Watch Texans at Browns: Time, odds, pick as former teammates Baker Mayfield, Tyrod Taylor square off -

In Week 3 of the 2018 season, an injury to Tyrod Taylor opened the door for then-rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield. Upon entering Cleveland's "Thursday Night Football" game against the Jets, Mayfield helped turn a 14-0 deficit into a 21-17 victory. The win snapped a 19-game winless game for the Browns while jumpstarting Mayfield's run as Cleveland's starting quarterback. 

After two forgettable seasons with the Chargers, Taylor is once again a starting quarterback. Last week, Taylor's 331 total yards and two touchdowns helped the Texans thump the visiting Jaguars. Conversely, Mayfield and the Browns are coming off an opening-season loss in Kansas City, as the Chiefs scored 23 of the game's final 30 points. The game ended on a sour note for Mayfield, who threw an interception on Cleveland's final drive. Mayfield did go 21 of 28 passing for 321 yards despite not having Odell Beckham at his disposal. 

Cleveland is a 12.5-point favorite entering Sunday's game, according to Caesars Sportsbook, with the over/under set at 48 points. We'll breakdown Sunday's showdown as well as make our final score predictions between two teams that appear to be headed in opposite directions. But first, here's how you can follow the action in real time: 

How to watch

Date: Sunday, Sept. 19 | Time: 1 p.m. ET
Location: FirstEnergy Stadium (Cleveland, Ohio)
CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (click here)
Follow: CBS Sports App
Odds: Browns -12.5, O/U 48


Most Browns fans are taking the glass half-full approach when assessing their team's Week 1 loss to Kansas City. The Browns were unable to hold their 22-10 halftime lead, but the fact that Cleveland was that close to defeating the two-time defending AFC champions is significant. The Browns built their lead on the strength of Mayfield's efficient passing, Nick Chubb's tough running and a defense that forced the Chiefs to earn their points on long sustained drives. Two turnovers, a special teams gaffe and a 75-yard touchdown pass from Patrick Mahomes to Tyreek Hill were the main lowlights during the Browns' second-half letdown. 

Cleveland will look to emphasize the things they did right in Kansas City and apply them at home against Houston. Unlike Jacksonville a week earlier, expect the Browns to test the Texans run defense early and often, which should mean considerably more carries for Chubb and Kareem Hunt, who combined to carry the ball just 21 times against the Chiefs. As he did last Sunday, Mayfield will look to spread the wealth in the passing game, as eight different Browns players caught at least one pass against the Chiefs. The Browns receivers will face an old teammate in Texans cornerback Terrance Mitchell, who spent the last three seasons in Cleveland. Houston's secondary also includes Justin Reid, a four-year starter who intercepted a pass in Houston's win over Jacksonville. The Texans had three interceptions of Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, a stat that Mayfield has surely noticed in his preparation for Sunday. 

While Hill and Travis Kelce had big games, the Chiefs contained the rest of Kansas City's playmakers. That's bad news for the Texans, who don't possess that type of firepower. They do have a proven playmaker in receiver Brandin Cooks, who caught five passes for 132 yards last week that included a 52-yard reception. Houston will need a similar game from Cooks as well as significant contributions from fellow wideouts Danny Amendola, Chris Conley and tight end Pharaoh Brown. Houston's receivers will have their work cut out for them against Cleveland's talented secondary, led by cornerbacks Denzel Ward and Greg Newsome II along with safeties Ronnie Harrison Jr. and John Johnson III. 

The game may come down to whether or not Houston can establish its running game against Cleveland's front seven. If Houston can duplicate their success last week -- they ran for 160 yards and two touchdowns on 41 carries against the Jaguars -- that will significantly increase their odds at success. This will largely come down to veteran running back Mark Ingram, who last Sunday led the Texans with 85 yards and a touchdown. They'll likely need more contributions from Phillip Lindsay and David Johnson, who rushed for 35 yards and a score on 11 carries in their Texans debuts. 


Latest Odds: Cleveland Browns -13.5

Cleveland is a heavy favorite and deservedly so. If they can take care of the ball, establish their running game and force the Texans' offense into being a one-dimensional, the Browns should get their first win of 2021 on Sunday. The Texans showed last week that they shouldn't be taken lightly, but the Browns should win this game if they play up to their potential. 

Score: Browns 34, Texans 23 

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