Re-Focused Browns @ Texans, Week 9 This matchup promised to be a tightly-contested affair and ended up being anything but, as the Houston Texans ran all over a Cleveland Browns defense which entered the game ranked as the fifth best in the NFL based on yardage. The Browns fumbled on their first offensive play and were already 14-0 down by the time they ran their second. From that point on, they never really looked capable of getting back into the game. With the win, the Texans improved to 6-3 and are three games over .500 for the first time in their history. The Browns dropped to 3-5, despite the fact that the first half of the season was supposed to be the easy part of their schedule. The final score perhaps doesnt reflect how comfortable this was for Houston, which led 24-3 at the half, so lets focus on just how dominant they were: Cleveland Three Things of Note Pink Flawed After falling behind early, the Browns inability to get anything going offensively made life particularly easy for the Texans. Their offensive line was completely overmatched, especially Left Guard Jason Pinkston (-4.7). Pinkston gave up two pressures, was penalized twice and graded negatively (-2.1) as a run blocker. He didnt get much help from his linemates, as only Alex Mack (+0.3) had a positive overall grade as the Browns averaged less than a yard per carry before first contact. Pinkston has received a negative overall grade in every game so far this season and there are currently just two guards in the NFL with a worse cumulative rating. Little Impact Rookie Greg Little (-2.4) has been relatively productive so far this season, but didnt make the most of his nine targets on Sunday, catching just two. Little had two drops, but made an even costlier mistake on the penultimate play of the first half. He ran a go route on a play where Colt McCoy threw behind him and the pass was easily picked off by Quintin Demps to set up a field goal. Little admitted afterwards that he was supposed to run a hook route back to the ball. If he continues to make rookie mistakes like this, the Browns will target him less and less, especially if McCoy is going to complete 12 of 13 passes on balls thrown to someone other than Little, as he did on Sunday. Extreme Cribbs With everyone around him struggling so badly, Joshua Cribbs (+2.3) picked a strange time to come up with his best performance of the season. Cribbs caught all five balls thrown his way for 50 yards and scored the only touchdown for the Browns as he beat Jonathan Joseph out to the right flat on a nicely designed play in the fourth quarter only the second touchdown Joseph has given up all season. It wasnt just on offense that Cribbs stood out. On special teams, he had two tackles and a spectacular 63 yard kickoff return, although he lost some of those yards when he was flagged for a facemask violation at the end of the play. That was pretty much the only thing he did wrong all day, so perhaps the Browns should try to feature him more going forward. Houston Three Things of Note My Oh Myers With the Texans enjoying a multitude of great performances on both sides of the ball, it was Chris Myers (+6.9) who posted the highest grade. Myers, the driving force behind the Texans dominance on the ground, was a bastion of consistency making nine positively-graded run blocks without a single negatively-graded play. Remember how the Browns averaged less than a yard per carry before first contact? The Texans averaged 3.5 yards, underlining the superiority of the offensive lines performance with three of the four starters on the Browns defensive line ending up with overall grades of -3.5 or lower. Myers was also perfect in pass protection with no pressures surrendered and his overall PFF grade is now double that of his nearest challenger at the center position. Backs Attack! When a running back is already almost four yards downfield before the first defender touching makes contact, hes going to rack up some serious yardage. Thats what Arian Foster (+5.0) did, picking up 113 of his 124 yards between the tackles and also catching five passes. On a per-snap basis, reserve Ben Tate (+3.5) was even better, breaking four tackles and picking up 5.5 yards per carry after contact for an incredible Elusive Rating of 183.3 on his way to 115 yards on just 12 carries. Normally when you see a statline like that, it means the runner broke a long run, but Tate didnt have a single run of over 30 yards. Instead, he was consistently productive, gaining at least six yards on eight of his 12 carries, including seven in the first three quarters. Although their job was made easier by their offensive line, both runners displayed excellent patience and vision and used good cuts to get into the open field. Kareem The Dream After struggling as a rookie, Kareem Jackson (+3.0) seems to have at last found some consistency. In last weeks game, he matched his best ever PFF rating and he improved on that this week. Jackson gave up just three catches for 40 yards and broke up two passes in coverage. He also showed some good tackling ability when he prevented a potential big return with an open field tackle on Mike Adams on the opening kickoff of the second half, then followed that up by sliding under a Joe Thomas block on the perimeter to cut down Chris Ogbonnaya for a loss on the next play. Jackson is still splitting time with Jason Allen, which makes his grade all the more impressive. If he continues to perform like this, perhaps he will be trusted to be a full-time performer in the not-too-distant future. Game Notes - The Texans actually opened the game with four straight passing plays, gaining 38 yards. They had just 81 passing yards in the last 57 minutes. - Matt Schaub completed 14 of 23 passes, but that included five deliberate throwaways. - Texans rookie Brooks Reed (+3.5) had two sacks, one hit and two pressures. Connor Barwin (-1.2) was the only Texan on either side of the ball with a rating in the red, but even he contributed a sack. PFF Game Ball Ben Tate averaged almost 10 yards per carry and his 27-yard touchdown run on the first possession set the tone for Houstons win, giving him the edge over Foster, Myers and Reed any of whom would have been worthy winners.