He missed a handful of games down the stretch, but returned to lead his team to back-to-back wins and the AFC South title. Rookie of the Year honor on the way.
Another rookie, Tank Dell, was also a revelation and the receiver’s season-ending leg injury was a huge blow, but it failed to derail Houston. The real star could be first-year Head Coach DeMeco Ryans though, who has turned the Texans from perennial strugglers to divisional winners. The future's looking bright in Houston, however this one ends up.
But forget those rookies now. Kevin Stefanski’s Browns became the first since the 1984 Chicago Bears to reach the Playoffs during a season in which they started FIVE quarterbacks. The man who steadied the ship and brought Cleveland to this stage? Joe Flacco.
Yep, that one. Eleven years ago, the veteran QB was Super Bowl MVP as he led Baltimore Ravens to their second Lombardi Trophy. The 38-year-old returned to the gridiron in Week 13 and hasn’t looked back, rolling back the years and inspiring Cleveland to a 12-5 record.
The Browns are not only a threat to the Texans this weekend. They could blow this whole thing wide open. Cleveland defeated the two top seeds – the Ravens and the 49ers – during the regular season. They’re not to be taken lightly.
Flacco’s invaluable experience + the number 1 defense = TROUBLE.